Lemon Custard Tart With Fresh Berries

With the 4th of July, Independence Day weekend fast approaching, I thought of doing a red, white and blue themed dessert. You’ll most commonly see people doing a flag cake, but I felt like a refreshing fruity tart may be just the sweet ending to a 4th of July barbeque menu. So I made a Tangy Lemon Custard Tart with fresh rasberries and blueberries, and decorated it in keeping with the holiday.

The fresh raspberries and blueberries are not merely decorative as they give the tart a sweet contrasting flavor and texture, to its otherwise creamy tangy lemon filling. This tart is fairly simple to make, can be made ahead of time and is a perfect sophisticated dessert for hot summer’s day. Just give it a try!

Lemon Custard Tart With Fresh Berries

Ingredients:
1 (9inch) Pie crust
1 cup sugar
zest from 2 lemons
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs + 1 for egg wash
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Blue berries & Raspberries for decorating

Method:
– Thaw and unroll the ready made pie crust, according to the instructions on the packet.
– Place the unrolled pastry in a well greased, loose bottom tart pan and press it down firmly to the bottom and sides, taking off the press the excess pastry on the edge to cut it off.
– Using a fork poke holes into the pastry (so that it doesn’t puff and bubble up) and generously brush it with egg wash (a beaten egg with a couple teaspoons of water). Bake the crust in a 400F oven for about 10-12 minutes (or see how long the packet says it takes to bake).
To make the lemon custard filling:
– Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Then in a small heavy saucepan  pour in the sugar and zest two lemons directly into the pan.
– Add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Then boil, without stirring for 5 minutes.
– Stir in the cream and salt, then cook until hot, but don’t let it boil.
– In the meantime, Whisk the 5 eggs in a large bowl.
– Add the hot cream mixture in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly.,
– Strain the custard through a fine sieve into another bowl, then whisk in lemon juice.
– Pour the custard into the tart shell, being careful to not let it over flow. So best way to do this is fill it half way, place the tart in the oven and spoon the rest of the filling into the tart.
– Bake the tart until the filling is set about 2 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, 30-45 minutes.
– Cool completely (filling will continue to set as it cools) in the fridge.
– Arrange fresh raspberries in a star shape in the center of the tart and fill in the rest with blueberries. To give the berries a little gloss, you can brush them with some sugar syrup or melted jam (optional).

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