Although I’d like to consider myself a relatively good cook and baker, I’m pretty sure that I’d flunk Decorative Arts and Design if I ever went to pastry school. Every time I’m inspired to do something out of my comfort zone (royal icing, fondant, cake pops), the result looks more like it was created by an elementary school-aged child than it does a Bakerella piece of edible art.
And that’s precisely why I love making tarts. Even a crust that was clumsily pressed into the pan by unsure hand ends up with pretty, crimped edges (and a dusting of powdered sugar on top can also hide a multitude of imperfections).
I didn’t do much tart making prior to going gluten-free, but I have a hard time believing that tart shells made with wheat flour could match this crust. It’s like a crunchy, barely sweet cookie.
And there’s no chance of your tart getting the soggy bottom blues… gluten-free pie and tart shells have excellent staying power.
And then there’s the filling: a sweet, tart, pucker-inducing lemon filling. It’s not quite as buttery/jiggly as some of the other tarte au citrons that you’ll find out there. This one is closer to a firmer set lemon curd. In other words, lemon perfection.
Tarte au Citron- Lemon Tart
The filling on this lemon tart is somewhat softly set. If you’d like a sturdier filling, feel free to add a Tablespoon or two of rice flour.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
* 1/3 cup rice flour, plus extra for dusting pan
* 1/3 cup potato starch
* 1/3 cup tapioca starch
* 1/4 cup sweet rice flour (also called glutinous rice flour, one brand name is Mochiko)
* 1 Tablespoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
* 1 egg
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 large or extra large eggs
* 2 large or extra large egg yolks
* 2/3 cup sugar
* grated zest of 2 lemons
* 2/3 cup lemon juice
* 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
* confectioner’s/powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray and dust with rice flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, sugar, xanthan gum and salt. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter in. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until the mixture comes together in a ball. Use the heel of your hand to quickly knead the dough to ensure even blending. Do not overwork the dough; you do not want to melt the butter.
Place the dough on a large piece of waxed paper. Cover with another sheet and roll out the dough to the appropriate size. If the dough feels tacky, you can refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes. Gently peel off the top layer of wax paper and invert the dough into the tart pan. Remove the other sheet of waxed paper and press into the pan.
Partially bake the tart shell for ten minutes. Remove from oven shell cool slightly.
In a large bowl combine the eggs, yolks, and sugar. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir to mix. Whisk in the creme fraiche or sour cream until smooth and completely incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prebaked tart shell.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just set. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Dust with the confectioner’s sugar and serve.