Mini Lemon Tarts with Fresh Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Author: 
Serves: 15 3" mini tarts
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 7 oz sugar
  • ¼ cup freshly grated lemon zest
  • ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 T unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 T + 1 cup COLD heavy cream (keep in the refrigerator until you're ready)
  • 1 T powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 15 circles of pâte sucrée dough, cut to fit 3" tart shell molds
Steps
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Place tart shells on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together until combined.
  4. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt.
  5. Prepare an ice bath using a bowl large enough to fit the sauce pan with room to spare.
  6. Using a spatula, cook the lemon curd over medium low heat while constantly slowly stirring until it reaches a temperature of 170 degrees. At this point it should be the consistency of a thin pudding. (If you use a whisk, you'll add too much air, which will expand during the cooking process and cause the lemon tart to overflow.)
  7. Immediately transfer the sauce pan to the ice bath. Add the cold butter and 3 T of whipped cream and stir until the butter is completely mixed in and the lemon curd has stopped steaming.
  8. Press the lemon curd through a fine mesh strainer to strain out the lemon zest. (You may think you'd like the texture, but you won't. Trust me!)
  9. Transfer to a piping bag with a (roughly) dime sized opening and pipe the lemon curd into the tart shells until almost level to the top. (The lemon curd will only rise a little bit.)
  10. Bake the tarts until the middle of the tart shell jiggles slightly like jello instead of like a liquid, about 12 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and set the sheet pan on a wire rack away from the stove to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator. Cover the lemon tarts with plastic wrap if you're storing for more than a few hours.
  12. To make the whipped cream, whip 1 cup of cold whipped cream on medium high speed to stiff peak. (Once the whipped cream has roughly doubled in size and is light and fluffy, you can start checking the peak. Remove the whisk attachment from your mixer, dip it in the whipped cream, then hold the whisk upright. If the whipped cream peak softly folds over, you've reached soft peak. If the whipped cream peak stays up right, you've reached stiff peak. It should be smooth and you shouldn't be able to see any air pockets. If it's rough and jagged, you've whipped it too much. Add ~1/4 cup more heavy cream and slowly mix until it's evenly mixed and it reaches stiff peak again.)
  13. Add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla then slowly mix until combined. Whisk on medium speed until the powdered sugar and vanilla are evenly mixed and no lumps remain.
  14. Remove the lemon tarts from the tart mold and serve with a generous portion of whipped whipped cream.
Notes
The piped whipped cream will hold up on these mini tarts for several hours or more, especially if you store the tarts in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Recipe by Bring Back Delicious at http://bringbackdelicious.com/desserts/mini-lemon-tarts-with-fresh-vanilla-bean-whipped-cream/