Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lemon Cream Berry Tart with Pecan Shortbread

There's something so elegant in the simplicity of fruit piled atop a tart.  No concentric circles or perfectly aligned rows, just a handful of fresh berries scattered over lemon cream.

The lemon cream is only subtly lemony with the zest and juice of just one lemon whipped into the cream cheese and whipped cream filling, because I really wanted the berries to be the highlight of this dessert.  The berries at the grocery store have been so tempting lately, and I've been bringing some home almost every week.  They are fantastic for dessert all on their own.

Sunday was chilly, gloomy and drizzly, and with Jamie off doing manly things, I spent the day working on some of my wedding dress alterations.  I fixed the straps, which refused to stay on my shoulders, and now, after re-sewing them at a different point they stay up perfectly.

I hemmed the bottom, trimming off at least 4 inches of lace; with the lace scraps, I covered the straps and added some lace trim to the neckline.  I really like the changes, but I'm not finished yet!  I have much more in mind to make it a truly unique, one-of-a-kind dress.

The pretty fluted edge on this tart even reminded me of the ruffly lace trim on the neckline of my dress.

One Year Ago:   Ombre Birthday Cake
Two Years AgoNutella Polka Dot Cheesecake

Lemon Cream Berry Tart with Pecan Shortbread

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • fresh berries

In a food processor, grind the pecans for about 30 seconds until finely chopped.  Add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse a few times to combine.  With the processor running, add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, just until moistened and crumbly.  Add the yolk and pulse a few times to incorporate.  The mixture should resemble moist cornmeal.

Spray a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom with non-stick spray.  Pile the dough crumbs into the pan, and spread out to the edge.  Firmly press down against the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray a piece of foil with non-stick spray and place the foil, greased side down, against the frozen crust, fitting it closely to the crust.  Fill the foil with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 25 minutes.

Carefully remove the foil and set aside and bake crust, uncovered, for an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.  Set pan in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Filling:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Slowly drizzle in the cream and beat on high speed until smooth, fluffy and thick.  Spread the filling into the cooled crust, and refrigerate for 2-4 hours to set up.  Pile the top with fresh berries before serving.
Yields 8-12 servings
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen