Deconstructed Lemon Tart

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Mother is the necessity of invention as that oft-said saying goes and this dessert is no exception. I had already made the lemon curd, it was chilling in the fridge, so I set about to blind-bake the tart crust. As luck would have it, the edges burned to a crisp and the middle was soggy and rubbery so 2 points, in the garbage. Now what?!?! The guests had just finished dinner and were waiting for dessert! AAAK! I had some cookies left over from the parfait I made the night before so I grabbed some martini glasses, crumbled a pecan cookie in the bottom of each one, and filled the glass about 3/4 of the way up with lemon curd. I had intended to ring the tart with beautiful slices of strawberry but they were a little worse for wear from the drive home from the market so I hulled and quartered them, tossed them in a tablespoons of sugar and a splash of Grand Marnier and slid a spoonful on top of the lemon curd. I had a basket of blackberries and blueberries so I added to a few to each glass for a garnish and a perfect little mint leaf from my garden. Et voila! Deconstructed Lemon Tart...or Reconstructed as the case may be...either way, bon appetit!

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
zest of 3 lemons, finely grated
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
7-8 tbsp butter, cut into cubes, set out til room temperature

1. In a medium-size nonstick or non-reactive saucepan, add the sugar, salt, and lemon zest and juice, and whisk until smooth.

2. Then add the egg yolks and whole eggs and quickly whisk well.


3. Set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to bubble around the edges (about 6-8 minutes).

4. Add the butter in chunks, stirring after each addition, and simmer gently. Don't let it boil as the mixture can cause terrible burns -- trust me on this one!

5. Continue stirring for about 5 more minutes, until the mixture thickens.

6. Transfer it to a small shallow non-reactive bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface while the mixture is still hot; set aside or in the fridge to cool.

7. Once it's cool, serve it immediately or transfer to a plastic container, cover the surface with plastic wrap. It will keep in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a month.