Thursday, January 29, 2009

Holiday Baking Part 6: Lemon Cheese Tarts

This recipe is one that my Dad has been making every Christmas for as long as I can remember. It consists of pastry tart shells and a lemon curd filling that are stored separately, with the filling spooned into the shell right before serving. I loved these as a kid because if Mom wasn't looking, I could over fill the tart shell and maybe grab one more little spoonful of filling just to eat off the spoon.

As for why they're called lemon cheese tarts when they have no cheese in them, I'm not sure. I assume it's because the creamy texture of the lemon curd is reminscent of the consistency of a soft cheese.

Also, I will be perfectly honest and tell you that this is the one place in my holiday baking that I take a shortcut. I buy frozen tart shells. Don't tell anyone, okay? These are so popular that I always make a double batch.

Recipe: Lemon Cheese Tarts


-Premade tart shells (homemade or frozen)
-3 eggs less one white
-1 cup sugar
-2 Tbsp butter
-Juice and rind from one lemon

Melt the butter and place in a double boiler. Add remaining ingredients to the double boiler and cook, stirring continuously, until thickened. Allow to cool before pouring into shells. Store in the refrigerator and spoon into shells as required.

Note about the recipe: This is definitely a taste-as-you-go recipe. Some people will prefer to use more or less lemon juice, depending on whether you like a sweet tart or a tart tart!


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