It's spring, the sun is shining, and that feels like reason enough to celebrate. It's just the right time to serve this bright, zingy lemon tart, a simple, no-bake dessert that combines Greek yogurt and bottled lemon curd in a tender pastry crust. It's a pretty, no-fuss sweet perfect for a sunny weekend brunch.
The first time I encountered the happy marriage of lemon curd and Greek yogurt was while catering a baby shower last spring. My co-worker made a fruit dip that combined the two, along with a little honey and vanilla. It was good — except I didn't want to dip any fruit into it, I just wanted to keep eating it with a spoon.
Obviously, everything that tastes good eaten from a spoon tastes even better eaten in a buttery crust, so a tart seemed the way to go. Stabilized with a little gelatin and poured into a baked tart shell, the filling set up beautifully in the fridge overnight, creating the creamy, lemony, buttery dessert I had been hoping for.
For the crust, I like using Dorie Greenspan's excellent Sweet Tart Dough recipe in Baking: From My Home to Yours, but any pie or tart dough recipe that you like will work. I happen to love the sandy, shortbread-like texture of a pâte sablée crust, but I suspect even a graham cracker crust would be tasty with this filling.
And if you don't want to bother with the pastry at all, or are looking for a pretty gluten-free sweet, the filling can be poured into small ramekins and chilled for a refreshing little spoon dessert.
Lemon-Yogurt Icebox Tart
Makes one 9-inch tart
2 cups Greek yogurt
2/3 cup lemon curd, store-bought or homemade
2 tablespoons honey (or more, depending on tartness of curd)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons water
1 cup whipped cream, to top (see how here)
Citrus slices or berries (optional, for garnish)
About two hours before assembling tart, roll or press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan and fully bake according to recipe instructions. Let cool on a cooling rack for at least one hour, until room temperature.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon curd, honey and vanilla. Taste and add more honey, if needed. Put the water and gelatin in a small microwave-safe measuring cup and let sit for 5 minutes. Microwave for 10 to 15 seconds, stirring once or twice, until the gelatin is dissolved. Do not allow to cool. Thoroughly whisk the hot dissolved gelatin into the yogurt mixture and pour into the tart shell.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and sliced citrus or berries before serving.Additional Notes:
- I use full-fat Greek yogurt. I have not tried substituting low- or non-fat Greek yogurt, but I suspect either would work well, though you may need to add a little extra honey.
- Homemade lemon curd would certainly make this recipe special, but any good-quality jarred lemon curd will make a tasty tart. I buy mine at Trader Joe's.
- The filling can be made into individual puddings instead of a tart: skip the crust and pour the filling into small ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
This recipe was originally published April 2012.