I’ve just spent the last 5 hours at the Department of Motor Vehicles attempting to get my license renewed. Since I’m trying to become more mature, I won’t tell you why I was stuck in the DMV for 5 hours. However, as a result of the epic saga that was the Leon Valley DMV, I needed something sweet. It not only needed to be sweet, it needed to be quick to make, because I wasn’t about to deal with any more “waiting” today.
While the chilling of tart takes a couple of hours, it’s so so simple to bake and assemble, that it qualifies (at least to me) as a quick recipe.
I decided on whipping up this Quick Lemon-Raspberry Tart. Mainly for tonight’s dessert, yes; but also so I could taste-test half of it…because, well- again- the DMV sucks. DMV employees don’t suck. The waiting in the building itself does, but I digress.
All you need for a quick dessert…
…is a batch of lemon curd, a dry pint of fresh raspberries, heavy cream, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, and graham cracker crumbs.
Besides being quick, this recipe is easy because it can be altered so many different ways. If you’re a fan of vanilla or chocolate wafers, you can use them instead of graham cracker crumbs. Don’t like raspberries? Just use blueberries, blackberries or strawberries (or a combination of berries). Even the filling can be switched up. Use lime curd, orange curd, passionfruit curd, or mango curd, instead. Hell, you can even use chocolate or another flavored whipped cream, in place of the plain stuff!
Prepare your tart crust
This tart crust is the same as a cheesecake crust. You’ll need a couple of cups of graham cracker crumbs. Just add them to a mixing bowl, then stir in melted unsalted butter using a rubber spatula. Because you want the crust to hold together well, you need to make it a slightly thick crust.
The best way to see if your crust is the proper consistency is to grab a fistful and press it together. If it clumps- like this- you’re good to go. A crust that crumbles will need a bit more melted butter. If your crust oozes fat, it has too much butter and needs more graham crumbs to dry it out.
Once your crust mixture is the proper consistency, use your measuring cup to press the mix into a 9 1/2″ tart pan with removable ring. If you have a 10″ tart pan, you can use that instead. It’ll make a thinner tart, whereas an 8″ tart pan will yield a thicker one. That removable ring will also come in handy when serving the tart.
Make sure the crust is thick and pressed out into an even layer. It should be thick enough to hold the filling later- shoot for 1/4″ in thickness (thicker if you’re a crust whore like me).
Bake it in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes, then let it cool completely.
Whip the cream
Not to sound bougie, or anything, but I have never purchased “cool-anything” in the tub. There really is no valid reason to use a highly processed whipped cream substitute when the real deal is so easy to make.
The key to getting a firm, quickly whipped cream is to whip it in a very cold bowl. I place the bowl I’m going to whip the cream in inside of a larger bowl filled with ice and little cold water.
Add your heavy cream to the bowl- make sure it’s straight-outta-the-fridge cold– and use your hand mixer set on high to begin the whipping process. You can also use a whisk and get those Popeye forearms going.
When the mixer’s beaters begin leaving ribbon marks in the cream, start shaking in the granulated sugar. Don’t dump it all in, or you’ll deflate the whipped cream and will end up having to whip it longer. The longer you whip the cream, the more likely it’ll turn to butter, so sprinkle the sugar in slowly.
Once all of the sugar has been added, continue whipping just until the cream is thick and holds a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted from the surface of the cream.
Use homemade lemon curd (or cheat)
While I’m a HUGE fan of my Meyer Lemon Curd, I get that sometimes you’re stuck at the DAMN DMV for FIVE HOURS and need some help from the store. If that’s your situation (or if you just need something quick to take to a last-minute soiree), just use store-bought lemon curd. Again, use homemade if you have the hour it takes to make it.
Fill your baked and cooled graham cracker crust with a batch (about 1 1/2 pints) of lemon curd. After filling the tart shell, bake the tart for 15 minutes to firm it up.
Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
Once the tart is completely cool, refrigerate it until it is cold– about 2 hours. Then, spread the whipped cream over the curd filling using an icing spatula. I like to create dramatic peaks and valleys in my whipped cream. It kind of reminds me of Mondays at the DMV (no, I will not let it go).
Garnish and serve
After you’ve covered the tart with whipped cream, garnish the surface with fresh raspberries.
Again, if you’re not a fan, just replace these with your favorite berries- or, leave them off completely.
I like to keep my tart refrigerated until it’s time to slice and serve it. When you’re ready to serve, just pop the bottom tart pan plate from the ring and slice.
Once you’ve assembled the tart, it tastes best if eaten within 2 days.
Most of us will (unfortunately) have to visit the DMV at one point or another, so pin this recipe for that doomsday. Trust me, you’re gonna be needing it.
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Quick Lemon-Raspberry Tart
- 9-9 1/2" tart pan with removable insert
- 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter (about 2 sticks)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 pints (1 batch) Meyer lemon curd
- 1 dry pint fresh raspberries, rinsed and dried
- lemon peel, optional
- 1 sprig of mint, optional
Prepare the Graham Cracker Crust
- Check that the graham cracker mixture is the proper consistency: grab a fistful and press it together. If it clumps it's ready to form. If the crust crumbles apart, a more melted butter a tablespoon at a time. Should your crust ooze fat, it has too much butter. Add a 1/4 cup of graham crumbs to dry it out.
Prepare the Whipped Cream
- Place a metal (or glass) mixing bowl inside a larger bowl that's filled with ice and little cold water.Add the cold heavy cream to the inner-bowl whip using your hand mixer set on high (or a whisk).
- When the mixer's beaters begin leaving ribbon marks in the cream, gradually shake in the granulated sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added, continue whipping just until the cream is thick and holds a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted from the surface of the cream.
Assemble the Lemon-Raspberry Tart
- Fill your baked and cooled graham cracker crust with the lemon curd, then bake the tart for 15 minutes to firm it up.
- Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool completely.Once the tart is completely cool, refrigerate it until it is cold- about 2 hours. Then, spread the whipped cream over the curd filling using an icing spatula.
- Garnish the surface with fresh raspberries. Keep the tart refrigerated until ready to serve it.When you're ready to serve, remove the tart pan's ring for easier slicing and serving. Once you've assembled the tart, it tastes best if eaten within 2 days.
Try my other quick sweet recipes: