Lemon Curd Tart with Olive Oil, and a Banana Caramel Pie

I can’t help it, I make sweets, often.  Living with six people and the rotating smorgasbord of vagrants and luv’ly-do-wells that make up the population of my surprisingly sprawling apartment in Montreal, plus 3 cats, it just sorta…. happens.  Not that cats eat pie, but that might be a case of opportunity rather than preference… I’ve not lately tried to serve pie to cats.  Tangent!  Anywy.

This was a while back, before the current heat wave made thinking straight a near impossibility.. I swear the air is shimmering in certain places and yes, it has been over 32 degrees Celsius for over three days now.  This has nothing to do with pie.  Much like cats.  In fact, I’m not sure if the three of them have anything to do with each-other save for being mentioned as Important Things in the first three paragraphs of this blog post.  But I digress.  Often.  And so….

Yes it is hot out.  In fact, that banana pie would be perfect to munch on at the moment, since I ended up freezing the damned thing.  Initially, it was David Lebovitzs’ Banana Butterscotch Cream Pie (oh my gawd) with rum in the caramel, rum in the whipped cream topping, a chocolate cookie & butter base, and oodles of bananaramabanas.  Of course, I had to freeze it because I thought that potato starch might work the same way as cornstarch in what is effectively a very stiff pudding medium that holds the pie together.  It does not.  Oooooooops.   So, it didn’t really set.  But I put it in the freezer, and it actually made for a crazy refreshing frozen banana pie, replete with fork stabbing and sparkly cookie-crust tongue meltings and layers of striated monkeyfruit being all tiled and delicious in it’s chewygood interior.   A win!

Second pie, a citrus-y motive.  A sharp lemon curd, richly cast into an ethereally delicate olive oil shortcrust… a snap to make, and lasted about only a few snaps of the fingers more in the company of friends.

Lemon Curd Tart with Olive Oil

Recipe by Rosa Jackson

For tart shell:

  • 2 tablespoons almonds with skins, toasted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons fruity olive oil

For lemon curd:

  • 3 large lemons
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 whole large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil (preferably French)

Equipment:

  • a 9-inch round tart pan with removable side; a small offset spatula

For the Tart Shell:

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.

Pulse almonds with flour, sugar, and sea salt to a fine powder in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

Add yolk and oil and pulse until just incorporated and a very soft dough has formed.

Spread dough evenly over bottom and up side of pan with offset spatula. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Bake shell until golden brown all over, about 13 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

For the Curd:

Grate enough zest from lemons to measure 1 tablespoon, then squeeze 3/4 cup juice from lemons.

Whisk together lemon zest and juice, sugar, cornstarch, whole eggs, and yolks in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking, 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in butter and oil until smooth.

Pour lemon curd into cooled shell and chill until set, at least 2 hours.

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