My friends, we are ending May with a Lemon Lavender Tart with Honey-Whipped Cream. Why? Because there’s fresh chicken eggs, honeybees, and wild flowers. That’s why, cow pie!
It actually *feels* like spring is officially here, doesn’t it?! As my Uncle Mike would say, “It’s a beautiful thing.” One of the beautiful things about spring is that the hens start laying more eggs. Although we finally have ramps, asparagus, greens, and other spring goodies, a surplus of eggs is the very first sign of all the good things to come.
To celebrate the extra eggs, we’re making a lemon tart. To welcome the bees, we’re adding honey-whipped cream on top! You may have read that we added honeybees to our little farmily, and the entire experience has been un-bee-lievable. Please forgive me for any past and future bee puns. I can’t help myself, but I’ll do my best to bee-hive.
As new beekeepers, Matt and I weren’t quite sure what to expect. Will the bees take to their hives? Will they accept their queens? Honestly, we figured introducing the bees to their hives would be somewhat stressful, but it was the complete opposite. There was just a feeling of calm enchantment. There’s something so serene and peaceful while working with the bees. And we got to share it all with my mom, nieces, and 2 dear friends (hi, Steph and Jeremiah).
Although honeybees will travel up to a 5-mile radius to pollinate, we planted 1,000 square feet of pollinator flowers around their hives. Because, erm, who doesn’t want flowers surrounding their house?! Lavender, borage, marjoram, and certain clovers are the most attractive flowers for bees. So, for THAT reason, we are also adding a wee bit of lavender to this lemon tart.
Welcome flowers, welcome bees, and welcome back eggs! Oh, and hello, Lemon Lavender Tart with Honey-Whipped Cream. You get in mah belly.
It’s a beautiful thing . . . especially when beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder.
Lemon Lavender Tart & Honey Whipped Cream
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt omit if pecans are salted
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour a little less than one cup
- 1/4 cup spelt flour
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 7 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest 2 lemons
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice 5 lemons
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried lavender
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces (1/2 stick)
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream chilled
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Thinly-sliced lemon
- Edible flowers
- Bee pollen
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 410º F.
- Heat pecans in a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until they give off a rich, toasty fragrance. Remove from heat and chop finely (alternatively, pulse in food processor); set aside.
- In a medium-sized ovenproof bowl, such as Pyrex, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.
- Place the bowl in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.
- When done, carefully remove the bowl from oven, dump in the all purpose flour, spelt flour, and pecans and stir quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula.
- Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with the heel of your hand, and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough, about the size of a raspberry, for patching any cracks.
- Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork about ten times, then bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bits of reserved dough to fill in and patch them. (David Lebovitz’s note: I find it best to pinch off a small amount of the reserved dough, roll it gently between your fingers to soften it, then wedge it into the cracks, smoothing it gently with your pinky.)
- Set aside shell to cool before filling.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375.
- Whisk egg yolks and eggs together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in sugar until combined, then whisk in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Add butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the cream.
- Pour the lemon filling into the cooled tart shell, smoothing top with a spatula. Bake the tart on a baking sheet until the filling is shiny and the center jiggles slightly when shaken, about 12-15 minutes. Let the tart cool completely on the baking sheet, about 1.5 hours, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, place mixer bowl and whisk in freezer for at least 20 minutes to chill.
- Pour heavy whipping cream, honey, and vanilla into cold bowl and whisk on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
- To serve, remove the outer metal ring of the tart pan, slide a thin metal spatula between the tart and the tart pan bottom, and carefully slide the tart onto a serving platter or cutting board. Top with optional garnishes and/or honey-whipped cream