Lemon Cream Tart with Blackberry-Lavender Compote

I inherited my love for all things lemon from my mom; when there is a lemon dessert on a restaurant menu, I will order that over a chocolate one pretty much every time. If my mom was visiting this weekend, this is the dessert I would make for her to finish up her Mother's Day meal. You can use blueberries or raspberries instead of the blackberries; you may have to adjust the sugar a little. (Cape gooseberries would be awesome too!) You can also use sour cream in place of the crème fraîche.

Lemon Curd
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Gingersnap Crust
  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 25 cookies ground in processor)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced crystallized ginger
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Lemon Crème Fraîche
  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Blackberry-Lavender Compote
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons seedless blackberry jelly
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Flowers from 2 sprigs lavender (or 1 tablespoon dried lavender)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 lb blackberries (about 2 cups)

Day 1: Make the lemon curd. Heat a medium saucepan of water over medium heat until simmering. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks until blended. In a large metal bowl, combine the lemon juice, butter, and 1/2 cup sugar. Set bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the butter melts and sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk one-third of the hot butter mixture into the eggs, then whisk mixture back into the bowl set over simmering water. Whisk constantly until custard thickens and a thermometer inserted into mixture (not touching the bowl) registers 180°F, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Set a fine strainer over a medium bowl and press the lemon curd through it. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lemon curd and refrigerate overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Day 2: Make the crust. Heat the oven to 350°F. in a medium bowl, mix the cookie crumbs, sugar, and ginger until blended. Stir in the melted butter, blending until the mixture is evenly moistened. Transfer crumb mixture to a9-inch springform pan; press the crumbs firmly and evenly onto bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake until crust is firm and slightly darker in color, about 8 minutes. Let the crust cool completely.

Make the lemon crème fraîche. In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the whipping cream, crème fraîche, sugar, and lemon zest in large bowl until stiff peaks form.

Spoon half of the lemon curd and half of the lemon crème fraîche into a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold curd and lemon crème fraîche together, just to create a marble effect. Spoon the mixture into cooled crust. Repeat with remaining curd and crème fraîche mixture. Using tip of a table knife or a teaspoon, swirl and pull mixture upwards in peaks. Refrigerate the tart for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Make the compote. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer water, jelly, lavender, and sugar, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, then pour syrup over blackberries and gently stir to combine. Let stand until the mixture is slightly warm room temperature, about 20 minutes. Serve with tart.

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