I made the most delicious grapefruit tart for Philip’s birthday last month. I reduced some freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and used it in place of lemon juice in a classic French lemon tart recipe. It was glorious. A nutty, buttery, sweet tart shell was filled with a creamy, silky grapefruit filling. It delivered a big citrus experience that underscored the signature grapefruit zing and slightly bitter finish. I used a careful hand with sugar so it was not overly sweet. It was refreshing, bright and pleasantly different.
My sweetheart’s custom tart was made with a gluten-free pastry. A sweet, short crust pastry made with almond meal, gluten-free flour and confectioners sugar. It was one of the best gluten-free short crust pastries I’ve had. I was thrilled and thought since it was gluten-free it would be ideal for Passover. I did a bit of Googling (about as formal a Jewish education as I’ve ever had) and checked to see if the ingredients in the gluten-free flour were kosher for Passover. They’re not. I played around with a couple of Passover-friendly versions but none where blog-worthy (in other words—they sucked!) I’m not giving up, but it may take me until next Passover to get it right.
In the meantime, if you’re on the hunt for a dessert to serve this Passover, check out my Orange and Almond Cake. That’s what I’ll be making. For my fellow tribe members—after you’ve metaphorically freed yourself from slavery and no longer need to deprive yourself of leavened and fermented grain products…start with this tart. For all of you folks celebrating Easter—this one’s for you.
Either a 13 x 4-inch rectangular or 9 or 9 1/2-inch round tart pan can be used for this recipe. If your pre-baked tart shell has already cooled, place it in the oven just before you start the curd and heat until warm, about 5 minutes. My preferred gluten-free flour is King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour.
Almond Tart Shell
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour mix)
- ½ cup almond meal
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted cold butter cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1½ cups freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice and 2 tablespoons grapefruit zest (you’ll need 2 to 3 grapefruits)
- 2 large eggs plus 7 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Campari (optional)
- Serve with slightly sweetened whipped cream and grapefruit segments
- For the tart shell: Whisk together yolk, cream and vanilla in small bowl and set aside. Pulse flour, almond meal, confectioners sugar, sugar and salt together in food processor until combined. Place butter pieces over flour mixture and pulse to cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, add egg mixture and process until dough just comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and press into a 6 x 3 inch rectangle (if using rectangular tart pan) or a 6-inch disk for a round pan. If the dough rips at any point, simply patch it up (it will be fine).Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
- Roll dough between two sheets of plastic wrap (or parchment) to 1/4-inch thick. Transfer dough to tart pan, trim and freeze for 15 minutes.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F. Set chilled, dough-lined tart pan on rimmed baking sheet. Line dough with a greased, double layer of foil, covering edges. Fill with pie weights and bake until shell is light golden brown and set, 25–30 minutes. Carefully remove weighs and foil and continue to back until golden, about 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer baking sheet with tart shell onto a wire rack and let cool while making the filling.
- While the tart shell is cooking, place grapefruit juice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and simmer until juice has reduced to ¾ cup, about 8 minutes. Whisk in sugar, zest and salt. Let mixture cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk eggs and yolks together in a small bowl and slowly whisk a 1/3 cup of the hot juice into the eggs to temper (this will prevent the eggs from cooking). Whisk the tempered eggs back into the saucepan and stir constantly until the mixture thickens slightly and registers 170 °F. Immediately pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in cream and Campari (if using).
- Pour warm grapefruit filling into warm pre-baked tart shell. Bake tart until filling is shiny and opaque and the center jiggles when shaken, about 10 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and cool completely before serving. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream and grapefruit segments.