This tangy and sweet dessert brightens up any dining table. A thick lemon curd fills a golden shortbread crust for a simple, zesty tart.
Back in the day all recipes were done by hand, so it’s fine if you don’t have an electric mixer. It will take a bit more time, but you get a nice arm workout!
Making dough is no easy task – be gentle and be sure to keep your dough chilled. If you don't have a rolling pin, use a clean glass bottle (wine is perfect, for example). If the dough starts to become sticky, add a sprinkle of flour.
If you've made this tart in advance, take it out of the fridge right before serving so that the lemon curd is firm and easy to slice.
Wow, you’ve got some beautiful ingredients! Once you’ve unpacked your Red Velvet kit, prepare a clean work surface (away from any heat) to roll out your dough in step 5. Keep both butters chilled in the refrigerator. Measure 1/2 cup of ice water (with a few cubes) and set aside. In two small bowls, separate 1 egg into whites and yolks; set aside yolk, and save white for another culinary adventure. Save 4 whole eggs for step 3.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar (for tart shell). Cube the chilled butter (for tart shell) into 16 small pieces. Using your hands, work in cubes of butter until consistency resembles coarse sand (this will take 5 to 8 minutes). Add the egg yolk. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of ice water. Work the dough into a ball, ensuring even consistency; add more water if it’s still dry, 1 tablespoon at a time (go slow, you don’t want sticky dough!). Wrap in plastic film and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.
Make filling. Using a vegetable peeler or zester, remove the rind of the lemons, avoiding the white pith. Mince rind so that the pieces resemble tiny beads. Squeeze the lemons to make 1/2 cup of juice and set the juice aside. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar (for filling) with lemon rind. Add 4 remaining whole eggs, one at a time; add lemon juice and salt (for filling). Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. The lemon curd will thicken at about 175°F, or just below a simmer. To test for doneness, coat the back of a wooden spoon with the curd, and run a finger through it. If the part you’ve created stays put, your curd is done. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then transfer to a medium bowl. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Sprinkle a work surface with flour for surface prep provided. Roll out chilled dough using a rolling pin. Roll a few times in one direction, lift up dough and rotate it a quarter turn. Flip over and re-flour every few turns. Repeat until the dough is even in thickness. The dough is large enough when it is 1 inch larger than the pan. Press dough into the pan, covering the whole surface and trimming edges with a paring knife. Using a fork, prick the dough all over to make holes for air to escape. Chill once more for 15 minutes.
Place parchment paper and baking beans on top of the tart shell and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from oven, gently remove beans and paper, and let cool completely. Fill the tart shell with lukewarm lemon curd and smooth over with a spoon or spatula. Allow to set at room temperature. Chill if not serving right away.