Shaker Lemon Tart
Makes about: 1 9’’ tart
Prep time: 3+ hours (although there is a good amount of waiting around)
Bake time: 40 minutes.
The filling for this pie is extraordinarily simple: whole lemons, eggs, and sugar. The entire process is quite time consuming for a pie that’s so simple. The final result is worth it if you love lemons—an intensely rich lemon filling encased by a flaky and very buttery crust.
Crust: Tartine’s Flaky Tart Dough
Note: I used 2/3 of this recipe because my tart pan was shallower. The full recipe is below.
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup very cold water
3 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup + 5 tbsp very cold butter, cut into chunks
2 medium lemons, chilled or frozen (I used Meyer lemons)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp heavy cream
1. Prepare lemons:
a. Slice lemons paper-thin and discard stem end and seeds.
b. Toss with sugar in a glass or stainless steel bowl.
c. Let sit for 3 hours or overnight. (This step, which tenderizes the skins, can be omitted with Meyer lemons, but I let the lemons macerate anyways). Chilling or freezing the lemons will make it easier to slice them thinly.
2. Prepare crust:
a. Dissolve salt in water.
b. Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Add chunks of butter. Using a 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture forms large crumbs. (Alternately, use a food processor to accomplish this).
c. Drizzle in the water until a shaggy mass. Toss dough with a fork if doing by hand, or simply drizzle water into the food processor.
d. Divide dough into 2 equal balls and shape each into a disk 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (I divided the dough into 3 balls and used 2 of them for this tart).
3. Line tart pan and prepare top crust:
a. Place one disk of dough on a floured surface or between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
b. Roll out to 1/8 thick, rolling from the center toward the edge. The final circle of dough should extend about 1 ½ inches beyond the edge of the pan if lining a tart dish. Repeat for the other disk of dough.
c. Carefully transfer 1 piece of dough to the tart dish and press into place. In this case, a 1 inch overhang should remain. Set aside.
4. Make filling
a. Whisk together eggs and salt together.
b. Add eggs to lemon mixture.
c. Pour the mixture into the lined tart pan. Evenly distribute the lemon pieces in the pan.
5. Make egg wash
a. Whisk together the egg yolk and cream. (I omitted the cream since I didn’t have any, and it turned out fine).
6. Assemble pie
a. Brush the rim of the pastry overhang with egg.
b. Lay the second piece of dough over the filling.
c. Trim the overhang for both rounds to ¼ inch. Crimp the edge and make a good seal (a fork is useful for this).
d. Brush the top crust with egg yolk.
e. Sprinkle with sugar.
f. Chill pie for 30 minutes.
7. Bake pie
a. Preheat oven to 350F.
b. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place pie pan on top of this sheet (this will make clean up easier should any filling bubble over).
c. Cut a few slits in the top of the pie for decoration (and for ventilation)
d. Bake about 40 minutes, or until the top crust is a deep golden grown and the filling is bubbling. If the top cooks too quickly, cover with a piece of foil.
e. Let cool before slicing.