- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a blender, combine the eggs, lemon juice, granulated sugar, lemon zest and orange zest. Process on high until smooth. Add the butter, replace the cover, and blend again on high until smooth. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the flour and powdered sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the mixture looks sandy and the butter is fully incorporated into the flour and sugar.
- Place an 11-inch tart pan on a baking sheet. Pour the crust mixture into the pan. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (You can use the bottom of a cup to help press the crust more evenly on the bottom of the pan.)
- Pour the filing into the crust, then transfer the tart into the oven. Bake until the center is almost set, 30-35 minutes.
- Cool the tart completely. When ready to serve, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and cut into slices.
Beautifully lemony, I found this recipe here. Even better, it achieves the easy-peasy rating because you literally throw all the ingredients into a blender and a food processor and you're done! Per usual, I've adjusted the sugar levels a bit - not only do I usually apportion only 1 cup of sugar for something cake-sized these days, but I felt it really lets the brightness of the lemon shine through.
Originally from this page, this is a remarkable cake where it's neutral enough to go with just about any flavor (both sweet OR savory, to my surprise!) while still having enough character to be consumed on its own. One of my friends dumped gravy and cheese dip all over it and said it was just as good as with the macerated strawberries! I personally liked it just by itself or with a bit of strawberries, and another friend simply consumed it with some of the homemade whipped cream. Along with its simple, no-fuss recipe, this makes a fantastic staple to come back to over and over again.
For the cake:
For once, I was actively hunting for something new to make when I stumbled across this recipe. The inspiration was the very first Thanksgiving feast I would be making on my lonesome, and I wanted to top it off with a dessert that was traditionally-themed without being completely traditional. This was, arguably, the biggest hit not only of the night's feasting (and not just because it was sweet) but nearly out of all the things I have ever baked for my family. Even my father, the most famous scrooge of the family, prompted me no less than three times as to when I was going to make it again!
Note: Remember to leave a little space at the top of the custard for the gelee. While you can get away with not doing so because the gelee should be a super-thin layer anyway, it was also very easy for the gelee to spill over the edges when I didn't account for it. While the custard will initially come out of the oven all puffed-up, it will settle in once it cools down, and should still have enough space for the gelee after being baked.
I discovered that I had an excess of filling and gelee after filling the tart to the brim. So have some ramekins ready and you can toss the extra in to be baked at the same time. Then you can "taste-test" guilt-free before the tart ever gets served!
Long story short, I attempted this recipe due to the convergence of a challenge from an old friend (who, after seeing my koi pond pie, commented that I should next make something reflecting my namesake/internet handle) and another friend having spied cheap rhubarb for sale in another state and hand-carrying a pound's worth of stalks back for me. I then promptly ended up doing a whole bunch of substitutions, both intentional and unintentional, and in the end determined that this is really just a sweet rather than savory pizza-like dessert that is pretty forgiving of whatever you want to do with it. Thus, if you wish to try it, I wish you many happy experiments!
My brother adores pecan pie, but they almost unilaterally call for corn syrup in their recipes, which is just ... bleh. This is one of the rare ones that does not ask for corn syrup - and from the way he devoured it on his birthday (in place of a cake), I'd say it did quite well without it.
(Though this is usually done in a pie crust, I have also substituted the pine nut tart crust for the usual pie crust. One note is that you can't just cook the tart crust first as usual; it may burn if you just put it into the oven with the rest of the filling for 30 minutes. I took the halfway road and cooked the crust for 10 minutes at 350 F, poured the filling in, covered the edges with foil, and then popped it back into the oven to finish.)
This was adapted from a Country Living recipe. The first attempt was both weirdly my least-favorite but my family's most-favorite baking attempt ever - I simply could not get over the weird snot-thick consistency of the blueberry topping that came from the original recipe's 3 tbsp of cornstarch, though my father and brother literally gobbled up over half the tart in the space of a morning. A second try not only improved the texture but the appearance considerably, and after substituting lactose-free milk for whole milk, I was also able to enjoy it tablet free! With the sweetness dialed down somewhat and a few extra steps added to improve custard and topping consistency, the second one disappeared nearly as quickly as the first.
This is an absolutely amazing crust. The pine nuts were expensive, but totally worth it, and with a food processor and a stand mixer, everything was done in 10 minutes. In fact, the toughest part was just getting everything divided up evenly and wrapped well, and then cleaning up.
I first had a taste of this at Bouchon itself, and with the pine nut crust, it was simply amazing. It's actually a relatively easy/quick thing to make; the hardest part is probably just having to stand and stir in front of the stove for 8 minutes. The original recipe has an amazingly intense lemon/tart taste, so for those who may want to be a little less overwhelmed by that, see the note at the bottom. But in its original form, it won me first place at a citrus-themed festival, so it can't have been too bad!
Part of the reason I started baking was because I like my goodies to be less obviously sweet - I want to taste the flavor, not just the sugar. So most of these recipes will have the sugar dialed down.