Friday, May 06, 2005

Lemon Curd Phyllo Tartlets with Raspberries

This recipe is from Simple Tarts by Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen. She used lime curd, but I substituted lemons since I had many. It is the first time I tried this recipe, and I have to say that I am very impressed. The contrasting flavors, textures and colors make this an outstanding dessert. I used the leftover scraps of dough to make mini tartlets, and I liked those bite-sized desserts even more. (They were much easier to eat!) It may be a good idea to prepare the components of the dessert in advance and to assemble the tartlets shortly before serving so that the phyllo cups do not become soggy and lose their wonderful crunch. Also make sure that you use a light hand when you handle the phyllo cups as they are fragile.

Phyllo Cups:

4 sheets defrosted phyllo dough
2 tbs unsalted butter, melted
A little sugar to dust the phyllo squares

Lemon Curd:
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 c sugar
2 tbs freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional; use only if you are super sensitive to eggy smell in your dessert like Yurdaer)

Raspberry Sauce:

6 oz frozen sweetened raspberries
Fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil 4 3/4 c-ramekins with vegetable oil. Cut the phyllo dough sheets into 6-inch squares. Keep the unused dough covered with a dishtowel to prevent it from drying out.

Place a phyllo square on the work surface, brush with a little melted butter and sprinkle with a little sugar. Butter a second square, and lay it over the first at an angle; sprinkle with a little sugar. Repeat with two more squares. Press the stack of squares into the custard cups or ramekins, pressing into the edge and keeping the edges turned up. Set the cups on a baking sheet for easier handling. Bake until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

In medium saucepan, combine the eggs, 1/2 c sugar, butter, lemon juice, zest and vanilla (if you are using it). Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture begins to thicken and bubbles begin to appear on the surface, about 3 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against the surface if you do not want a skin to form. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Process the frozen raspberries until smooth. Add more sugar if needed. Strain if you want to get rid of the seeds. Mix with the fresh raspberries. Divide the curd mixture evenly among the phyllo cups. Top each with some of the raspberry sauce.