Style and Recipe Assistant: Hannah Schmitz
• For Tart Shell:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or food processor. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size lumps of butter. Add 3 tablespoons water and stir into flour until incorporated.
Gently squeeze a small handful of dough: If it doesn’t hold together, add water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition. Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 portions. Gather dough into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk. Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Fit dough into an 9 1/2 inch tart pan and fold overhang inward to reinforce sides. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Lightly prick bottom of tart shell all over with a fork, then line with parchment or foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until edge is pale golden and sides are set, 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove weights and parchment and bake shell until golden, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Remove tart shell from oven and reduce temperature to 300°F.
• For the filling:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
one bunch of basil, chopped
4 egg yolks, plus one whole egg
zest of two meyer lemons (or regular lemons)
pinch of salt
3 meyer lemons (or regular lemons), juiced
1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons sugar, to finish
While shell bakes, heat the cream with the basil over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Let the basil steep in the cream for 20 Minutes. Then discard basil and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, whisk together yolks, whole egg, 1/2 cup of sugar, then lemon zest and salt in a quart measuring cup, then whisk with the lemon juice into basil cream until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps.
Place tart shell in a 4-sided sheet pan. Put into oven, then pour custard into shell and water (1 inch high) in the sheet pan. Bake until just set but still slightly wobbly in center, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove tart from sheet pan and set aside to cool. Take tart out of pan and let cool completely.
Prior to serving, sprinkle 3 remaining tablespoons sugar evenly over top of tart. With a culinary torch, evenly distribute heat until sugar is caramelized.