We had our first taste of spring here almost three weeks ago. That Sunday had been my first day off in a week, and it was bright and warm in a way that breaks your heart near the end of winter, because it’s been so, so long since you’ve last really felt the sun.
A friend of mine and I biked from opposite ends of the city to meet at the St. Lawrence Market, where we browsed through piles of antiques and collectibles, chatting with the vendors and coming away with some lovely old silverware. The warmth of the day proved irresistible, so instead of heading home, we biked to the Distillery District, picked up a couple of drinks at Balzac’s, and moved from bench to bench, patio to patio, soaking up the afternoon glow.
We’re back to winter now, of course, and we likely will be until the end of April. But I’m waiting for spring the way one waits at the airport for a loved one to come home — I want it so badly I’m nervous about it.
And when I’m nervous, I bake.
This lemon rosemary tart is the perfect thing to make in that endless transition from winter to spring. The lemon yoghurt filling is tart and tangy and just barely sweet, and the rosemary in the crust lends earthiness and depth. Better to make when there’s a crowd around, because it’s impossible to stop after one slice — or even two.
Lemon Tart with Rosemary Spelt Crust
Note: If you don’t have spelt flour on hand, you could achieve something similar with 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour.
for the crust
- 1 1/3 cup spelt flour
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
- 1-2 tablespoon ice water
for the filling
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly butter a 9-inch tart pan and set aside.
2. Pulse together the flour, sugar, rosemary, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until large pea sized bits start to form. Add in the ice water, starting with just 1 tablespoon. Pulse a few more times, then check the dough to see if it holds together when pressed between your fingers. If not, add the 2nd tablespoon. The dough may still seem crumbly, but as long as it holds together when pressed it will be perfect.
3. Dump the dough out into the prepared tart pan. Starting from the center, work your way out to the sides by pressing the dough firmly into the pan. Make sure you press it up along the sides evenly. Pierce the bottom with a fork a few times and place in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes before filling.
4. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Place the yogurt and sugar in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then add the lemon juice and zest. Whisk until smooth and everything is evenly combined.
5. Pour the filling into the crust and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set and only slightly jiggles when shaken lightly.
6. Allow to cool completely then place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Tart can be made the day before and kept covered and chilled in the fridge. Serve with fresh whipped cream if you’d like.
One month and counting.