Friday, June 6, 2008

Lemon Curd Tart and Chocolate Silk Pie

I generally cook, not bake. That being said, I have been baking alot recently. I'm not sure why. Maybe I just want to try new things. Either way, I've been baking again...

As previously mentioned, some of my family is leaving for Sydney today. The night before their departure was sure to be filled with visitors. So I decided to bring dessert.

I am new to lemon curd; I only tried it about a year ago. But I am hooked! I love it! So far, I've only had the stuff out of a jar (Harry & David's = Amazing). So, a lemon tart would be lovely, right? Right.

I also made a chocolate silk pie.

I had never made either of these desserts, so I'm not quite sure what possessed me to make them at the same time. But, I will never make that mistake again! In the end, both turned out delicious.

Lemon Curd Tart
Tart Shell

1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 Tbs. cold water
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. unsalted butter, cubed

Stir together egg yolk, water and vanilla. Set bowl aside.

Stir toether flour, sugar, and salt in bowl. Add butter and beat on medium-low speed, until butter pieces are no larger than peas. Add the egg mixture and beat, 2 minutes.

My dough was too sticky to roll at this point, so I covered it and refrigerated it for 30 minutes.

I then floured a work surface and rolled out the dough to 1/8 inch thick. I put the dough in an 11" tart pan, trimming off the extra dough. I then put the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line pastry shell with parchment paper. I don't have pie weights, so I put raw rice on top of the paper.

Bake for 25 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Lemon Curd

3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks
3/4 c. fresh lemon juice
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
12 Tbs. unsalted butter, cubed
In an nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat, combine eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest, and butter. *I used about 7 lemons to get the 3/4 cups of juice.*

Cook stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through sieve.

Put the curd into the cooled tart shell and refrigerate. I let mine set for about 3 hours. I then piped fresh whipped cream (recipe below) onto the top.

Chocolate Silk Pie
1 1/4 c. Chocolate Teddy Grahms
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbs. sugar
Put Teddy Grahms into food processor and chop until they are crumbs. (I love using my mini food-prep!). I saved some crumbs for decorating the pie later.

In a bowl, add the crumbs to the melted butter and sugar.

Mix well and put into a 9" pie dish. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes, the allow to cool.


2 1/2 c. milk
4 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 oz. semisweet chocolate

Heat milk and chocolate over low heat in a nonaluminum pan. Whisk until chocolate is melted, 7 minutes.

In a bowl add egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until pale yellow.

Add salt and cornstarch, then vanilla, and whisk until well mixed. Add chocolate to yolk mixture and whisk constantly until blended. Return mixture to heat and cook over medium-heat for 8 minutes, until the mixture bubbles. Remove from heat and stir for one minute, until smooth.

Pour filling into cooled cookie crust and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Whipped Cream Topping

2 c. heavy cream
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat all of the ingredients until stiff peaks form. I then piped the whipped cream onto the top of the chocolate filling. For decoration, I added the reserved crumbs, as well as shaved semisweet chocolate.

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