Sweet Dough/Pate Sucre
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup PLUS 1 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
9 tbsp. (1 stick plus 1 tbsp/4.5 oz/127 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped from bean
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks/6 oz./170g) unsalted butter
Fresh mint sprigs
Whipped cream or crème fraîche
For the Sweet Dough:
Sift the flour and salt together; set aside.
Sift confectioners' sugar into your electric mixer bowl. Add the softened butter and the vanilla bean seeds. Cream for 30 seconds with the paddle attachment. Add egg. Mix on low speed for 20 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and mix on low speed for additional 20 seconds.
Add the sifted flour and salt mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until it comes together. Do not overmix.
Remove dough from bowl and place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Place another sheet of plastic wrap over the dough and flatten into a disk, about 1-inch thick. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C. Lightly spray the bottom of a 9 or 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom with cooking spray.
Once the dough has chilled, roll the dough out to fill your tart pan. The easiest way to roll the dough is between parchment paper that has been dusted with flour. Roll until dough is about 1/8-inch thick. If it becomes too soft to work with, place back into the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes, then roll again.
Line the tart pan with dough. Make sure the dough is pressed into the corners, otherwise you will get air gaps while baking and the edge will not be square. Prick bottom and sides of tart dough with tines of fork. Bake in preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes. The tart shell should be golden brown. When the shell is cool, remove from the pan and place on work surface.
For the Lemon Curd:
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together. Add the lemon juice and mix. Pour into medium saucepan (not aluminum) and add the butter. Stir constantly over medium heat, until boiling. Remove from heat. Let cool.
To Assemble the Tart:
Spread the lemon curd on the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Garnish with mint sprigs and a dusting of confectioners' sugar and serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche, if desired.
Store any leftover tart in refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap.
Makes 8 servings.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2004
Date: June 8, 2004