When berries are in season I like to serve them with this tart. When out of season I like to make a meringue topping. Little individual  tarts are fun to serve, but a regular size tart tastes just as good.


1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/8 t salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3-4 T cold water

Sift together in a mixing bowl the first 3 ingredients.  Add the butter and cut it in with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add water, and mix lightly to form a dough ball. Chill for 1/2 hour.

You will need a 9 inch tart pan, with a removable bottom. Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thick on a well floured surface. Place in the tart pan. Prick the sides and bottom of the pastry with a fork. Chill for 1/2 hour- this helps reduce shrinkage.

Bake at 350 degrees about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown- for a nine inch tart. For little tarts reduce cooking time- again cooking till golden. Cool completely before adding lemon curd filling. At this point you can store the cooked tart shells in a metal cake pan- so that they stay crisp for a day or two for later assembly.

Lemon Curd:

3 lemons

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

3 eggs- room temp

Using a fine microplane zester- zest the lemons. Squeeze the lemons of their juice and strain out the seeds.

In a saucepan or double boiler, place the zest, juice,butter and sugar over low heat or simmering water. Cook,stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves.

Beat the eggs, and add them to the mixture- make sure the heat is very low- if it boils it will curdle.Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened- about 10 minutes.

Cool  a bit before pouring into a bowl that you will refrigerate until the curd is cool. The curd will keep for a few days- so this can be made in advance.

To assemble tarts- spoon the curd into the cooled shells- and top with berries in season.

Meringue version:

4 extra large egg whites- room temp

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 t salt

1/4 t cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed until frothy. With the mixer still running, slowly add the sugar and beat until the meringue is thick and shiny, about 2 minutes.

Spread the lemon curd in the cooled tart shell and spoon the meringue over it- making little peaks with a knife tip. Be sure the meringue covers the entire top and touches the edges of the shell, to prevent it from shrinking. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, until the meringue is lightly browned. Cool to room temperature.       

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