i have something for you. i think you’ll really like it.it’s a recipe for spring. i know it’s still cold outside. anyway, you should taste spring. i promise it will help. are you ready? its lemons+honey+pistachios. wait, that isn’t a recipe, its math. sorry.this yellow beauty was served for dessert at the tapas dinner brian and i hosted for our parents last week. since giving up chocolate for lent, i’ve had to indulge my sweet tooth in a lighter, perhaps more modest manner. it’s always difficult for me to work my way back into the spring desserts from the rich, dark, and decadent flavors that are embraced during the cold months.i guess this was the first spring dessert i really made this season, so let this be the beginning of many more pies, tarts, shortcakes, and bars. what a welcome change of flavors this indulged me in. sour lemons and sweet honey balance each other perfectly to make the curd filling on the buttery pastry base. it was really hard to stick to one thin slice here, so i just kept ’em coming all night.like this:oh, walking to the couch? i better grab a slice of tart. forgot to shut off the kitchen light? i should clean up the edges and neaten the tart while i’m in there. dad, you wanna take some home? i better take another little sliver for myself. i know. i have a problem. -but guys, gimme a break. i quit chocolate. so, i guess what i actually did here is give up chocolate to become a glutton.
on to business.
i used the pistachio shortbread cookies recipe to make the base. one recipe made the perfect amount for this. i sugared the crust for effect, but it worked nicely because it also caramelized slightly during baking, making a little “crunch” with bites of the outer crust.i use the whole egg to make the lemon curd. -don’t be scared off by that. here are a few things to think about: using the whole egg eliminates the waste of unused egg white, using the whole egg produces a lighter textured curd, using the whole egg is a little easier, skipping the steps of separating the yolk from the white.the main reason many curds are made with yolks only is because yolks and whites cook at different rates. yolks cook much more slowly. -think fried egg, the yolk is runny, the white is set-the science behind the protein cooking at a lower temperature than the fat can actually be worked with, though, by bringing the heat of the eggs up slowly, and keeping the whisk in your hand the entire time. also, straining the curd to separate any whites will cover up any little mistakes you may make here.
let’s get started. bake the base a few hours before you need it, keeping in mind the curd shouldn’t be poured into it until the base is completely cooled for the pistachio base before i bake.
this crust recipe makes 2 8″ or 9″ round tarts.
for the crust:
1 3/4 cups coconut flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temp
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pistachios, ground up in food processor
a few extra tablespoons sugar for dusting the crust right before baking
preheat oven to 350. line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
mix together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
cream together butter and sugar. add eggs one at a time, add vanilla extract. add pistachios, followed by flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.
continue to beat until completely mixed together. if dough seems really dry, you may add a little extra butter or splashes of milk to moisten. just don’t over do it.
stick it into refrigerator for at least an hour to stiffen.
preheat oven to 350f.
remove dough from refrigerator and press evenly into a 9″ tart pan. sprinkle with sugar. make a few small slits in the bottom of the crust or the whole thing will puff up when it bakes.
bake for 6 minutes, rotate, and bake for another 6 minutes or until golden brown. allow to cool for a few hours.
for the lemon curd:
6 eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup honey
zest of one organic lemon
1 cup of lemon juice
12 tbsp coconut oil or butter
whisk first 3 ingredients in a bowl. transfer to sauce pan and, over low heat, whisk like crazy until it gets a little pale in color. remember, you don’t want to be making scrambled eggs here, so low and slow is the key here.
add coconut oil, whisk for a few seconds until melted, then quickly whisk in lemon juice.
cook over medium heat whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and a few bubbles rise from the mixture.
remove from heat immediately after you see your first few bubbles, and pour through a fine sieve or cheesecloth into a clean bowl, pushing mixture through. discard pulp in sieve.
stir the curd that is now in the bowl. allow it to cool for just a few minutes before pouring over cooled tart base. allow to cool for several hours before slicing, as it will stiffen up a little and set up really nicely over a few hours. sprinkle with pistachios to serve.