Martha's version of a classic lemon tart uses a sweet pastry shell with a delicious lemon filling. But this recipe contains a twist-instead of rolling out the dough to fit the tart pan, Martha uses a "no-roll" technique she learned from her friend Ruth Rogers, of the River Café in London. Tarts do not have top crusts and may be savory or sweet. Tart pans are available in a variety of sizes for desserts, entrées, or hors d'oeuvres. Individual tarts, made in the smaller pans, are often called tartlets.
Tips for Making the Perfect Tart Shell
Use a food processor to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Pulse the mixture until it just resembles coarse bread crumbs. Always keep your pastry dough cold. If it begins to warm up while you are working with it, place it back in the refrigerator to chill. Pierce the crust all over with the tines of a fork (called "docking") to prevent the pastry crust from puffing up while it bakes. Chill the prepared shell before baking which will help prevent the crust from shrinking when it bakes. If baking the tart shell before adding the filling (called "blind baking"), line it with parchment paper and use pie weights or dried beans to help keep the shape of the tart shell while it bakes.