Invite me over for dinner and I’ll generously offer to bring dessert. I’ll pretend baking is a completely selfless act, something simply to show my appreciation and gratitude. Little do you know, I’m really just looking for a reason to try out a new concoction that fits my favorite ingredients neatly into a cake, pie, or tart and your dinner invitation was the green light go-ahead I’d been waiting for.
My latest “selfless act” of dessert was this tart I brought to Easter dinner. It’s an Earl Grey tea infused shortbread crust, filled with lemon curd, and topped with tangy whipped cream. It’s your afternoon tea with lemon and a side of cookies all rolled into one tart.
We’ll start with the lemon curd. If you read my last post, you already know the drill. There’s nothing to it–just lemon juice and zest, a couple of egg yolks, butter, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Whisk everything together over a double boiler until it is beautifully thick and gorgeously luscious. Let it cool while you tackle the crust. You could even make it a day or 2 ahead of time, if you can trust yourself not to eat it all by the spoonful in the meantime.
Now for the Earl Grey crust. This crust will delight you with its simplicity. You won’t have to worry about cutting in butter or rolling it out; it goes together just like a batch of cookies. Softened butter is creamed with sugar. Mix in flour, tea, and a pinch of salt.
Dump the crumbly dough into a tart pan and press it into place. Chill, bake, and cool.
Smooth the lemon curd over the bottom of the cooled crust. Spoon softly whipped cream onto the center. Because I can’t leave well enough alone, my whipped cream is part sour cream, part heavy cream. Trust me, you’ll love the way the tangy cream plays up the tartness of the curd.
Thanks for having me over. The dessert? It was my pleasure. Hopefully, it was yours, too.
- ¾ c. (1½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
- ¼ c. + 2 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1½ c. All-Purpose Flour
- 4 teabags (about 1½ Tbsp.) Earl Grey Tea
- ¾ tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 c. Homemade Lemon Curd (see previous post for recipe)
- ¾ c. Heavy Cream
- ¼ c. Sour Cream
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- Make the crust dough. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on high-speed. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, tea, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed butter and mix on a low-speed until large clumps of dough form. Dump the dough into a 9 in. tart pan with removable bottom and press in to form an even crust. Prick with a fork and chill in the freezer for 30 min. (to reduce shrinkage) before baking.
- If you haven't made the lemon curd yet, now would be a good time!
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line the chilled crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and weights. Return to the oven and bake for another 15-18 minutes until the crust is golden. Cool completely before proceeding.
- Make the whipped cream. Combine heavy cream, sour cream, and 1 Tbsp. sugar in the (chilled) bowl of an electric mixer. Start with a low-speed to blend the 2 creams, then gradually increase the speed to medium-high and whip until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.
- Spread the lemon curd in the bottom of the cooled tart crust. Dollop the whipped cream in the center of the tart.
Did you Know?
You can use this same shortbread recipe to make cookies. Just press the dough into a log, chill, slice, and bake (350° for 12-15 minutes). They are good as is, or sandwiched with lemon curd. What can I say? I just can’t get enough of a good thing!