I love baking. It’s something that brings me peace and tranquility when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Any day is instantly better and brighter with the help of a little flour, sugar, salt and butter.
I also love creating something special for my friends and family–there are few things more appreciated than homemade baked goods. Really.
Although I find baking quite therapeutic, it can also be a bit finicky. There’s a science to it, and if ingredients aren’t handled in a certain manner, the outcome can sometimes be less than ideal.
Homemade lemon bars are actually one of the things I failed at on more than one occasion. Lemon bars are delicious. They’re sweet and tart with a buttery crust. They’re sunshine captured in cookie form. **Ahhhhh…Bliss.**
They’re also a bit tedious to make. Zesting. Juicing. De-seeding. Some recipes even call for making a lemon-curd on the stove-top, which inevitably leads to bits of the egg getting too hot and solidifying. It doesn’t look pretty–and changes the texture of the dessert, too.
That’s why I love this lemon tart recipe. There’s really no messing it up. Honestly. It’s as easy as making lemon bars from a boxed mix–and tastes better too!
This is a simple, quick–lazy–recipe that is sure to impress. It’s also beautiful. Your friends and family will think you’re some sort of baking goddess, when in reality all you did was toss a few ingredients in the blender and hit “BLEND.”
I always make my own tart crust because it’s so easy, but if you want to make this recipe using a store-bought crust–no one will judge. More than likely, no one will even know…or care! This recipe can be made in variety of different pans, too. So, if you don’t have a tart pan, there is no need to run out to buy one. A cake pan, jellyroll pan, even a muffin pan would work.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you can also enjoy this recipe. Just be sure to purchase a gluten free crust or make your own. An almond-flour or cashew-flour crust would be DIVINE!
You can even forego the crust altogether and opt to cook the curd in ramekins. If you go this route (hot water bath), place the ramekins in a deep-sided baking pan–a cake pan works well–and then add water to the pan until it reaches about midway up the outside of the ramekin. I’d also line the ramekin with a smidgen bit of butter. Everything is better with butter.
- 3/4 c. butter, softened
- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using a pastry blender or a wooden spoon, thoroughly blend the dry ingredients into the butter. It will look very dry at first, but the more you keep blending/mixing the more dough-like the mixture will become.
- Once the mixture has been properly blended into a dough (see the photo above), press the dough, evenly, into an ungreased pan of your choosing. I used a tart pan. Make sure you also press the dough a bit up the sides of the pan, too.
- Using a fork, poke holes all around the bottom of the crust. This will allow the air to release and will keep the crust from bubbling up.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust is cooked through and beginning to turn a bit brown on the edges.
- Remove from oven and set aside until the filling is made.
- 2 lemons. Remove the sticker (if there is one) and wash.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 8 tbsp. butter (I usually use salted, but unsalted is great, too)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (I sometimes replace this with a different flavoring. The tart pictured is actually flavored with rosewater instead of vanilla).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the lemons into 8 pieces each. No need to remove the seeds or anything else. Toss into your blender.
- Crack the eggs into the blender (throw away or compost the shells). Add the sugar, butter and extract.
- Turn on your blender (make sure you have the lid on!) and let the mixture whirl until it fully blends and looks very smooth. If your blender isn't very high-powered, you may need to stop to stir things around a bit.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared crust.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes. The tart should just start to turn a little brown on top and the edges will be a bit firm, but the center will still be slightly "jiggly." It'll firm up as it cools.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire-rack.
- Your Lazy Lemon Tart (or bars) is now ready to serve! I like to garnish it with a bit of sifted powdered sugar. It's really all it needs.