Puff pastry is one of those things that most folks, even trained chefs, often prefer to buy. It’s a time consuming process, and one that is harder in warm, humid weather. Fortunately it is possible to buy a couple of good frozen products. Most supermarkets have frozen puff pastry that is fine, though if you feel like spending a bit more for an all-butter product, try markets like New Seasons, Market of Choice and Barbur World Foods.
Candied Lemon Tart
The lemon curd is quick, easy and foolproof. Using your microwave saves lots of time and attention, and it honestly is as good as the recipes that require frequent whisking and take three times as long. If you have leftover lemon curd, it is wonderful on scones, pancakes and fresh fruit. It’s even good with just a spoon.
Ingredients (Serves 12-14)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice, about 6-8 lemons
- 3 lemons, zested
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- Flour for dusting
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, about 14 ounces, defrosted according to package instructions
- In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Cook in the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. It should take around 4-6 minutes, depending on your microwave. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Remove from the microwave and pour into a jar or bowl and chill.
- Place the lemon slices in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then drain and repeat 4 times. Combine 1 cup sugar with 2 cups water in a separate saucepan, bring to a boil, and stir to dissolve sugar. Add the lemon slices, lower the heat, and cook until tender and translucent (30-40 minutes). Cool on a wire rack.
- Gently roll out the defrosted pastry into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Heat the oven to the temperature on the package. Place the puff pastry on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown. Allow to cool.
- When the pastry has cooled and the lemon curd is cold, spread the curd on the cooked pastry. Place the candied lemon slices on the custard. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge till serving time, not longer than an hour or two.
This dessert can also be made with Meyer lemons. Follow the same procedure but leave out the boil-and-drain sequence in the candied lemon procedure.