Individual Brûléed Citrus Tarts

Makes: 2 (5-inch) tarts

Ingredients for the Sable Dough:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Ingredients for the Citrus Curd:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more to brûlée the tarts
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed citrus juice (lemon, blood orange and lime will all work!)
  • 2 tablespoons citrus zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Special Equipment:

  • 2 (5-inch) tart pans with removable bottoms
  • pie weights or dried beans
  • 6 inch squares of parchment paper 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Add the butter and powdered sugar to a bowl and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg on low until just combined.
  4. Add in the flour and salt and stir until everything is combined. If the dough it still wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time. When the dough forms, turn onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  5. Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.
  6. Using the tart pans as a guide, cut out circles about an inch wider than the edges of the pans. 
  7. Roll the dough circles into the tart pans and press into edges. Trim off any excess dough along the rim of the pans. Any remaining dough can be tightly wrapped in plastic and store in the freezer for up to a month. 
  8. Place both of the tart pans on a baking sheet. Using a fork, dock the bottoms of the dough 5 - 6 times. Add a parchment square into each of the tarts and fill with pie weights. 
  9. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment with the weights from each shell and place back into the oven to finish baking until golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing the tart shells from the pans and filling. 
  10. To make the citrus curd, add the granulated sugar, citrus juice, citrus zest, and salt to a high-sided skillet. With the heat on medium, stir to dissolve the sugar and allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
  11. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Temper the yolks by adding about 1/4 cup of the warmed citrus juice into the bowl and whisking until the temperature of the yolks is the same as the liquid. Pour the mixture back into the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium-low. Stir everything together, being sure to scrape the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula. 
  12. Continuously stir over the next 5 - 7 minutes until the mixture has thickened and can easily coat the back of a spoon. 
  13. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer onto a 1/4 sheet tray (9 x 13 inches) or wide glass dish and spread into an even layer. The more surface area, the better for cooling the curd. 
  14. Fit the baking sheet into a larger sheet tray that has been filled with ice. Continuously stir the citrus curd, gently folding it onto itself until completely cooled. 
  15. To assemble the tarts, fill the tart shells evenly with the cooled citrus curd. Sprinkle the tops evenly with granulated sugar. Using a brûlée torch, carefully melt the sugar on top of the tarts.

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