Lemon Cream Cheese Tart
I was scrounging around in my produce drawer yesterday and found not one, but two bags of lemons. What was I thinking? One bag looked like if I don’t use it soon they just might go south. I hate throwing food away because I forgot I bought it. Ernie’s not happy about that either.
After all, groceries are one of the highest monthly expenses in a household. When you figure how much you spend in an entire month on groceries it kills me to think I’m throwing something out because I forgot it was there and got too busy.
I also bought lower fat cream cheese to make my Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake soon. When I got home I realized I had one too many bricks of cream cheese in the grocery bag.
Hmmmm… lemons and cream cheese. What to do?
Even though it’s usually a summer item, I’ve been drawn lately to pictures of lovely lemon tarts. Rich, creamy and lemony. That’s what this tart is. After some of the heartier, heavier fare we eat in the winter how nice to turn to a dessert with a fresh, lemon flavor.
Here’s the recipe:
- One 9-inch pastry crust. I pressed it into a fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and put it in the refrigerator to chill a couple hours.
- 1/3-cup fresh lemon juice
- 1-tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2-cup granulated sugar
- 1/4-teaspoon salt
- 1, 8-ounce block lower-fat cream cheese at room temperature.
- Optional, whipped cream to garnish
- Optional, thin lemon slices to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take a piece of waxed paper or parchment large to fit in the well of the pastry crust and up the sides. Spray it with non-stick spray. Lay the parchment on the crust with the non-stick spray side touching the pastry. In the well put either dried beans, rice or pie weights to weight it down. This will prevent the crust from shrinking, pulling, or the sides falling down as it’s pre-baked. The technique is known as blind-baking. Bake the pie crust for 22 minutes.
While the crust is baking, prepare the lemon cream cheese filling. In a heavy saucepan over medium low heat stir together the remaining ingredients one at a time using a whisk. When the cream cheese is completely incorporated into the other ingredients and the filling just comes to a boil, it’s ready for baking.
Remove the pre-baked pastry crust from the oven. Remove the parchment and rice or beans and discard. Pour the hot lemon cream cheese filling into the pastry crust. Return to the oven and bake an additional 25 minutes.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into wedges. Garnish with whipped cream, lemon slices and serve.