I came to the United States when I was 2 1/2 years old. Every year or every other year, my mom and I would go back to Argentina around Christmas time. I would spend six weeks down there with my extended family. I am an only child and Dad stayed here because of work, so it was just my mom and myself traveling. Many years in my youth, I had two summers. Maybe that’s why I don’t like the cold and rain and don’t get me started on how I feel about snow. During my Southern Hemisphere summers, we would often walk to the ice cream store but we had to go to the good one. In Argentina, ice cream shops are mostly small, family run shops. There are more and more chain stores but the artisan ones are still very prominent with their own recipes and the quality differs from place to place. The other unusual fact is that they are only open in the summer. Argentines can’t fathom the idea of eating ice cream when it’s cold out. There were no ice cream tubs sold in markets. That may have changed now with the introduction of Walmart and others.
I remember going out for ice cream with my cousin, Ernesto. Walking to the best shop, we might pass one or two other shops along the way. Finally, at the counter, Ernesto would always order two scoops, one of chocolate and one of lemon. Yuck! was what I thought! What a combo. I always ordered chocolate and dulce de leche. You cannot find a dulce de leche ice cream as good as the ones they make in Argentina. They did invent it, so there you go. Now that I’m older, I find that chocolate is still my favorite flavor hands down, but lemon is moving on up to second place. It has to be lemon as in a pastry, cake or dessert. I don’t care much for lemon drops or candy, just desserts. There are a few lemons left in my tree. I just harvested them. The tree is starting to flower, so, it’s time. I will be making a few more things with lemons until I’ve used them up. I came across this recipe not too long ago. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I got it and there is no website on the page. It just says “Adapted from Rosa Jackson, May 2008, Les Petits Farcis, Nice, France.” It is delicious and it has olive oil in it. Perfect!
You will need a 9 inch round tart pan with removable sides and a food processor.
2 Tbl. Almonds with skins, toasted and cooled
3/4 cup Unbleached Flour
1/4 cup Confectioners Sugar
Pinch of fine Sea Salt
1/2 stick cold Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large Egg Yolk
3 1/2 Tbl. Olive Oil (It states “fruity” or “preferably French”. You can use a robust oil.)
3 large Lemons
3/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Cornstarch
2 whole large Eggs
2 large Yolks
1/2 stick Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbl. Olive Oil (“fruity”, preferably “French”)
Start with the tart shell.
Pulse Almonds, Flour, Sugar, and Sea Salt to a fine powder in a food processor. Add Butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (pea-size) Butter lumps.
Add Yolk, Oil and pulse until just incorporated and a very soft dough has formed.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the rack in the middle. Bake shell until golden brown all over, about 13 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, work on Lemon Curd. Grate 1 Tbl. Lemon Zest. Squeeze 3/4 cup of juice from Lemons.
Whisk together Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Cornstarch, Whole Eggs, and Yolks in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in Butter and Oil until smooth.
Pour Lemon Curd into cooled shell and chill until set – minimum 2 hours.
This is a sweet, tangy and lemony tart. I hope you enjoy it. Serves 6.