Have you ever rolled a vacuum cleaner over and over and over a dust ball on the carpet, knowing full well if you just bent over to pick it up with your fingers, it would be a whole lot quicker?
Oh yeah, been there, done that. I bet you have, too.
“Lazy Mary’s Lemon Tart” is made for times like that — when you’re feeling lazy. But only a tad.
After all, you still have to put the tart together and bake it.
But it does have an ingenious step-saver when it comes to making the filling. It’s all blitzed in a blender. That includes an entire Meyer lemon. Yup, rind, seeds and all. The whole kit and caboodle.
The recipe appeared in Food & Wine magazine’s January 2015 issue. The recipe is by Mary Constant, a Food52 member and winemaker of Napa’s Constant Diamond Mountain Winery, who adapted the crust from the “The Joy of Cooking.”
The crust bakes up buttery and crisp. The filling is like that of a lemon bar, but slightly fluffier in texture. Because you’re using the entire lemon, you really get the nuances of tang, citrus and floral notes, too. Plus, it makes the kitchen smell heavenly.
The recipe advises to serve the tart at room temperature or chilled. Truth be told, though, my husband microwaved a slice the next day for a few seconds, and it was pretty fabulous. It was like a warm lemon pudding, with the heat bringing out the tart’s butteriness even more.
Enjoy a slice however you choose — and it may just power you up to tackle the rest of that vacuuming.
Lazy Mary’s Lemon Tart
(Makes one 9-inch tart)
For the pastry dough:
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons chilled lard or vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
1 large Meyer lemon, chopped
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
Make the dough: Into a medium bowl, sift the flour with the confectioners’ sugar and salt. Using your fingertips, rub half of the lard into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Rub the remaining lard and the butter into the flour mixture until pea-size pieces remain. Sprinkle with the ice water and mix with a fork until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured work surface, pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap with plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
On a lightly floured work surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Ease the dough into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (2 inches deep) and trim the overhang. Prick the dough all over with a fork and freeze until firm, 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the frozen pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. Remove the paper and bake for 10-15 minutes longer, until the shell is golden. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely, 3 hours.
Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a blender, combine the Meyer lemon, superfine sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into the tart shell. Bake for 40 minutes, until the filling is set. Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool to room temperature, 3 hours. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Adapted From Food & Wine magazine, January 2015
More Lemon Recipes to Enjoy: Blue Chair Cook’s “My Roast Chicken” with Lemon Marmalade