Prep 1 hr
Cook 15 mins
Trompe l'oeil at the table: Is it a flower, or is it dessert? Crunchy shortbread tartlets polka-dotted with poppy seeds with a creamy lemon center, and a floral arrangement of cream on top. Poppy seeds have a tendancy to go rancid quickly, so be sure to use a fresh jar (and refrigerate or freeze them afterwards).
FOR TART SHELLS
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1⁄2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 1⁄2 cups lemon curd (your own recipe, mine or store bought)
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- poppy seed
- Preheat oven to 350*F and lightly oil bottoms of 8 (3 1/2 by 2/3 inch) round tartlet pans.
- Pulse together flour, icing sugar, salt and poppy seeds in a food processor.
- Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Whisk together yolk, water and lemon juice in a bowl, then add to processor and pulse until pea size lumps form and dough holds together when squeezed (dough will appear slightly crumbly).
- Press 1/4 cup of dough evenly into each tart shell with floured fingers (dough will be moist) and lightly prick bottoms with a fork.
- Chill until firm, about 20 minutes.
- Put shells on a baking sheet and bake in lower third of oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Transfer to a rack and when shells are just cool enough to handle, carefully loosen edges with a thin knife and remove from pans.
- Fill each shell with 3 TBS of lemon curd.
- Beat together cream with icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl with an electric mixer just until it hold stiff peaks.
- Transfer to a pastry bag with a decorative tip and pipe onto top of the curd (in a flower shape) (Or dollop with a spoon).
- Sprinkle a few poppy seeds in center to look like flower stamens, for a lovely finish.