This tart was a 3-day project that nearly turned disastrous at least twice. The result is less pretty than I had hoped, but pretty delicious according to me and my roommates.
The inspiration was a surplus of eggs in my fridge, and a bunch of grapefruits that roommate Jeremy salvaged from a neighbor’s tree. Actually, I was already reading the citrus curd recipe when he walked in with his collection, so it seemed that a grapefruit tart was meant to be.
On the first night, I made the dough. It has to chill for at least 4 hours, which meant that I could not continue until the next day. On day two, I made the curd, but dinner plans prevented me from finishing the tart that day. Today, I brought it all together. I almost gave up on the whole project when I flipped the rolled-out tart shell dough into the pan and it broke into a dozen pieces instead of lying flat. Instead, I gathered up the dough into a ball again, and let it chill in the fridge for half an hour or so. Then, when I was taking the finished tart out of the oven, the bottom of the pan fell out and the tart fell from my hands to the countertop. It actually survived the fall pretty well, except for some spillage. The wine glass it hit did not fare as well.
Anyways, if you have about half a day (or 3 consecutive evenings) to spare, this is a fun project. I’m thinking I might try chocolate next time.
Grapefruit Curd Tart
- 4 lemons
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Wash and dry 2 grapefruits. Grate the zest of one of them on the small holes of a grater. Juice the grapefruits; there should be about 1/2 cup juice. Beat the eggs, yolks, milk, sugar, and salt until just mixed. Stir in the grapefruit juice, and add the butter. Cook the mixture in a small, heavy pan, stirring constantly over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. The mixture will thicken very suddenly, so it’s important to stir constantly and remove the pan from the heat once it does. When thick, pour into a bowl or glass jars to cool. Cover and refrigerate.
Sweet Tart Dough:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- You will need a 9-inch tart pan for this preparation
Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the salt, vanilla, and egg yolk and mix until completely combined. Add the flour and mix well, stirring and folding, until there are no dry patches. Gather the dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten the dough into a disk, and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight until firm.
When you are ready to assemble the tart, remove dough from fridge, and let it sit for 20 minutes if it is very hard. Roll the dough into a 12-inch diameter circle. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. Alice suggested rolling the dough between 2 floured sheets of parchment paper, but I only used the bottom sheet. When it is the right size and thickness, use a fork to poke light holes all over the dough, to prevent it from bubbling up while cooking. Let it rest in the fridge for a few minutes, and then invert over the tart pan. Use your fingers to press the dough up against the creases along the sides of the pan. Chill the tart dough for another 15 minutes before baking.
Pre-bake the tart crust at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. You should check it half-way through and lightly pat down any bubbles that have formed. Once the tart crust is pre-baked, let it cool. Add the curd, and smooth the top. Bake again at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the curd has set. Let cool, and serve.