Clementine Day's Lemon and Lavender Curd Tart
Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, Melbourne-based cookbook author Clementine Day shares her recipe for a lemon and lavender curd tart.
A lemon tart is one of those classic, refreshing desserts that perfectly rounds off any meal or makes for a wonderful morning tea treat. This bright delight has a crispy, buttery crust that perfectly complements the silky, zesty filling, and Clementine Day's addition of lavender gives it a lovely fragrant touch and delicate look. This recipe has a perfectly balanced flavour profile and mix of textures that you and your guests will fall in love with on your first bite.
The lemon can be easily swapped for any citrus, so don’t be shy to play around with other fruits. Clementine recommends if you choose to use a less tart citrus like orange or blood orange, mix it with some lemon juice so you don’t lose the tang.
You can also add a dollop of cream for extra indulgence, or some Italian meringue for the top and turn it into a lemon and lavender meringue tart. Enjoy!
For the curd:
- 1 1/3rd cups lemon juice, approx 8 lemons
- Zest from 3 of the lemons
- 1 1/3rd cups of sugar
- 6 eggs
- 6 extra egg yolks
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 10-15 lavender flowers
- 320g butter, cut into large cubes
For the tart base:
- 150g plain flour
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 110g unsalted butter, melted
- Pinch of salt
In a bowl, add sugar and half of your lavender.
In a bowl, add sugar, lemon zest, and half of your lavender. Using your fingers, rub the lavender and zest into the sugar, releasing the oils and fragrance. Break up the lavender flowers as much as possible in this step. You may notice the sugar goes slightly purple.
In a medium sized saucepan (big enough to comfortably fit a litre of curd), combine eggs, yolks, lemon juice, cornflour, sugar, and lavender, whisking constantly over a low heat until combined and sugar completely dissolves.
After a few minutes, when it feels hot (test with your finger, you just want to think “oof, that’s hot”) add in butter, one cube at a time and using a wooden spoon, stir constantly between each addition, waiting for each cube to melt fully before adding the next.
Continue stirring after all butter is added, until it's thickened well, about 8-10 more minutes. The curd should coat the back of the wooden spoon thickly.
Strain the curd through a sieve to remove any blobs of egg and the lavender buds. Set aside to cool. It will continue thickening as it cools. If making ahead, place in an airtight container or jar in the fridge.
For the base
Preheat oven to 180 C. Line the bottom of a loose-based tart tin, approximately 25cm diameter, with baking paper.
In a small bowl, combine flour, dark brown sugar, coconut and salt. Whisk together to ensure there are no blobs of brown sugar remaining.
Add melted butter and combine well until no dry bits remain and it resembles a biscuit dough.
Pop the base mixture into your tart tin and use your fingers or the bottom of a cup to press the mixture into the base and up the sides as evenly as possible.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Be careful here because it can go from golden to burnt pretty quickly.
Remove from oven and leave to cool in tin.
Once both the tart base and the curd are completely cooled, pour the curd into the tart base and smooth out the top. You may have a little bit of curd leftover, depending on how big your tart tin is.
Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or preferably overnight.
When ready to serve, carefully remove the tart from the tin and plate up on your favourite serving dish.
Gently pull apart the buds from your remaining lavender and sprinkle over the top, a little lemon zest is nice on here too.
For more from Clementine, follow her at @somethingsiliketocook