One of my favorite cookbooks is The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide by Paula Lambert, owner of the Mozzarella Company based out of Dallas, TX. Paula includes many recipes using goat cheese. One that particularly caught my eye was for a Lemon Goat Cheese Tart.
If you are a new reader, then you probably don’t know how much I adore goat cheese. I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate it into my diet.
I’m sad it took me all this time to finally make this tart. I’ve only owned Paula’s cookbook for something like five years is all.
The crust is buttery, sweet and crisp. The goat cheese and crème fraîche (or sour cream) layer is creamy and rich. The lemon curd layer is tart and bright. Then to top it off, there is a layer of burnt sugar.
I’m in love with everything about this tart. The only change I will make next time is to use a different goat cheese. The one I used was a little mild–more like cream cheese. I like mine to taste a little more goat-like. My favorite fresh goat cheese at the moment is the Chevre made by Shepherds Cheese in Erda, Utah. (You can buy it locally at Whole Foods. It’s soooo yummy.)
(The recipe on the website is a little different than in the book, the one below is the one I used. And if you hate goat cheese, then I suppose you could substitute cream cheese for the fresh goat cheese.)
Lemon Goat Cheese Tart
slightly adapted from The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
For Goat Cheese Filling:
4 oz. (1/2 cup) fresh goat cheese (chevre)
1/2 cup crème fraîche (or full fat sour cream)
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
For Lemon Curd Filling:
6 large eggs yolks
1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
For Burnt Sugar:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
For Tart Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Combine the flour and confectioner’s sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Scatter tablespoon size pieces of the cold butter over the dry ingredients. Pulse until the dough comes together into a ball. (Be careful not to overmix.) Remove dough and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ or 10″ round tart pan with a removable bottom. Place in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove, set aside, and let cool.
Whisk goat cheese, crème fraîche, sugar, egg, and flour together in a small bowl until smooth. Pour into the cooled tart shell. Place in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until just set. (The original recipe says more like 25 minutes, but mine was done after about 15.) Set aside and let cool.
For Lemon Curd:
Place egg yolks, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pot. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, making sure it does not boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Strain through a sieve if desired into a clean bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper directly onto the surface and let it cool. (Can make up to two days in advance. Store tightly covered.) Stir the cold lemon curd to loosen it and spread it over the the goat cheese layer. Chill for several hours until ready to serve.
For Burnt Sugar
Fifteen minutes or so before serving, sprinkle the granulated sugar evenly over the top of the lemon curd layer. Using a culinary torch or a hot broiler, melt the sugar. Chill for a fifteen minutes before cutting into slices.