There are lemon tarts and lemon tarts, but the candied lemon slices atop the tart I enjoyed years ago at A. Solaz Patisserie on the rue Joseph Vernet in Old Avignon lifted this one to new heights. I use lemon curd for my filling. I don’t know if they make Lemon Curd in Provence (it is so British!) but it works really well here. You will love the candied lemon slices - a real Provençal treat. —ChefJune
one 11-inch tart about 12 servings
Candied Lemon Slices
your favorite tart shell recipe, completely baked and cooled
Slice the lemons as thinly as possible, horizontally. [I use the 2mm slicer on my Cuisinart.] Be careful to make complete circles. Remove the seeds.
Mix the sugar and water together in a medium-sized non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Use a pastry brush to brush down the sides of the pan so that no sugar clings to the sides and burns. As soon as the syrup boils, add the lemon slices and stir to keep the slices separate. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, then turn the heat off and let the lemon slices sit in the sugar syrup until it cools. (You can use a refrigerator to speed up this step, if you need to.)
Line a large baking sheet with lightly buttered waxed paper. Remove the lemon slices from the syrup and place them in a single layer in the lined pan. Let them dry.
Lemon Curd and Finishing
In a small stainless steel bowl or in the top of a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Add the zest and whisk in the lemon juice. Set over a pot of simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens, approximately 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a glass or ceramic container. Cover with plastic-wrap and refrigerate until cool.
To Assemble the Tart: Spread the cooled tart shell with 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter. Pour the cooled lemon curd evenly into the tart shell. Top with the candied lemon slices, arranged in concentric circles all over the top of the tart. Chill until the lemon curd is set -- at least several hours.