White Chocolate and citrus is something most people have not considered when looking for something a little different using chocolate as an ingredient. Presenting White Chocolate and Lemon Curd Tart – the combination of sweet white chocolate and lemon is a combination that pairs so beautifully together in perfect harmony. This is a decadent and impressive dessert. The curd is so silky and smooth and can be used on its own in a parfait or swirled lightly into Greek yogurt. The tart shells are pre-baked, so it really is a convenient make-ahead dessert.
This recipe for White Chocolate and Lemon Curd Tart is from my book, Chocolate Desserts Made Easy and Delicious – Pies & Tarts. The crust that I created for this tart is a press-in crust, meaning, no rolling pin is required! This was one of the requests from folks while I was researching and testing recipes for my book after my initial survey. They voiced a ‘fear of making crust’ syndrome, and it often prevented them from even considering making a pie or tart. I can guarantee that you will love this easy-to-make dough. It is one of my favourites and it really is a lovely dough to work with. It is ready to use as soon as it comes from the food processor. I use the same dough in many other desserts, such as the base of a cheesecake, or even rolled into small balls, baked, and coated with icing sugar for a crispy treat with crème brûlée.
WHITE CHOCOLATE AND LEMON CURD TART
CHEF TALK: Just for fun, depending on your dessert needs, this recipe can be made using a variety of tart pans: individual 3″ tarts (my favourite), a 10″ tart, or many tiny tartlets. You will be able to use this recipe for any occasion: dessert buffet to an elegant dessert presentation.
The addition of cream cheese in the curd is optional. Do give it a try – it is lovely and creamy and exquisite. I can assure you that you will be tasting it, then tasting again, and then tasting just a little bit more before you fill the tart shells.
For garnish, I like to keep it simple. Top each tart with candied lemon peel or a few white chocolate curls or a tumble of fresh berries.
CHEF TIP: Note that the 3 oz. of melted white chocolate in the crust recipe is brushed on to the pre-baked shells. This technique accomplishes two things: the chocolate adds flavour to the baked shell and by coating the shell with chocolate, it also has the added benefit of keeping the pastry crisp, even after a day or two. This recipe is easily made gluten-free by substituting a gluten-free flour blend.
CRUST (Type): Tart shell (pre-baked). Recommendations: Lemon & Vanilla Crust, (following) or any Crumb crust
For the LEMON AND VANILLA CRUST (PRESS-IN):
YIELD: 10 x 3-inch individual tarts or 1 – 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom or approximately 36 tiny tartlets
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (225 g) or gluten-free flour blend
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar (12 g)
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch (16 g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks (180 g)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (15 ml)
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
- 3 oz. white chocolate, chopped, melted (this is melted to coat the bottom of the pre-baked tart shells)
For the WHITE CHOCOLATE LEMON CURD FILLING
YIELD: (makes approximately 700 g filling with the addition of optional cream cheese)
- 2 eggs, large
- 2 egg yolks, from large eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar (105 g)
- ½ cup lemon juice (125 ml)
- Salt, a pinch
- 4 oz. white chocolate, chopped fine
- 4 oz. unsalted butter, cold (125 g)
- 4 oz. (½ package) cream cheese, softened (optional)
- Zest of one lemon
For the LEMON AND VANILLA PRESS-IN CRUST
- Prepare the tart tins, tart rings or removable bottom pan by using pan spray, flour and line the tart pan bottom with a circle of parchment. Set the tart rings or tart pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside.
- Combine the flour, icing sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a food processor.
- Drop pieces of butter through the feeder tube and pulse on and off until coarse crumbs are forming.
- Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Pulse a few more times so that the dough just comes together. Gather into a ball.
- Press the dough into prepared tart pan or tart rings. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and blind bake until golden. Cool.
- Brush 3 oz. of melted white chocolate onto the bottom and sides of the tart shell and let the chocolate set at room temperature. Meanwhile, make the curd filling.
For the WHITE CHOCOLATE LEMON CURD TART FILLING
- Preheat the oven to 350oF/180oC (325oF if using a convection oven).
- Fill a 2-quart saucepan with an inch or two of water and place over low heat. Bring it to a gentle simmer.
- In a medium-size stainless steel or heatproof bowl place the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and salt together. Place the bowl so that it sits over the top of the saucepan of gently simmering water.
- Cook, while stirring with a whisk or wooden spoon, until the curd mixture is thick (about 5 minutes). The curd mixture will coat the back of the spoon.
CHEF TIP: I use a thermometer and place the temperature probe into the bowl set to signal an alert of 71oC (160oF) – the perfect temperature for curd.
- Turn off the heat. Leaving the bowl over the pot of hot water, whisk in the white chocolate to melt, and add the chunks of cold butter, one piece at a time, until all the butter incorporates smoothly into the curd. Add the cream cheese in small chunks, optional, and whisk until smooth.
- Strain the mixture using a fine-meshed strainer into another heat-resistant bowl. CHEF TIP: For restaurant-quality curd, straining is important to achieve a silky smooth curd.
- Add the lemon zest and stir to combine. CHEF TIP: Add the zest after you strain the curd.
- Pour the curd into the pre-baked cooled tart shell/s.
- Chill in the refrigerator. The curd will set firmly.
WHITE CHOCOLATE LIME CURD TART
Change the curd recipe by substituting lime juice for lemon juice and lime zest for lemon zest. The little specks of green from the lime zest are very attractive. CHEF TIP: Don’t forget to add the zest after you strain the curd.
TO SERVE: Large tart: cut the tart into twelve portions using a hot dry knife, slicing each piece and wiping the knife in between to achieve neat, clean edges.
Serve with softly whipped cream, a lemon curl or candied lemon peel and some white chocolate curls. Fresh berries are also nice.
TO STORE: Store the tarts in the refrigerator, covered in an airtight container with a lid for up to five days. The tarts freeze well.
Please CLICK the link above to access my UrbnSpice LEARNING TIPS, which are listed alphabetically on the Learning Tips blog post under the following subheadings:
- Preparing Your Pans
- Blind Baking
- Cutting pies and Tarts
- Oven Temperature Accuracy
- Parchment Paper
“Meyer lemons are a splurge, but they’re so wonderful.
You could make a Meyer lemon curd or a jam.
You could make a salad with slices of Meyer lemon.
You could make a Meyer lemon tart and top the tart with candied slices of the lemons.
You could use the lemons in a salsa to go over grilled fish or in a ceviche.”