Friday, August 10, 2012

Late night baking

If you love baking and desserts, you must buy this book:

I saw this book years ago at Border's and was so excited to see Dallas restaurant dessert recipes! And they are really good. After a long day at school and against my better judgement, I decided to bake one of my favorite recipes from this book last night at around 10. I would have been baking earlier, but Whole Foods let me down SERIOUSLY. But that's another story. Moving on...

This recipe is courtesy of T Room at Forty-Five Ten, which is apparently a tea room + boutique! What's better than that? I would love to go one of these days!

This recipe only needs 6 ingredients, but you just need a lot of them. It is basically flour, sugar (granulated and confectioners'), butter, pistachios, eggs, and lemons. You also need a tart pan. Here's the recipe:

Lemon Pistachio Tart


For Tart Pastry Dough

2 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced

Pistachio Filling

1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pistachios (dry roasted, unsalted)
1 large egg

Lemon Topping

6 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup unsalted butter

Hardware needed: 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom, wax paper, parchment paper, rolling pin, pie weights or dried beans, food processor, double boiler or glass bowl/saucepan, wooden juice reamer, flour sifter or sugar duster


Preheat the oven to 325°F.
If you bought pistachios in the shell (which I recommend), then make sure you shell it beforehand.

I just realized this is my 2nd recipe with pistachios. :)

1. For the tart shell, in a large bowl, use a whisk to mix the flour and confectioners' sugar together until it is well blended.

2. Take the chilled, diced butter and put half the butter into the flour/sugar mixture.
Now it's time to use your hands! You can try a mixer, but I just think it's better with your hands. You have to cover the butter pieces and smear into the flour. It is important that the butter is chilled because you don't want the butter melting on your fingers. 
Put the rest of the butter pieces into the mixture and continue to "smear" the butter until it looks like coarse meal (look at the photo in the middle). You want all the pieces of butter to be fully incorporated into the flour without any lumps. The recipe says "form into a ball," but it won't be like a pizza dough ball.

This is the most time consuming part of the recipe and you need to be patient. Don't get frustrated if it doesn't form a firm ball. Because this tart dough doesn't require water, it won't clump together easily. But I promise, it is so worth it. This is my favorite tart dough recipe. I even use it for other pie/tart recipes!

3. Take a large sheet of wax paper. Lightly flour your wax paper surface and roll out the dough (should be about 1/2 inch thick) until it is a little bigger than the size of the tart pan. 

The easiest way to move the dough to the pan is the invert the tart pan (with the bottom) onto the dough, and carefully press down, like you are using a huge cookie cutter. Take away excess dough on the sides (save for later) and then carefully slide your hand under the wax paper to hold the dough and flip the whole pan right side up and you have the dough in the pan! Slowly peel the wax paper off and discard.

Press the dough (again carefully) on the sides of the tart pan, so that you have some depth in the tart. If you accidentally make a hole, just use the extra dough to patch it.

4. Take a sheet of parchment paper and cover the dough. Fill the pan with dried beans as shown below and bake for about 15 minutes or just golden.

I took pictures below to help you:

5. While the tart is baking, make your pistachio filling. In a food processor combine the diced butter, pistachios, sugar, and 1 large egg, pulsing (hold down for 2-3 seconds) for about 30 seconds for a crumbly texture. My processor is a bit small, so it took me longer.

I need to get a bigger mixer!!!

6. Take your tart out of the oven and spread the pistachio mixture evenly on top of the tart. My tart shells tend to not be really deep, so I don't use all the pistachio mixture. It should be a thin layer.
Put it back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let it cool on a rack.  It will look like this:

Good enough to eat.. almost.

7.  Now for the lemon topping! I love this part! For the double boiler, I use a large glass bowl and saucepan with water. Zest your lemons before you cut them. 1 teaspoon is about 1-2 lemons depending on the size. Put it into the bowl.
Cut the lemons in half. I use a juice reamer (easier than squeezing and you get more out of it) and I used exactly 3 lemons. Don't worry about seeds or pulp. You can pour the juice via any fine mesh strainer into the bowl.

8.  Combine all these in the glass bowl: lemon zest and juice, sugar, butter, and 6 egg yolks (save the egg whites for a nice egg white, mushroom and cheese omelette!)
Whisk this mixture continuously over boiling water until the mixture thickens coating the back of a spoon. This takes a lot of practice to get it to the right consistency.

9. Using oven mitts (it's hot!) remove the bowl from the saucepan and put it in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour. Once it sets, pour it over the tart and put it back into the refrigerator and chill overnight. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar over the tart and decorate with a lemon slice.

And here it is!

This recipe is so worth making; I've made this I don't know how many times. Again, not the healthiest, but isn't dessert supposed to be indulgent? :)


  1. Omg looks delicious! The pictures and step by step instructions are also pretty incredible. :)

    1. Thanks Caitlin! It was hard to stop and take pictures and bake at the same time. :)

  2. That tart is soooo good! I want some morE!!