Pucker up for this tart tart!
Lemon Blueberry Tart with Lavender Shortbread Crust
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons culinary lavender buds
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
2 tablespoons ice water
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
1 cup blueberries, washed and picked over
Make the pastry crust. Place the three tablespoons sugar and the lavender buds in a spice grinder and pulverize until the lavender bugs resemble the sugar crystals. (If you don’t like the lavender flavor in your crust, you can skip this section and just use the 3 tablespoons sugar.)
Put the sugar-lavender mix, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse together three times.
Add butter in 16 pieces and pulse 12 times, or until pieces of butter are about the size of peas. Sprinkle with water and pulse 20-30 times, or until dough almost comes together in a ball around the blade. (See photo at the beginning of the post to gauge what texture you are looking for.) Gather dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Roll out dough into an 11-inch round and then place in a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Fold excess dough down to give crust a thicker wall. Trim and discard scraps. Prick bottom all over with a fork, line with foil and then fill foil with pie weights, beans or rice.
Bake crust for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F, remove foil and weights, and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until crust is golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
Make the filling. Set a pan of water to boil over medium-high heat. Choose a metal bowl that is slightly larger in diameter than the pan of water. Place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in the bowl and whisk well for 1 minute.
Place the bowl with the egg-sugar mixture over the boiling water and reduce heat to keep it to a constant simmer. Continue to whisk the mixture constantly for 2-3 minutes, until it has turned pale and foamy, and has thickened a bit.
Add a third of the lemon juice and continue whisking until thickened (about 2-3 minutes). Add another third of the juice and continue whisking until it has once again thickened (2-3 minutes), then the final amount of juice whisking for a final 2 minutes.
Remove pan from the heat and keep custard mixture over the hot water. Add a tablespoon of butter and whisk it into the lemon mixture. When it has been fully incorporated, add another tablespoon. Continue whisking in the butter in this manner until it is all incorporated.
Add blueberries to the tart crust, then top with lemon custard, making sure each berry has been covered, even if only a little.
Using a kitchen blowtorch, carefully brûlée the top of the tart to caramelized lightly. Alternatively, you can put it under the broiler with a watchful eye to the same effect. Chill until set, then remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.