Out of all dessert options, my favourite is anything with lemon. Even when I am too full to eat dessert somehow I can always eat a crumbly lemon shortbread, one scoop of lighter than air lemon gelato, or a slice of lemon tart. This lemon tart embodies the name 'tart' as it is just that. It has a shortbread-like crust and a tart, slightly sweet filling. Garnishing with raspberries provides a bit of extra sweetness and makes for a lovely presentation. (I think that T-Moo will agree with me that lemon desserts are most enjoyable; however, we may agree to disagree on whose lemon tart recipe is better. So, keep watch for T-Moo's lemon tart recipe to come as we want you, our loyal readers, to decide and let us know which lemon tart reigns supreme).
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into small cubes
5oz ~3/4 cup regular cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 pint of raspberries to garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 425F, and grease an 8" tart pan with a removable bottom. Set aside.
For the Crust: In a food processor combine flour, icing sugar and salt. Process to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the pastry comes together and forms small clumps. Place the pastry in the tart pan and using your fingertips, press the pastry into the pan, covering the bottom and up the sides. Once the pastry is covering the tart pan, you can use a silicone spatula or back of a soup spoon to smooth the surface. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork about 10-15 times to prevent the pastry from rising up. Chill the pastry in the freezer for about 15 minutes before baking to prevent the pastry from shrinking while it bakes (this is good time to clean out the bowl of your food processor as you will need it to prepare the filling). When the pastry is chilled, place the entire tart pan on a large baking sheet and into the oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden. Remove the tart shell from the oven and place on a rack to cool while you prepare the filling.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350F.
For the Filling: Pulse the cream cheese in the food processor until smooth. Add sugar and process until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and pulse until each is well incorporated. Add the lemon zest and juice and blend until smooth. Pour filling into prebaked tart shell and place in oven to bake for 25-30 minutes until the filling has set and no longer wobbles in centre. Transfer to wire rack to cool (tart may develop a crack down centre while baking or cooling...no big deal, this just really proves it's homemade). Once cooled, cover and place in refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour. If garnishing with raspberries, wash and dry raspberries and place around outer perimeter of tart where the lemon filling meets the shell. Serve!