Lemon Curd is the Answer

After the macarons had cooled, I used a little apricot jam to make a couple of sandwiches, and Dr. Science and I tried them. Too sweet! And I have a sweet tooth that would make a junkie proud. We tried the plain ones, and they were pretty good. The outside is crunchy and the inside is airy and little chewy, which is like descriptions I’ve read. It’ll be interesting to see how they turn out with properly pulverized almonds. I pulverized a bunch of almonds this morning in the (clean) coffee mill, so that’s ready to go. And now we have a bunch of these admittedly imperfect macrons that could be filled and eaten.

Obviously there’s so much sugar in the macarons that the filling needs to be something less sweet. These are unflavored macarons, too, so the flavored ones might take sweet filling. Anyway, what to fill the remaining ones with? And then I thought of lemon curd, which, in my experience, is so often the answer to a problem.

Meanwhile, we’re out of pie. How does that happen? Someone eats, it, I think. So now we have a win-win situation: We need a little lemon curd for macaron filling and we need pie. Plus I have three egg yolks left over from the eggs whose whites I used for the macarons. Win-win-win! So this afternoon I made the double batch of Julia’s pâte brisée sucrée and a batch of lemon curd.

Pâte Brisée Sucrée
(ingredients copied from Mastering the Art of French Cooking; directions paraphrased)
1 cup (3½ ounces) sifted all-purpose flour
A mixing bowl
1 Tb granulated sugar
¹⁄₈ tsp salt
5½ Tb fat: 4 Tb chilled butter and 1½ Tb chilled vegetable shortening
2½ to 3 Tb cold water

Whisk the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the shortening and butter, then add the cold water until the dough just holds together. Pat the dough into a disk, cover it with plastic, and chill it for at least 30 min.

I made the double batch of this, which is what Julia says you need for a 10-in tart shell, and she’s right.

Roll out the chilled dough, fit it into the tart pan, weight the dough, and bake at 375℉ for 20 min. Remove the weights and bake for another 5 min. Cool on a rack and remove from the pan.

Lemon Curd
1 cup sugar
3 T cornstarch
a few grinds of sea salt
¾ cup lemon juice (3 large or 4 medium lemons)
1¼ cups water
3 egg yolks
zest from the lemons

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in the lemon juice. Whisk in the egg yolks. Stir in the water. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it thickens and boils; let it boil for a few seconds to make sure the cornstarch is cooked. This should take about 10 min. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest.

When the tart shell is cooled, pour in the lemon curd.

lemon tart and lemon curd macarons

Lemon tart and a few amateur's macarons filled with lemon curd

Reference
Pâte Brisée Sucrée. In Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 1. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961, p 632.

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Filed under Macarons, pie

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