As you know by now, I’m obsessed with putting herbs
. And who doesn’t love lemon tarts? Sage makes it seasonal. Though I’m sure this recipe would be equally good with rosemary or thyme.
The recipe comes from Martha Stewart. It’s somewhat involved, so if you want to make it, plan ahead. I’ll definitely make it again, but with two changes. First, I would not use coarse ground cornmeal, but something more finely ground. The crust had a nice flavor, but it was too grainy with the larger cornmeal flecks in it. Second, I would add a bit more sage. The flavor was there, but it wasn’t very pronounced. Another teaspoon or two would do the trick.
Sage Cornmeal Crust
Makes enough for two 9-inch tarts
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3/4 cup coarse yellow cornmeal (Don’t do it! Use medium or finely ground.)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage (more if you’d like a stronger sage taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons ice water
Pulse flour, cornmeal, sugar, sage, salt, and lemon zest in a food processor until combined. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Whisk egg yolks and ice water in a small bowl. With machine running, add to flour mixture through feed tube; process until dough just holds together.
Turn out dough onto a work surface. Divide in half, and shape each portion into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 30 minutes (or up to 2 days).
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 disk to a 10-inch round.
Fit into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges flush with rim. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day). Reserve remaining dough for another use (it can be frozen up to 3 months).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prick bottom of tart shell with a fork. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small bowl, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.
Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in lemon juice. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and whisk constantly until mixture has thickened and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Whisk in gelatin mixture.
Remove from heat, and whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time, until smooth. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Prepare an ice-water bath. Place bowl of yolk mixture over bath, and stir until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
Assembling the Tart
Spread curd into crust; smooth top.
Dollop 3 tablespoons of creme fraiche in small drops on top. Using a wooden skewer or the tip of a knife, swirl creme fraiche into curd to create a marbleized effect. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours (or up to overnight).