Sunday Dinner

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Grand Aïoli with Haricots Verts and Fingerling Potatoes

French Lentils
Simple Salad 

Lemon Cloud Tart with Rhubarb Compote

For the first Sunday dinner in June, I figured one more spring dessert was in order.  This tart utilizes some of the late spring bounty of rhubarb.  As the name suggests, the filling is light in texture.  Ah, but there is a lot of flavor floating around in this dreamy, creamy sea of lemon and cream.

I use my favorite tart crust recipe and I use the Meyer lemon curd recipe, but swap out the Meyer lemons for regular tart lemons. The rhubarb compote pairs perfectly with the lemon and cream to deliver a dessert that will have you floating on.... alright, it's just really good. 

Lemon Cloud Tart with Rhubarb Compote
serves 8-10

For the Rhubarb Compote
4 cups of 1/2-inch pieces of rhubarb (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Tart Dough
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
9 Tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 extra large egg

For the Filling
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 extra large eggs
3 extra large egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup crème fraîche
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon zest

For the Compote
Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until rhubarb is tender, about 7 minutes.  Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Compote can be made up to a day in advance.

For the Tart Dough
In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour.   Process in short bursts until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the egg and process in long pulses, about 5-7 seconds until the dough has started to clump.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the dough onto the surface.  Using the plastic wrap and the back of your hands, gently press the dough into a disk.  Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375º F.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  If refrigerated overnight, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle, flouring the dough and surface as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.  Roll up the dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it over an 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Fit the dough into the edge of the pan.  Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough.  Place the tart onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 15 minutes.  

Line the tart pan with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the weights and foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Place on a rack to cool completely. 

For the Filling
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the lemon juice, zest, sugar, butter, and salt.  Stir gently over low heat until the butter has melted and sugar has dissolved.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks.  Whisking constantly, gradually add half the hot lemon mixture into the eggs, then slowly whisk the egg mixture back into the remaining lemon mixture.  Cook over low heat, scraping the bottom constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes.  Do not allow to boil.  Pour the curd through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.  Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.

In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream, crème fraîche, sugar and lemon zest to stiff peaks using a hand held mixer of wire whisk.  Spoon half the lemon curd and half the lemon crème fraîche mixture into a separate bowl.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold them together to create a marble effect.  Spoon marbled mixture in dollops into cooled tart crust.  Repeat with remaining curd and lemon crème fraîche.  Refrigerate tart for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.  Remove pan sides, place on a platter and serve with Rhubarb Compote.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Bon Appétit, April 2006


  1. Beautiful Nicole, looks light as a feather and the rhubarb is such a pretty contrast!


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