Lemon, rosemary and pomegranate, oh my! Week 9: A lemon tart with rosemary crust and pomegranate seeds. I overcame my constant desire for chocolate to select a fruit creation. Chocolate coming next week, I promise.
There is nothing more exciting then getting a new baking tool and getting to try it out for the first time. This week was a double whammy – I got a teal tart pan (you know I can’t resist anything that’s teal, I have no restraint) and a set of ceramic pie weights. *happy dance*
The lemons are from my roommate’s parents’ backyard (yay fresh!) and the rosemary was from Safeway (ah well. Our apartment isn’t ideal for growing herbs. Might try again in a few months). I used kitchen scissors first to chop some of the rosemary, but honestly, chopping them with a knife works much better. With the knife method, the rosemary transforms into consistently tiny pieces and a lovely rosemary aroma fills the kitchen. Don’t worry, Kitchen Scissors, you’re still my favorite.
The base recipe that I used was from The Sweet and Simple Kitchen (http://thesweetandsimplekitchen.com/) and she suggested mixing the pastry by hand. While it was fun to play with the dough with my hands, I think I might revert back to a food processor next time for consistency in my butter clumps. I chose to add some rosemary because I wanted a little more flavor in the tart overall. Lemon and rosemary are old friends, so it seemed like a fun experiment. (I also wanted to use the leftover rosemary in my hashbrowns, yum. My life revolves around food, not sorry about it.)
Here’s my happy lump of dough. It is amazing to me, each time I make a short crust pastry, how it finally comes together in the end. It always seems like it’ll never make it!
I try to remind myself with every bake, it’ll never turn out exactly the way you want it the first time you make it. Nevertheless, I tried to make the walls of the tart tall and even. The dough disagreed after spending time in the oven, but we’ll get over our differences with practice. Aren’t the pastry weights cute? Little marbles keeping my dough in check.
The filling was a simple combination of mascarpone cheese (basically Italian cream cheese), cream cheese, lemon, eggs, vanilla and sugar. I used my stand mixer to make it lovely and creamy smooth. There was a little bit too much so I made a baby cheesecake tartlet with the remainder of the crust. It’d be a crime to waste the yumminess!
Now you can see why I chose the term “rustic” for the title. I had attempted a loose foil covering on the top near the end of it’s stay in the oven to prevent it from over-browning. However, the foil got too friendly and some of the top came away with it. Good thing there are garnishes to go on top!
Speaking of garnishes . . .
When I decided to make this tart, I chose pomegranate seeds since they are so bright and sweet. I wanted a pop of color and sweetness to cut the creaminess of the tart. When I arrived at Safeway at 8:30am on a Saturday (very weird, kind of a ghost town), they didn’t have any pomegranate seeds! I know it’s jussssst past the end of their season in the Northern Hemisphere, but I was still hopeful. After asking someone to check the back, it was concluded that none were to be found. Not wanting to have to trek to another store, I ended up buying the sliced pineapple that had pomegranate seeds as a garnish. Ha! I win. I also now have a lot of pineapple. . . pina coladas, anyone?
And it’s sidekick.
Next time I make this kind of tart, I want to try a chocolate pastry crust and an orange custard filling – reminiscent of these gooey chocolate-covered orange candies I used to have at Christmas.
Happy munching, everyone!