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Picture Perfect: Lemon Tart with Raspberries


May 25, 2012

Don’t let the good looks fool you.

The other day was, simply put, not my day. It began something like this:

Erina, “Do you think Duke still needs to wear the harness when I walk or run with him? I don’t think he does….he’s such a good boy. I mean, he’s perfect!”

Matt, “I don’t know…it’ll depend how much he pulls when he sees something he wants.”

Erina (dismissively), “It’ll be fine.”

5 minutes later I clipped up the “perfect” Duke, sans harness, and grabbed the bottle of champagne and my bottle of water (my new secret anti-hangover device..bring a bottle of water and chug it like it’s my job). We trotted up the hill, en route to our friends CJ and Nadia’s house and no sooner had we turned onto their street (which incidentally is down hill, on a wet sidewalk, covered in moss), than Duke took off. CJ is after all his most favorite person and in his opinion there is no greater place on earth. I had done exactly what they preach you should not, never ever, not even a little bit do in puppy school and had wrapped the leash around my wrist. I went flying, the champagne went rolling, Duke kept running, and the next thing I know I’m being dragged along on the sidewalk, my pants ripped, my knee swollen, and my ego very bruised.

It gets worse.

Upon being scolded by CJ for my less than surgical cleaning of said wound, I was promptly sat in a chair, hydrogen peroxided to the hilt, wrapped and taped up, and then plunked with a bag of peas and my ever-expanding knee in the middle of the action. On the plus side, people did bring me champagne, so nothing wrong with that.

If you asked me, Mr Hippo had it coming…

A few hours later I decided to hobble around the kitchen and make a pizza. And what a beautiful pizza it was. Fresh dough, sautéed jalapeno cheddar sausage and mushrooms, buffalo mozzarella…I could go on. I cooked it perfectly on the pizza stone, spinning it to make sure it was done just right, and pulling it out at exactly the right moment. I topped it with garden fresh chopped basil, and then I went to cut it.

Perhaps it was being shaken up from the fall, or perhaps it was the champagne, or maybe it was the universe telling me to slow the hell down, but here I am cutting it and the pizza board (which is only 80% on the counter, but who notices that kind of thing) slips, the pizza goes flying and suddenly there is beautifully sautéed jalapeno cheddar sausage and mushrooms, and buffalo mozzarella, and garden fresh chopped basil all over the god damned kitchen floor.

CJ offered me her gluten free pizza, Nadia assured me that she’d just swept and it would be fine to eat, and Matt ordered take out. I was utterly defeated and went gingerly home, crawled into bed (at 6p), pulled the covers up over my head, and pouted for all I (and that beautiful pizza) were worth.

Don’t worry Mom…I’ll watch the table of beautifully prepared food for 30!

This Lemon Tart is the absolute antithesis to my dreadful Sunday. It is beautiful, and perfect, and sinfully delicious. My mama made it first, and we quickly scarfed it up, oohing and ahhing over the perfect combination of sweet raspberries, tangy lemon filling, and crunchy crust. This travels very nicely so is a great dessert to bring to a dinner or an event. Make it when you need to be picture perfect, and tied up in a bow.

Lemon Tart with Raspberries
Adapted from “William Sonoma Desserts”
Serves 8


Butter Cookie Dough, 1 disk at cool room temperature (recipe follows)

2 Eggs

2/3 C White Sugar

12 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature

1/2 C Sour Cream

2 tsp Lemon Zest

1 Lemon, juiced

2 TB Flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 carton, about 6 oz, raspberries

  1. Put the dough disc between 2 large sheets of parchment paper and roll out into a 12-inch round, 1/4 inch thick. Fold the dough round in half and transfer to a pie plate. (A tart pan with a removable bottom would be better, but I don’t have one of those). Unfold the round and ease into the plate, patting firmly into the bottom and up the sides. Trim the edges to form a 1/2 inch overhang. Fold the overhang back over itself and press into the sides of the pan. Freeze for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line the crust with foil, fill with pie weights, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 12 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake until set and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  2. In the food processor, combine the egg and sugar and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the cream cheese, pulse to break it up, and then process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Add the sour cream, lemon zest and juice, flour, and vanilla and process just until smooth, about 20 seconds. Pour the filling into the partially baked crust.
  3. Bake until the top looks firm and is set when you gently shake the pan, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 1 hour. If using a tart pan, remove from the pan. If using a pie dish, leave as is. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight. Spoon the raspberries on top of the tart just before serving.

Butter Cookie Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 cups unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 TB vanilla

  1. Sift together the flours and salt into a bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low-speed, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and mix just until a moist dough forms. Form the dough into three equal disks and wrap separately in plastic. Chill until firm, about 45 minutes. Storage tip: You may store the disks, wrapped tightly in plastic, in the fridge for up to 2 days, and in the freezer for up to 1 month.


  1. shellywest says:

    gah! Toooooooo cute!

  2. Maman says:

    Poor lambie,
    What you need is a long relaxed spell at home…….

  3. PolaM says:

    Love your cake! Must be delicious!

    • Erina says:

      It was delicious! In fact…you’ve got me thinking about it again. Might have to add it back into the rotation!

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