GRAPEFRUIT CURD TARTS WITH CHAMOMILE WHIPPED CREAM

These grapefruit tarts are my homage to winter’s best. I kept the crust traditional — butter, sugar, all the good stuff and nothing too fancy, baked to a cookie-like golden brown — in order to let the grapefruit curd shine. And boy does it shine. The creamy, smooth custard features both grapefruit juice as well as zest for a deep citrus flavor and bright acidity, with just a touch of bitterness that adds a lovely complexity and bite.

GRAPEFRUIT CURD TARTS WITH CHAMOMILE WHIPPED CREAM

Ingredients
FOR THE TART SHELLS
  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 10 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cubed
  5. 1 egg yolk
  6. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  7. 2 tablespoons ice water

FOR THE GRAPEFRUIT CURD
  1. 2 cups grapefruit juice
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 5 tablespoons grapefruit zest
  4. 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  5. 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  6. 4 large eggs, room temperature
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt

FOR THE CHAMOMILE WHIPPED CREAM
  1. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  2. 3 chamomile tea bags
  3. 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar or honey
  4. chopped pistachios, for garnish

Method
TO PREPARE THE TART SHELLS
  • Add the flour, confectioner's sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  • Add the cubed butter and pulse until it is in mostly pea-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk, vanilla and water. Pulse until dough begins to come together.
  • Pour out into a sheet of plastic wrap, knead into a disc, and wrap up tightly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • When slightly chilled, roll the dough out until about 1/6-inch thick. Use a knife to cut out circle of dough that are about a half inch wider than the bottom of your mini tart pans.
  • Press the dough circles into mini tart pans and cut any excess from the top. Use a fork to poke holes in the bottoms of the dough, and placed uncooked tarts into the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • While in the freezer, preheat the oven to 375F. When chilled remove the tarts from the freezer. Press a sheet of foil onto the shells, shiny side down, and fill the foil with dry beans, rice, or pie weights. This will keep the dough from puffing up while baking.
  • Bake the shells for 15-20 minutes, or until set and slightly golden. Remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer baked shells to a cooling rack and let cool completely before filling.
TO PREPARE THE GRAPEFRUIT CURD
  • Add the grapefruit juice to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer until reduced by half, then remove from the heat to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and grapefruit zest. Use your fingers to massage the zest into the sugar. This will release all of the fragrant oils hiding in the grapefruit skin and result in a more flavorful curd.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitting with paddle attachment, or with an electric hand mixer, cream the sugar and zest mixture with the butter until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, eggs and salt and mix until combined. The mixture may look slightly curdled; this is okay. Add the cooled, reduced grapefruit juice and mix well.
  • Add the mixture to a medium saucepan. Turn heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, usually about 10-15 minutes, sometimes longer. Just keep on whisking, it will come together! The curd is ready when it will coat the back of a wooden spoon, and is the thickness of warm pudding.
  • Transfer the curd to a bowl and refrigerate until cooled.
  • To assemble to tarts, divide the curd evenly among the prepared tart shells. Place in a 13x9 inch pan or similar container, cover so that the plastic wrap does NOT touch the top of the tarts, and refrigerate until chilled, preferably overnight.