Happy first week of Spring, baking gods and goddesses!
For so many reasons, Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. I love rain showers, adore the sweet sound of chirping birds, and delight in the arrival of the year’s first blooms and blossoms. I also get positively giddy as some of my favorite fruits and vegetables come into season, livening up my culinary repertoire with new colors, tastes, and textures. Before bidding farewell to citrus season – which, despite their association with heat and summer, is actually during the winter months – I must must must make this recipe. I’ve had my mind (and eye) on this bright, beautiful lemon tart for months, but for some reason have held off making it until this very week. Holy cow – it was SO worth the wait!
Very reminiscent of lemon snow bars (also known as lemon squares), this recipe pairs a soft, sweet shortbread crust with a smooth, tart, very lemony filling. Everything about it is absolutely perfect – it’s easy to assemble, looks beautiful, and tastes heavenly. I can’t recommend it more highly; my co-workers even proclaimed it “the best thing [I’ve] ever made”. Bake it NOW, and enjoy!
LEMON SHORTBREAD TART
Yields: 1 tart (16 servings)
For shortbread crust:
- 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
For lemon filling:
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 3 large fresh eggs
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp confectioner’s sugar (optional)
To make crust:
- Combine butter, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer; mix ingredients thoroughly with a paddle attachment. Mix flour into butter mixture to make a smooth dough. Press dough into a 9-inch tart pan; refrigerate crust for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
- Bake crust until light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
To make filling:
- Whisk sugar, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup flour in a bowl until smooth. Pour lemon filling into hot crust. Cover edges of crust with strips of aluminum foil to prevent burning.
- Bake tart until filling is set, about 20-30 minutes. Cool completely and dust with confectioners’ sugar (if desired).