These Sugar Cookie Citrus Tarts will melt in your mouth.
They’re so light and delicious – bet you can’t have just one!
This recipe was a result of desperation.
No, I’m not talking about my citrus cravings, (though those are persistent and many!)
I’m talking about my egg yolk problem. In that I have too many. There are tubs of egg yolks in the freezer, in the fridge, all with numbers of how many egg yolks are in them scrawled on them. At one point, one of those numbers was… 32. (hangs head in shame).
This is what happens when you decide to start making macarons, meringues, swiss meringue buttercream for your friends… and your sister who works in a chicken barn keeps bringing you gorgeous, large, brown double-yolked eggs. I can only make so many Butterscotch Pies and Zabaglione! Clearly I had to find a recipe that used the most egg yolks possible.
The answer? Lemon Curd! After testing several recipes (including one disaster of a microwave one, where the curd ended up just being brown burnt liquid – ew), I finally found a recipe that was both easy, delicious, AND used seven. whole. egg yolks. Thank you America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe for Lemon Curd, via Tasting Spoons. You have saved my fridge.
But you know me. I could not leave well enough alone. So after the lemon batch, I knew I had to try it in lime. And orange.
‘Cause that’s how I do. It’s probably one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire cooking career. All iterations of this recipe are delicious. I’m even tempted to try it with grapefruit, even though I don’t actually like grapefruit, just to see if it works! (The orange one is totally my favourite – don’t tell the others, they might get jealous!)
Wash and scrape the outside of all your citrus fruits with a zester or those tiny holes that you never use on your cheese grater. Cut those fruits in half and squeeze them until you can’t get any more juice out. I used lemon and lime juice from the store to make up the rest of the liquid needed, and added lemon juice to boost the orange one.
Add the eggs (yolks and whole), sugar, zest (either of orange, lemon or lime), juice (again, whichever one you are making, orange, lemon or lime) and salt into the top pot of a double boiler. Whisk everything together until combined.
Add the butter and turn the heat onto medium-high, whisking constantly. It will be really thin, and then slowly start to thicken. It should be about the consistency of thick gravy when you pull it off the heat, about 5 minutes.
Strain it through a strainer, and whisk in the cream.
Add the food colouring if you are so inclined! I did more for the visual effect. The yellow colour of the lemon curd is more from the egg yolks than the actual fruit, so all of your curds will be a variation on yellow. If you want them to actually be green or orange, or a more vibrant yellow, you will need to use food colouring. Or magic. Totally up to you.
Put those in the fridge to let cool, at least a half an hour. It should thicken considerably and end up being like pudding.
Roll that out and cut with a cookie cutter, or I just used the bottom of a can. Place those in your greased tin (I’m using a tart tin. They are smaller than a regular muffin tin, but those work really well too! It will just be a wider, shallower cookie cup).
Bake those, and let them cool before you fill them with the citrus curd (or else you will have a melty mess)!
Top with whipped cream!
These bite-sized beauties just melt in your mouth.
But they aren’t too sweet… which means you can eat like, 10 of them. Right?
Any suggestions for more egg yolk recipes? I still have a couple freezer containers left!
- 7 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon , orange or lime juice, (lemon can be used in addition to the orange if necessary, since my grocery store doesn't have orange juice in a bottle, and the juice squeezed from the oranges wasn't quite enough)
- 1/4 cup lemon , orange or lime zest (about 2-4 lemons, limes or oranges, depending on the size)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter , cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- OPTIONAL: Food colouring. The yellow of lemon curd comes from the egg yolks. Without food colouring , they will all be yellow, which varies in intensity based on how yellow your yolks are. If you want your orange curd to be orange, you will have to add food colouring, likewise green for the lime.
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter , room temperature (if you live in a very warm place, from the fridge is fine)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- OPTIONAL: 1 tsp almond extract
In the top pot of a double boiler, or a heat-safe bowl you can put on top of a boiling pot of water, Whisk the egg yolks, egg, sugar, citrus juice of choice, citrus zest of choice, and salt until just combined.
Bring water in the bottom pot to a boil, and set to simmer on med-high heat. Place the top pot with the egg mixture over it. Add the butter.
Whisk continuously until the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. It should be the consistency of thick gravy.
Remove from heat and pass through a strainer.
Stir in the cream and the food colouring until all combined.
Place in the fridge, and let set, at least half an hour.
Heat the oven to 350°.
In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter until smooth.
Add the egg and vanilla and almond extracts.
On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. It will still be a little crumbly.
Pour the dough onto a floured surface, squeezing it into a ball.
Roll out, and cut with a large circle cookie cutter or the bottom of a can, like I did, making sure to keep your circles as close together as possible. Place cut-out circles in a greased tart tin, or muffin tin for wider, shallower cups. Reroll your extra dough and repeat until all the dough is used.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes on the pans before transferring them to a cooling rack. They need to be completely cool before you fill them with the curd.
Fill the cups with the citrus curd, and top with whipped cream!