There’s something magical to me about Lemon Curd. Whether store bought or homemade, this citrusy filling is the perfect complement (especially when blended with a bit of mascarpone cheese!) to a buttery tart crust, and when decorated with blood orange-toasted coconut and herbaceous and peppery candied flowers, makes a dessert that looks like an Impressionist masterpiece – and tastes every bit as beautiful. Cut into slices allowing for a flower with each serving, and refrigerate the leftover tart (best eaten within two days). It is an easy yet beautiful dessert, perfect for entertaining!
egg white, at room temperature
Brush petals with an egg white that is slightly beaten with a couple of drops of water. Hold the petal with a tweezer, and sprinkle with superfine sugar. Tap the tweezer to remove excess sugar. Remove to a rack to dry completely. (Can be stored for up to one month.)
Pâte Brisée Tart Crust
1 ½ c all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
Pinch of sugar
6 T (¾ stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 T plus ¾ tsp chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 T (or more) cold water
Dried beans or pie weights
Whisk flour, salt, and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter and shortening; rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 4 tablespoons cold water. Work mixture with fingertips until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
Lemon Curd Filling
½ c fresh lemon juice
2 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest
½ c sugar
3 large eggs
¾ stick unsalted butter, cut into bits
8 oz mascarpone cheese
Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.
Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour. Blend with 8 oz of mascarpone cheese to create delightfully creamy pie filling.
Blood Orange Toasted Coconut
1¼ Bob's Red Mill unsweetened coconut flakes
1 T of blood orange-infused olive oil
3 T sugar
In a sauté pan, combine unsweetened large shavings of flaked coconut with blood orange olive and sugar and sautée until toasted and sugarcoated. Let cool.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°F. Roll out dough on floured work surface to 10-inch round. Carefully transfer dough to 8-inch fluted pan with removeable bottom. Press dough onto bottom and about 1 1/2 inches up sides of pan, pressing to adhere to sides. Fold down and roll 1/2 inch of dough sides inward, forming double-thick edge at top of crust sides. Using dull edge of small knife, make small indentations at 1/2-inch intervals on double-thick edge. Chill 20 minutes.
Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust until sides of crust are set, about 18 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Pierce bottom of crust all over with fork. Continue to bake until bottom is set and light golden brown, about 14 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool in pan on rack.
Garnish with toasted coconut and crystalized candied flowers.