Shortbread Week–Day 4: Lemon Tart

All good things must come to an end including shortbread week (minus one day).

Today’s recipe from the Gay Lea holiday bake-off was submitted by Alejandra Gonzales from Humber College. Her Lemon Tart shortbread is a blend of sweet and sour and will be appreciated by fans of all things lemon and lime. The addition of toasted almonds adds to this cookie’s flavour.

Quick tip: When rolling dough, ideal surfaces include a pastry cloth, marble or granite surface or a smooth countertop. Plastic or wooden cutting boards will not be big enough.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Lemon Curd:
6             egg yolks
1 cup       granulated sugar
1/3 cup   fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp      finely grated lemon zest (about2 lemons)
1/2 cup    unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/8-inch (3 mm) pieces

Shortbread:
2 cups         all purpose flour (approx.)
1/2 cup       icing sugar
1/2 tsp         salt
1 cup            unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp        finely grated lime zest (about 4 limes)
1 tsp             vanilla extract
20                 toasted almonds

Instructions:

1 In a medium, metal bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar for 2 minutes or until light and smooth. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest; whisk until well combined.

2 Place the bowl over a saucepan with a small amount of gently simmering water; do not allow the bowl to sit in the water. Cook the egg mixture, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

3 Slowly whisk in the butter, one piece at a time. Transfer mixture to a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover the surface of the lemon curd directly with plastic wrap to avoid a skin from forming; cool completely. Chill until ready to use.

4 Preheat the 325°F (160°C). In another bowl mix the flour with the sugar and salt until well combined. Add the butter, lime zest and vanilla; stir until just combined. Chill for 1 hour.

5 Roll dough out, on a lightly floured surface, to be 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick. Cut dough with a 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) round cookie cutter. Cut a small hole out of the centre of half of the cookies. Re-roll scraps and cut additional cookies until all the dough is used. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets.

6 Bake cookies, in batches, for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Spread a small amount of the reserved lemon curd over the bottom of the solid cookies. Garnish the centre of each cookie with a toasted almond.

Makes 20 cookies.

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