A Little Bite of Sunshine – Florida Grapefruit Tart
This grapefruit tart recipe is a little bit of sunshine. The bright, sweet and tart flavor of the Florida grapefruit goes perfectly with the flaky golden thyme shortbread crust.
I don’t know about you but I am just about done with winter. We haven’t had a lot of snow this year but it has been so cold, and rainy, and dreary. I’m ready for sunshine!! Since it doesn’t look like I’m going to get my wish anytime soon I decided to make my own sunshine this weekend.
I love citrus tarts, the bright flavor makes me think of spring, sunny days, and warm sunshine. I usually make lemon tarts but Florida grapefruit is at its sweetest and juiciest right now, at the peak of winter (January-March) making it a great source of delicious, ripe fruit at a time when many others are not available, so I thought I would try a grapefruit tart this time. Florida grapefruit isn’t always the prettiest, the sun, humidity and rains during Florida’s growing season mean Florida grapefruits taste amazing, but their exterior appearance doesn’t always look as flawless as grapefruit grown in other areas. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. It is the the sweetest and juiciest variety of grapefruit in the world!
The recipe is two parts. First I made a simple shortbread crust that I added thyme to. Thyme and grapefruit pair together really well and the herb is so subtle that it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the fruit. It was the first time I tried adding an herb to my shortbread and I loved the added depth of flavor. I also thought the small flecks of thyme in the crust were so pretty.
Next is the curd for the tart filling. I LOVE lemon curd but this was my first time making grapefruit curd. It won’t be my last. The curd was simple to make, I squeezed 3 grapefruit to get a cup and a half of juice and then reduced it by have to concentrate the flavor. Then I mixed grapefruit zest, eggs, and sugar into the mixture. The natural sweetness of the grapefruit meant I didn’t have to add very much sugar sweeten it, I cooked the mixture in a bowl over simmering water, whisking it constantly until it thickened up.
Once it had cooled and the tart crust was baked and cooled, I added the curd to the crust and put it all in the refrigerator overnight to let the curd firm up. In the morning I peeled a grapefruit, broke it into segments and pulled the skin off of each segment before thinly slicing them. I layered them on top of the tart and it was ready to serve.
Thyme Pastry Crust
- 1 1/2 c All-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1/2 c Butter, , unsalted, room temperature
- 1/4 c Sugar
- 1 Egg, , large
- 1/2 tbsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Thyme, , finely minced
- 1.5 c Grapefruit, , juice
- 2 tbsp Florida grapefruit zest
- 3 Eggs, , large
- 3 Egg yolks, , large
- 1/4 c Sugar
- 4 tbsp Butter, , unsalted
Thyme Pastry Crust
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- In a bowl mix together flour and salt.
- In your mixer bowl add butter and sugar and beat until fluffy.
- Add the egg, thyme, and vanilla, to the butter and sugar mixing thoroughly.
- Add the flour to the mixture a little at a time until. Make sure not to over mix the dough. Just mix it until it begins to come together and all of the flour is incorporated.
- Remove dough from bowl and form it into a ball (do not overwork the dough or it will be tough). Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up dough.
- Once the dough is ready lay it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to approximately 1/8” thickness and make sure it is slightly larger than your tart pan (give it an extra inch all the way around).
- Lay the dough over the tart pan. DO NOT stretch or pull the dough to make it fit, this will cause it to shrink when it is baked. Instead of pushing the dough down into the pan use your fingers to work the dough up the sides of the pan.
- Pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork and place foil in the center then fill with pie weights (I use dried beans). This will keep the dough flat as it bakes.
- Refrigerate for 15 – 20 minutes to let the dough firm back up.
- Bake in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes, then remove the pie weights and continue baking until the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Juice 2-3 grapefruits and pour juice through strainer to remove any pulp or seeds.
- Add grapefruit juice to a small pan and bring it to a boil to reduce the liquid by half.
- Add the sugar to the grapefruit juice, stirring to dissolve.
- Let the juice cool slightly before placing it in a bowl over a pot of simmering water (or in a double boiler)
- Add the eggs, egg yolks and grapefruit zest, whisking constantly for 10-15 minutes. The curd should become thick like pudding.
- Once thickened remove it from the heat and add the butter stirring it in until it is completely incorporated.
- Let the curd cool slightly before placing a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the curd to keep it from developing a skin. Then place it in the refrigerator until completely cool.
- Once the curd has cooled and firmed up add it to the tart and put it in the refrigerator to firm up overnight. Again, cover it with plastic wrap so the curd doesn’t develop a skin.
- Peel a grapefruit and break it into sections. Remove the thin membrane from each section then thinly slice the piece of fruit. Before serving add the slices to the top of the tart.
I definitely got my dose of sunshine and I loved it. Armed with Florida grapefruit I may just be able to make it until Spring!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.