We drove up into Napa Valley for dinner tonight. We waited for our table out on the patio with a gin and tonic, enjoying the last of the February sunshine. After dinner we headed home for a slice of sunshine I had made earlier today, a Valentine’s Day lemon curd tart for my sweetheart. I love the tangy curd with a buttery, nutty crust, the sunshine yellow contrasting the bits of green pistachio.
Lemon Curd Tart in Pistachio Pastry
I used this recipe from Fine Cooking for lemon curd. The technique is unusual but makes a smooth lemon curd almost fool-proof.
1 1/4 cups all- purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup coarsely ground toasted pistachios
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
2 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
Lightly grease your baking tin. Whisk flour, sugar, pistachio meal, and salt
Beat butter and cream cheese together with your electric mixer at medium-high speed until completely homogenous, about 2 minutes. Add flour, sugar, salt, and pistachios and combine on medium low until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Increase mixer speed and beat until dough forms large clumps and pulls away from the bowl.
Form into a disk and press into the pie tin with your fingers, working out from the center and up the sides until the dough is evenly distributed.
Wrap well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Bake at 325 for 35- 40 minutes for a fully baked crust or 20-25 minutes for a partially baked crust. remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
I made the lemon curd while the crust was cooling so that it wouldn’t have time to cool and set before pouring it into the crust. For a really good basic pie or tart crust, omit the pistachio meal. I use this recipe for a pecan tart at Christmastime and for any other pies or tarts I need to get right because I am not a confident baker and have yet to fail spectacularly with this recipe.
Chill the tart to firm up the filling. A spoonful of whipped cream or whipped crème fraîche and a shower of acid green pistachio slivers and let love abound.
So did you love it? Last night I was looking for a ginger pistachio crust. I’m convinced that paired with the lemon and creme fraiche would make me speechless….and that would be a feat!
It was a GREAT combo! I think you’d be pleased- almost like a shortbread cookie with tangy lemon curd on top. I whipped creme fraiche with a tiny bit of vanilla sugar- perfect.
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