Spring is here. It has been toying with me, trying to gain my trust for a month. Tempting me with warm breezes and blazing sunsets. Sending showers that slowly melted the snow bank on my lawn that rivaled Sugarloaf’s bunny slope. It tried to lull me into a false sense of security with the appearance of a few strategically placed crocuses. I was strong. Not once did I take to the basement in search of my box of flip flops and peep toe sandals. I refused to scour the internet for the perfect spring dress even as Facebook screamed at me that ModCloth had the perfect flowing, navy frock with my name on it. That dress would have looked perfect with a pair of mustard yellow flats. Even though every cell in my body wanted to embrace spring with every ounce of my energy, I had been too broken by this year’s brutal winter to believe that the deep freeze was really over. Then this happened.
That my friends, is bona fide flip flop weather, which of course is the official heralding of spring. After a month of reservation and cautious optimism, I am embracing spring the best way I know how. By baking with fresh, light flavors that will make me temporarily forget that a third of my lawn is still covered in snow.
This recipe makes 16-20 tarts depending on how thin you roll the dough. I like the tart shells to be on the thick side, but that is a personal preference. Either way, you will have some curd left over, which is never a bad situation to be in.
- 12 egg yolks
- 2 cups fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 2 ½ C. Sifted Flour
- ½ C. Crisco (cold)
- ½ C. Butter (cold)
- 1 Egg Yolk Beaten
- 2/3 C. Milk (cold)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 ½ cups whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
For the Curd:
- In a small saucepan simmer the grapefruit juice and lemon juice over medium heat until the liquid is reduce by half.
- Strain the reduced liquid to remove any grapefruit pulp
- In the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl over a pan of barley simmering water (make sure the bowl is not touching the water) combine egg yolks, sugar, and butter. Stir constantly until butter melts
- Very slowly add the reduced grapefruit juice to egg mixture, whisking vigorously, while still over heat. It is very important that you slowly add the grapefruit juice, otherwise the mixture can curdle.
- Once juice has been incorporated, continue to whisk mixture until it thickens, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature. Once cooled, store in the fridge until ready to use.
For the Tart Shells:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a standard size muffin pan by spraying with non-stick spray.
- Sift flour and salt into large mixing bowl. Cut in butter and shortening using a pastry cutter until pea-sized balls form.
- Beat egg yolk and vanilla extract into the milk. Slowly add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, continuously tossing with a fork until all milk has been added. The dough will form large clumps rather than coming together into one piece of dough.
- Divide in half and form two balls of dough. Roll out each ball to desired thickness. Roll dough a little thinner than you want the finished product to be. It will puff up a bit in the oven. Cut out circles that are roughly 1 inch wider than the openings of your muffin pan. A wide-mouthed mason jar is perfect.
- Gently push dough circles into the muffin pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the shells hold their shape and are starting to brown. Let cool completely.
For the Whipped Cream:
- In a medium bowl beat together whipping cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar until peaks form. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Once the tart shells have cooled completely, fill with a scoop of grapefruit curd and top with whipped cream. Garnish with small grapefruit wedges. Serve immediately.