Fruit tarts are one of my favorite desserts, so I was excited about making the Sable Breton Galette with Berries this week for French Fridays with Dorie. This tart is homemade summer simplicity at its best. A cookie crust is topped with lemon curd and fresh berries. That’s it!
The crust is made from a soft cookie dough. It’s similar to shortbread, but the egg and baking powder made it a little lighter, perfect for eating with a fork. The cookie base is pre-baked so, if you plan ahead, you can assemble this impressive dessert on a moment’s notice. The base is pressed into a flat disk rather than forming edges which made for a fun presentation.
The lemon curd can be homemade or store-bought. I wanted to try making it, but didn’t want lots extra, so I made a half batch which was the perfect amount for topping the tart. You whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice and a smidge of corn syrup then melt butter into it, whisking as you go. I was a little nervous that it wouldn’t come out thick or smooth, but after just 3 minutes, I had created a jar of lemony delight. I’ll be making this again.
For berries, you can use whatever you like. Local strawberries have finally arrived in these parts, so I topped my tart with strawberries and blueberries. I loved the color contrast.
When I was previewing this week’s Dorie recipe at home, Howard wasn’t wild about the idea of lemon curd, so I brought this to work to share. I brought the tart into a meeting, and I thought we’d serve it and eat while we met. I admire the self-control of the person this was in front of. The tart sat in the center of the table for over an hour before someone asked when we would be eating it. We cut it into 12 slices, and everyone enjoyed it.
This is definitely one of my favorite recipes in the book so far. I know this will make several appearances on our table this summer. For Howard, I will try spreading a matching berry jam on the cookie instead of lemon curd. I think that will be a delicious variation.
Last week, when made the French pound cake, quatre-quarts, I had an egg mishap. The eggs needed to be separated, and on the last egg, I broke the yolk into the bowl of egg whites and had to start over. I discarded the whites and stored the yolks in the fridge until I could figure out to do with two yolks. I’m not sure what I was thinking because I could have just saved the whites and the yolks, leaving me with two whole eggs, but I didn’t.
Earlier in the month when I made a key lime pie, I had 4 extra egg whites. Those I used in place of two whole eggs in a quick bread. I was less sure what to do with the yolks.
Alice, one of my cyber-friends, made a brilliant suggestion. Alice lives in London, and her idea was very British. “Why not make lemon curd?” she said. I have a stash of Meyer lemons, and I’ve always wanted to try making lemon curd, so that was the solution.
To make a lemon curd, sugar, or for this recipe, honey, is combined into melted butter along with lemon juice. Then, over a double boiler, the egg yolks are whisked into the lemon mixture until it thickens. The recipe said it would take up to 10 minutes, but it took me closer to 20 minutes. I think it took that long because I was conservative about the temperature of water in the double boiler.
The lemon curd is a lovely contrast of sweet and tart. The Meyer lemon gives it floral undertone. Now, I have to whip up a batch of scones for the perfect teatime snack!
Meyer Lemon Curd
Makes 1¼ cups
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
½ cup honey
½ cup Meyer lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
Zest of 1 lemon, if desired
If you are going to use the zest, zest one lemon before juicing it.
In a bowl set over simmering water, melt the butter. Stir the honey into the butter until it’s combined. Now, stir in the lemon juice.
Whisk the egg yolks and whole egg together. Add to the warm lemon mixture. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens. This will take a while, 10 to 20 minutes. It’s done when you run your finger through the mixture on a spoon or spatula, and it doesn’t run back together. Stir in the zest, if using.
Pour into a jar and chill. This will last for two months in the refrigerator.