Are you all in the mood for something sweet? Good. Me too. I haven’t made any sugary treats in a while. But now that the kids are out of school, I find myself planning one dessert after another. I don’t let my kids eat sweets all the time, but when I do I prefer they have the good, homemade stuff. Besides, baking anything is a surefire way to get them cooking.
As I mentioned many times before, making pastry dough from scratch is not my thing. However, back when I was a teenager I did mastered two of them: the pate a choux (for cream puffs and eclairs) and this tart dough. Well, this dough without the nuts. About the only thing I made with this dough was fresh fruit tarts. And I haven’t tackled one of those in years (note to self: make one soon). Recently, though, I found a jar of lemon curd in the pantry that was nearing expiration (I have no idea why I bought it in the first place). So I decided to work it into my old recipe. That one store-bought item helped bring this dessert together in record time. The bright, tart filling against the nutty crust is pretty amazing. And the candied pistachio topping, which was somewhat of an afterthought, is decorative and delicious. It’s also a yummy salty-sweet snack in and of itself.
Lemon Pistachio Tart Recipe
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, finely ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 10-ounce jar lemon curd
1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
1 tablespoon egg whites
1 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup sugar
FOR THE CRUST: Coat a 9-inch fluted round tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray; place pan on a large baking sheet. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and egg yolk; beat until smooth. Add flour, ground pistachios and salt; mix until incorporated. Gather dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and place on a well-floured surface. Dust top with flour and roll dough out into a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer dough to tart pan; press gently into bottom and sides of pan. Trim the top edge and bake until medium golden brown, 25-30 minutes (keep oven preheated for garnish). Cool completely.
FOR THE FILLING: In a medium bowl, combine lemon curd and sour cream.
FOR THE GARNISH: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; coat lightly with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add pistachios and toss until evenly coated. Stir in sugar. Spread pistachios on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes, until dry and toasted, 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
ASSEMBLY: Pour filling into prepared crust. Break candied pistachios into pieces and garnish tart. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.