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Meyer Lemon Tartlets in Almond Crust

March 29, 2009

Lemon Tartlets

With the arrival of spring, I have been on a huge citrus kick.  I just can’t get enough lemons and limes.  I also recently read about a pastry dough trick that I wanted to try – substituting the cold water for frozen vodka.  When you add the water to pastry dough, it is important for the water to be very cold so the butter stays cold, which keeps the dough flaky and light.  Vodka has a much lower freezing point than water so it can be kept in the freezer without turning solid.  Using the frozen vodka does a much better job keeping the butter cold and doesn’t affect the taste.  For fun I infused the vodka with chamomile tea.

MEYER LEMON TARTLETS IN ALMOND CRUST

Ingredients:

For crust:
1 cups 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons almond meal
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 large egg
2 tbsp vodka frozen (infused with chamomile tea)
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For filling:
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup meyer lemon juice, strained (around 4 lemons)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place dry crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse.  Add cold butter and pulse until the texture of cornmeal.  Add remaining ingredients and pulse until blended into one large ball of dough.  Place the dough on plastic wrap, flatten to a disc and wrap.  Place dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll dough out on a floured surface into a 1/8 inch thick circle, cut away dough one section at a time, and press into 16 individual mini tart molds.
  4. Press the dough into the pans so it fits into all the edges. Trim the excess dough from the edges of the pans. Prick the bottoms of the tartlets all over with a fork
  5. Refrigerate the tartlets on a baking sheet 20 minutes.
  6. Place baking sheet of tartlets in the oven and bake for 15-16 minutes, or until the tartlets’ edges are just slightly golden.  Remove and place on wire rack to cool.
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and lemon zest. Combine the remaining ingredients and beat until well-mixed. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of custard into each tartlet and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.
  9. Let cool before serving.  I garnished each tartlet with a candied lemon wedge.

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