Lemon Squares with Herbed Blueberries


Toss blueberries in unexpected herbs to liven up a simple lemon tart. I’ve used thyme but lavender would be just as lovely. photo by Nancy Duran

As we approach late summer, blueberries are bountiful. While they are just perfect eaten fresh by the handful, if you’re in the mood to dress them up a bit, give this lemon curd tart a whirl. Blueberries tossed in honey and herbs add a grown up twist and make this tart beautiful to look at. The recipe may look a little daunting but, trust me, it’s a snap to pull together. Because the tart base is a press in, it’s very forgiving. While the aroma will tempt you, hold off on slicing the tart until it is completely cooled, preferably with a little time in the fridge to help it set even more. This will result in nice clean squares that can be eaten by hand or fork.

Makes 16 squares

Shortcrust Pastry
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), at room temperature, chopped
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 cup all-purpose flour

Lemon Curd Filling
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
3 large eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice

Herbed Blueberries
1 cup blueberries
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line the base of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving paper overhanging on two sides so you can lift the tart out of the pan easily.
  2. To make the Shortcrust Pastry: In the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter, icing sugar, and lemon rind until smooth. Add the flour and mix until just starting to come together. Using your hands, press the mixture together to form a ball. It will be crumbly, but don’t worry, you should be able to press it together using your hands. Take the ball of dough and drop it into the prepared pan. Press the dough into all the corners of the pan until the base is evenly covered. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned.
  3. To make the Lemon Curd Filling: In the cleaned out bowl of the electric mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat together the granulated sugar, butter, and lemon rind. The mixture will not cream but should instead look like coarse breadcrumbs. Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until each addition is incorporated. Add the lemon juice and mix until just blended (do not over mix).
  4. Carefully pour the lemon curd onto the hot pre-baked pastry base. (You can do this straight on the oven rack to avoid spillage.) Return to the oven and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the honey and thyme. When the lemon tart has baked for 10 minutes, carefully remove from the oven and scatter over the blueberries, pressing them gently into the curd so that they adhere. Return to the oven and cook another 10 minutes, until the lemon curd is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan before slicing into 16 squares.




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