Strawberry Lemon-Curd Tart

July 28, 2011

Strawberry season is far, far too short! Actually all fresh summer fruit availability is too short in my opinion. There are so many excellent summer berry desserts in my cookbooks that make my mouth water just reading the recipes, and then life gets busy and oops, I’ve missed the season! However, I did manage to find the time last month to make this delicious lemon curd tart topped with fresh local strawberries from the market. Can you tell I’m getting a lot of use out of my new tart pan?

This recipe (from the Bon Appetit Desserts cookbook) assumes you have a food processor in which to make the crust, but if not, there’s no reason why you couldn’t make it with your fingers or a pastry blender. When I made the crust, I think I ended up adding a little bit too much liquid because it still appeared very crumbly, but it was very soft and tore easily when I rolled it out. I ended up using it like a press-in dough rather than a traditional rolled dough, and fortunately the texture didn’t seem to suffer any ill effects from this treatment! If I make it again, I will trust my hands more than my eyes and squeeze some of the crumbs together to test for the proper texture – if they hold together when pressed, then the dough has the right amount of liquid even if it still looks like crumbs in the bowl.

Strawberry lemon tart

Curd and dough can be made up to 2 days ahead; keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

Serves 10



  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 3  tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4  cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons finely grated lemon peel


  • 1 1/2  cups all purpose flour
  • 3  tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 2  tablespoons (more if needed) chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1  large egg yolk


  • 1 1/2  quarts strawberries, stem ends cut flat
  • 1/2  cup strawberry jam


  1. Curd: Whisk eggs, sugar, and lemon juice in small heavy saucepan to blend. Add butter and lemon peel. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and curd thickens to pudding consistency, about 8 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd and chill at least 2 hours.
  2. Crust: Blend flour, sugar, and salt in food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons cream and egg yolk. Blend until moist clumps form, adding more cream by teaspoonfuls if dry. (Dough will appear crumbly but should stick together when a handful is squeezed.) Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap and chill 1 hour.
  3. Roll out dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch; fold in and press firmly, forming double-thick sides. Pierce crust all over with fork; refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake crust until golden, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Cool crust completely on rack.
  5. Topping: Spread curd in crust. Stand berries on curd, cut side down. Stir jam in small saucepan over medium heat until melted; strain into small bowl. Brush jam over berries. Chill tart until glaze sets, at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Remove pan sides from tart; transfer to plate and serve.

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