Friday, May 22, 2009

Lemon Curd Tart with Almond Shorbread Crust

An intensely lemony-sweet indulgence that's a perfect finish for a Memorial Day barbecue, this tart got top marks from kids and grown-ups. Consider making this a whole day ahead, because it benefits hugely from being chilled overnight before serving.

Old-Fashioned Lemon Curd

A healthier rendition of the tea-time classic, but free of refined sugar. This recipe makes enough for two tarts. Or use half on the tart, and keep the other half in your fridge for up to a week to use as a tasty topping for my healthy Pancakers, or Spanish Almond Torte.
  • 6 fresh large eggs
  • 1/4 c. raw honey (I use this for texture, but you can replace it with more erythritol if you're really watching your sugar intake closely)
  • 1/4 c. erythritol
  • 1/8 t. powdered PURE stevia extract
  • 1 c. lemon juice
  • 1 T. freshly grated lemon zest (or if you want your curd totally smooth, use a few drops of lemon oil)
  • 3/4 c. butter, very soft (or substitute coconut oil, if you're watching dairy)
In a medium saucepan (don't turn on the heat just yet), whisk eggs, honey, and sweeteners till creamy, lemon yellow, and completely amalgamated. Add the butter, and break up into pieces with the whisk. Stir in lemon juice, and turn heat on to medium.

Whisk continuously over medium heat, taking care to scrape sides and bottom frequently. Keep whisking! It will seem runny and frothy for a while, but don't give up! After the butter is all melted, and before the mixture rises to a full boil, it will very suddenly 'set', and get nice and thick and gelatinous. At this point, constant stirring is crucial to prevent lumps of scrambled egg in your beautiful curd.

As soon as the mixture hits a boil, remove it from the heat, and continue to whisk gently for another minute or so, to begin the cooling process. Allow to cool slightly, then move to a covered container to chill in the fridge for a few hours. (Keep in mind that, prepared with honey, this recipe is not very low-carb, and is definitely not suitable for early phases of any carb-restrictive diet. If you want it low-carb, be sure to omit the honey and substitute a low-carb sweetener. I'd recommend adding a bit of xanthum or guar gum to help with texture.) Total recipe is about 86 gr. net carbs, so keep that in mind when portioning. We'll be using only half of it on our tart.

Almond Shortbread

(this was inspired by Lauren's recipe from Healthy Indulgences)
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. erythritol
  • 1/4 t. powdered pure stevia extract
  • 1/4 t. xantham gum (optional, but it helps the texture quite a bit)
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1 c. almond flour
  • 1/4 c. oat flour (or, to cut carbs further, you can use soy flour, but I don't like the taste of it personally)
Preheat oven to 375F. Combine all dry ingredients, and mix well. Beat in the butter until well-combined. Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9" springform pan, taking care to go up the sides slightly to create a well for the curd. Bake for 15 minutes, and allow to cool completely. Whole recipe is about 22gr. net carbohydrates. (Using soy flour shaves about 5gr. carbs off this total)

Lemon Curd Tart

1/2 recipe Old-Fashioned Lemon Curd
1 recipe Almond Shortbread

Spread curd into springform pan, filling crust. Cover, and allow to set up for at least a couple of hours, or better yet, overnight. Serve chilled with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired. Whole tart is about 65 gr. net carbs, but I got 12 servings out of mine, making each slice about 5.4 gr., which is not too bad-- if you can stop at one slice! :)

I am considering testing out a version with a sour cream/cream cheese layer, and my husband is begging me to try making a meringue for it. Without sugar, I don't know how meringue will turn out, but I'm willing to try it for him! If anyone has tried this, please drop me a line!


ms. v said...

that sounds awesome! I've been wanting lemon curd for awhile now.

could I substitute a little coconut flour for the oat flour? I try to avoid soy AND grains.

Gwuinifer said...

Coconut flour may work very well! Its definitely worth a shot. I also use whey protein isolate when I really want to reduce the carbs to nil. Keep track of what you use, and let me know how it turns out! I'd love to find a way to scoot the carbs down a bit in this recipe! :D Thanks for stopping by!

ms. v said...

ohhh, an even better idea. I like the texture of baked stuff with some protein powder thrown in. seems to make it a bit more pillowy. :)

I may well give it a try tomorrow! hopefully! :)

Tim said...

This is soooooo good. Gwuinifer is in the kitchen trying a Lemon/Lime version... mmmmmmm!

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