Make Ahead

Grapefruit Tart

March  6, 2011
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Grapefruit is pretty much the king of winter fruit in this neck of the woods, so I wanted to play around and see if it might work in a custard tart—and it does! Inspired by and adapted from the Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Pie recipe, the one on the back of the bottle—my favorite. - mrslarkin —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Mrslarkin is well known for her scones on Food52 and beyond.
WHAT: A classic tart crust with a creamy, bittersweet grapefruit filling.
HOW: Combine grapefruit juice and zest with sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks, pour this custard into a pre-baked tart crust, and bake until set. Chill, then dollop with whipped cream and finish with a tiny, sugar-sprinkled grapefruit wedge.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This delicate, easy-to-make tart is packed with slightly-bitter grapefruit flavor that's mellowed by creamy condensed milk and egg yolks. Topping it off with whipped cream and fresh grapefruit intensifies the flavors of the tart while adding a little texture. (We can't wait to make it again with the suggested addition of Campari.) —The Editors

  • Serves 8
  • For the dough (makes enough for 4 tarts, or see step 6 for a single crust)
  • 630 grams all-purpose unbleached flour (about 5 cups)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 11 ounces cold unsalted butter (2 3/4 sticks), cubed
  • 6 ounces cold vegetable shortening (12 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cups ice water
  • For the tart
  • 2 ruby red grapefruits, washed/scrubbed
  • 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit zest, grated with a microplane grater
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, from 1 of the 2 grapefruits, with pulp, seeds removed
  • 1 round of tart dough, or 1 single-crust store-bought dough
  • 1 round slice of grapefruit, with peel, about 1/4-inch thick, cut into 8 triangular segments
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Whipped cream (I like it unsweetened, but you can sweeten it if desired)
In This Recipe
  1. For the dough (makes enough for 4 tarts, or see step 6 for a single crust)
  2. Place flour and salt in bowl of food processor. Pulse to combine.
  3. Add butter cubes to flour and pulse 5 or 6 times to combine.
  4. Add chunks of shortening to flour mixture. Pulse to combine, while simultaneously pouring ice water through the feed tube. Mix just until incorporated and dough just starts forming a ball. You might not need all the ice water.
  5. Flour a work area and turn the dough out. Gather into a ball. Cut into 4 equal parts. Weigh them out to get even pieces, if you have a kitchen scale.
  6. Gently form each piece into a flat round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 5 days, or frozen for one month. Store in zipper freezer bags.
  7. This is my go-to pie/tart/quiche crust. I know making 4 crusts seems a bit daunting, but once you have it made, it keeps great in the freezer! Here are the measurements for one crust, in case you want one and only one (hope I did the math right): 158 g flour (about 1 1/4 cup flour), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 3/4 ounces cold butter (5 1/2 tablespoons), 1 1/2 ounces cold vegetable shortening (3 tablespoons), 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
  1. For the tart
  2. Place one round of dough, or your store bought dough, between two pieces of plastic wrap. Roll out dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Place tart pan over dough to check for size. You want some overhang, so make it about an 11-inch circle, which is roughly the width of the plastic wrap.
  3. Peel the top plastic wrap off of the dough. Loosely roll the dough up onto your well-floured rolling pin, as if you were wrapping the rolling pin with the dough, while pulling off the bottom plastic. Slowly unroll crust over an 8-inch or 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the sides/corners of the pan. Nudge the excess dough down a bit to slightly fatten (as in make chubby) the edges. Trim excess dough by rolling the pin against the dough and the top edge of the pan, reserving scraps to patch any holes or thin spots. Then gently press against the sides to slightly flatten (as in make skinny) and make the sides of the tart dough rise up a tiny bit over the top of the tart pan. When baking, the tart will shrink, so it's good to have a teeny bit of extra height here, about 1/8 inch.
  4. Preheat oven to 400° F. While oven is preheating, chill the tart shell in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  5. To blind bake the crust, place tart on a sheet pan. Prick bottom of tart all over with the tines of a fork. Place a sheet of parchment over the crust and fill with uncooked rice, beans, or pie weights. Make sure to bank the sides with rice. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove tart pan and carefully remove parchment and rice. Place tart pan (still on the sheet pan) back in the oven and bake for another 5 or so minutes until just beginning to brown.
  7. While tart shell is baking, prepare the filling.
  8. In a bowl, combine condensed milk, egg yolks, zest, and grapefruit juice. Stir until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes or so.
  9. When the tart shell is done, remove to a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F.
  10. Pour custard into tart shell and bake for 20 minutes, or until set in the middle.
  11. Remove to a cooling rack for 15 minutes and refrigerate for a few hours to serve cold (or leave out to serve at room temperature).
  12. To serve, unmold the tart and serve slices of the tart with whipped cream and a segment of grapefruit dredged in turbinado sugar for a yummy sweet, sour, and crunchy bite.
  13. I found adding 1 tablespoon of Campari to the filling mixture lends a soft peachy blush—and a little more bitterness. If you're a bitters fan, you might enjoy this. Reduce the zest to 1 tablespoon if using the Campari.

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