Monday, February 25, 2008

Lemon Curd Tartlets

On Sunday, Brett and I wanted to do some baking, so I got out my Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook and found a recipe for Lemon Curd Tartlets that sounded yummy. Plus I had just watched Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) make a Lemon Curd Tart a couple of days ago. Another reason why I wanted to try it was that I had never tried to make my own crust before.

Since it's just the two of us, and we only have 4 little tartlet pans, we decided to half the recipe, which is just asking for trouble, but worth the risk. I manned the mixer and Brett read the ingredients out loud to me with the proper adjustments so there was no chance of me doing exactly what the recipe said. The recipe called for 1 teaspoon of heavy cream, but I didn't want to buy a big thing of it when I only needed a teaspoon, so we just used 1% milk, which thankfully turned out fine. When adding the milk, I may as well have not even used a measuring spoon because the brand new milk carton was heavy and I poured way more than I intended to...oops! But like I said, it turned out fine. We were able to get exactly 4 crusts out of it, with just a tiny bit of dough leftover to munch on.

We also halved the lemon curd recipe and Brett and I both worked to add the ingredients. I separated the eggs, and added the sugar, while Brett zested and squeezed the lemons. Brett thought the recipe was funny because it offered 3 potential stopping points. #1 When the lemon curd coats the spoon. #2 When the mixture reaches 160 degrees. #3 When 8-10 minutes expires. Knowing that the cooking time would probably be different for half the recipe, we went with the first 2 stopping points. Unfortunately, the mixture started to bubble and got to 160 degrees much quicker than we anticipated, which turned out to be before the mixture was coating the spoon. This scared me a bit, but we stopped the heat and started adding our butter which did thicken the curd to my liking. Then we let it chill.

The refrigeration helped it thicken up even more and the tartlet shells baked beautifully (no blind baking necessary) and most importantly, they tasted delicious! Adding meringue is optional, and Brett and I were tired, so we opted not to make it. Still yummy! I think I see lemon curd again in my not too distant future.

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