This desert is a definite showstopper. The graham crust is so different (compared to the standard short pastry crust) and can be used in a variety of fruit tarts with great success. Sources: Claudia Fleming - Last Course and Pierre Herme's Desserts (Lemon Cream)
Graham Cracker Tart Shells
Makes about 16 3-in round tart shells or 2 10-inch tart shells with leftover
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1⁄4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 cup honey
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 1⁄2 cups blueberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 2 lemons, zest of
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 5 ounces butter, cut into 1 inch pieces, softened but not melting
- Tart Crust:.
- Cream the butter in an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugars and continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and light colored. Add the honey and beat until combined.
- Combine the flours, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl, and add to the butter mixture in two batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Mix until the dough is well combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and form into a disk - the flatter the better. Chill until firm, at least an hour and up to two days.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to be 1/8 inch thick. Use either a 3 inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles of dough, or cut out rectangles of dough to fit your desired tins. A tip: try to cut out pieces of dough that are as similar in size and shape to the pan as possible (this applies to full-size tarts as well) so that they are easier to maneuver and fit in, and are less likely to warp and tear as you're moving them around.
- Press the dough gently into the tins, prick dough with a fork all over, and let chill for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is firm enough to trim off the excess easily. Buttery doughs like this one always need to be chilled before baking so they bake up evenly, and I also find that it's easier to trim off the dough cleanly when the dough is firmed up. Chill longer if necessary. When I trim off the excess dough, I usually use an offset spatula and run it flat against the top of the tart tin. Scraps can be re-rolled and re-used.
- Bake tart shells until golden brown, about 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. You can store them in an airtight container for about a day or freeze them for up to 3 months.
- Blueberry Topping:.
- In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of the blueberries with the sugar. Cook over low heat until all the berries have popped and the juices come out (You can smoosh some of the berries if they won't pop).
- Strain the mixture into a bowl and discard the solids. Add the rest of the blueberries into the syrup and toss to combine.
- Lemon Cream:.
- Create a water bath by placing a saucepan of water over heat to simmer and placing a metal bowl unto the pan so its bottom does not touch the water. Combine the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers and add to the metal bowl. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.
- Cook the mixture over the simmering water, whisking constantly, until the cream reaches 180 degrees and thickens. Keep whisking while the mixture is heating up to prevent the eggs from cooking.
- Once the cream is thickened - you should be able to make tracks in the mixture with your whisk - take the cream off the heat and strain it into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Let the cream rest for a bit until it cools to about 140 degrees.
- Add in the butter pieces a few at the time and combine on high speed. Once all of the butter has been added, let the mixture combine for a few minutes longer to ensure the mixture is perfectly smooth. It is the addition of butter that changes this recipe from a simple lemon curd to a rich, satiny-smooth cream.
- Once the cream is finished pour it into a container and let it chill in the refrigerator for about half an hour before assembly.
- To assemble the tarts, spoon some of the lemon cream into the shells and then place about 2 tablespoons of the blueberries on top. Serve soon after assembly.