This time of year we are all about citrus! When I moved to France, I started going to the farmer’s markets on a regular basis and it’s become a fantastic way to keep up with the changing of the seasons. This past weekend… at one of my favorite fruit and vegetable stands, I saw these cute little lemons. I wasn’t exactly sure what they were and the guy at the stand confirmed it… Bergamotte! Like what you often find in Earl Grey tea. It is sublime! If you ever see them, snap some up immediately to make this tart. The flavor is like a subtle lemon with more complexity, less zing, and maybe a bit of clementine mixed in. I’ve adjusted my regular lemon curd recipe to highlight this with a little less butter to make this flavor shine.
NOTE: Of course, if you can’t find bergamots, use lemons or even Meyer lemons (yum)! For a passion fruit version, replace the bergamot juice with half lemon juice and half passion fruit, just fabulous. Use the crust recipe included below for a more neutral base, or if you have my cookbook, you could also use the pate sucree recipe (delicious!).
Bergamot Curd Tart
For the Tart Crust:
- 1 2/3 cup (200 g) all purpose or cake flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp (30 g) granulated sugar
- 7 tbsp (100 g) unsalted butter, cubed, cold
- 1 tsp water
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Bergamot Curd Filling
- 12 tbsp (170 g) unsalted butter, cubed, cold
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) bergamot juice
For the Tart Crust:
In an electric mixer, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until it is in small pieces, resembling sand. Add the egg, water, and vanilla and mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
Gently roll out the dough into a large circle about 1/8-inch (3mm) thick. Form to a 9½ inch (23 cm) tart mold and use the rolling pin to roll off the excess. Prick the bottom with a fork. Place a large piece of parchment paper on top and fill the mold with pie weights or baking beans.
Chill 5-10 minutes in the freezer then bake at 325F/160C for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and baking beans. Then, bake 15 minutes more or until lightly brown across the whole surface. Set aside to cool.
For the Bergamot Curd:
In a large bowl, place the cubed butter. Put a strainer on top.
In a small to medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Then whisk in the bergamot juice.
Place the saucepan over medium heat, and whisk constantly about 5minutes, until it thickens slightly and just starts to boil. You might have to stop whisking for a couple of seconds to see this.
As soon as it boils, take it off the heat. Pour the mixture,through the strainer, to melt the butter. Then whisk together until the butteris completely melted.
Pour the hot curd into the cooked tart crust and chill at least 1 hour to firm and thicken up.