Lemon Curd Blueberry Tarts


Ok, I promise that this is the last time I will get all wishy-washy (it completely isn’t), but I do want to say a giant thank you to all you followers, commenters, people who have pressed the like button, and most of all, people who have told me recently how much they enjoy my site.

I, one of the most verbose people on planet earth (though the Martians have me beat hands down you can’t get half a word in edgewise I mean…oh I’ve…I’ve said too much), anyway, I cannot tell you in words how much your encouragement has meant to me.  Especially in the last couple of months, which have been such a difficult, exhausting transition into a new life.  (Also rewarding).

So, a culinary bear hug to you all in the form of:

Lemon Curd Blueberry Tarts

If I could deliver them personally to you, I would.

Cream Cheese Pie Dough

1 stick of butter, cubed, chilled
2 ounces of cream cheese, cubed, chilled
1/4 cup lard (goose lard if you can.  Duck or pig is fine. Vegetable shortening works too, just don’t tell me about it.), chilled
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
heavy pinch of salt
1/3 cup ice water
1 tsp vanilla

First cube your butter, cream cheese, and lard.

I start by cutting my butter stick in halve lengthwise, cutting those halves in half again lengthwise, then coming across to get even cubes. Work as quick as you can because especially in a hot kitchen, the butter will start to melt.

Pile it onto a small plate and put in the freezer while you prep the other ingredients.

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Mix the vanilla in with the water and pop the water in the freezer for the moment as well.

Add fats into flour and cut in with a pastry cutter until the fat resembles peas in your flour.  It doesn’t have to be all the same size, it’s kind of better if it doesn’t.

Add water all at once, and then gently, oh-so-gently turn the dough over onto itself again and again until all the water is absorbed.  You’re building flaky layers, so just think of it that way.  Flipping the dough onto itself is going to form more and more layers.  Stop as soon as the dough just comes together.  The more gentle you are and the sooner you can stop, the softer and flakier your dough will be.

If you want to know the reasons behind any of this stuff, see the notes (coming soon).  If you want to do it in a food processor instead of by hand, see the other pie dough recipe I posted.

Once it’s come together, divide the dough into halves (guesstimate), and form them into balls.  Wrap in plastic press into discs. Store discs in the fridge for at least two hours and up to two days.

Try to smooth out cracks like this once the dough is wrapped in plastic or they could reappear when you’re rolling it out.

Meanwhile, make some lemon curd.

Lemon Curd

taken straight from Epicurious – no alterations

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 whole eggs
zest of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons of butter, cubed

In a high-sided pot, whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and zest.

Turn heat to medium and whisk continually, making sure to whisk the sides.  I tend to stay in one direction.  Remember when you had all those kids in a round pool and they would all walk together around the edge and create a mini whirlpool?  That’s what I try to do too, to keep things in motion.  If you don’t continually whisk, your egg might start to scramble, and that’s never good in a custard.

Start adding the butter cubes one by one.  Keep stirring.

In about 5-6 minutes, it will start to thicken.  As soon as that happens, and you see a bubble or two break the surface, take immediately off heat.  Keep whisking for another 30 seconds.

Then pour into a pan to cool.

You could use a bowl, but this cools quicker due to larger surface area.

Lay plastic wrap on the top and be sure it comes into contact with the surface of the curd.

Unless you’re George Costanza and you like pudding skin.

Chill until cool.  About an hour should do it.

Blueberries –

1 pint blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar

Toss the blueberries in the sugar.

Set aside for at least half an hour.

Roll out your pie dough to @ 1/8″ thickness. Here are some tips if you’re new to this.  You should see large pockets of fat in the dough if you did it right.

Cut circles out with a biscuit cutter or large glass.  If you happen to have brioche tins, (why would you?), that’s fine, but you could use muffin tins or mini-muffin tins.

Confession – part of the reason I chose this particular culinary bear hug is that I found these molds which I had bought years ago and never used. 

Press the circles of dough into the molds or tins, making sure the edges are pressed into the side of the mold.

This is important – don’t skip this step – dock your pie dough.  Stab it with a fork several times.  Otherwise, it’ll puff so high you’ll barely get anything in it.

Put in fridge for 1/2 hour to rechill.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Fill with curd and top with blueberries.

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3 thoughts on “Lemon Curd Blueberry Tarts

  1. I so enjoy reading your blog that I always feel like I’m getting a bear hug. The cream cheese crust is a FASCINATING idea. Lovely recipe.

    • Susan, you’re a doll. If you ever come to Chicago, let me know. And I like the tang in the cream cheese crust for this. Really helps along the sweet/sour thing going on.

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