May 27, 2018

Frozen Lemonade Tart

Memorial Day is generally regarded as the start of summer, at least for those of you who don't live where it's been 90 degrees for the last month (yes, I'm back in Atlanta!). My family has a barbecue lined up for tomorrow, which means that we will have plenty of burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, corn, and other tasty treats. For reference, "a barbecue" refers to grilling burgers, hot dogs, etc. while "barbecue" encompasses all those long-smoked meats like pulled pork and brisket. I can rant on for a while, but I'll spare you the details and get right to dessert. This year, I'm thinking a frozen lemonade tart, much in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo's frozen margarita pie, but more kid-friendly and suited for any summer festivities you may have planned.

Since it's already Memorial Day weekend and you may be looking at this for a last-minute dessert, you can speed up the process by turning it into a pie and using a store-bought graham cracker crust. However, I'm a crust girl and prefer the look and crust-to-filling ratio of a tart, so I tend to take 15 minutes to make my own graham crust in a tart shell. It's just graham cracker crumbs (again, save time by buying a box of crumbs instead of grinding your own), butter, and sugar, and it only needs to bake for a few minutes until golden and toasty.

The filling is essentially a frozen mousse: it has a delicate, airy structure that is set by freezing for a few hours. See how the tart looks kinda droopy in some of my pictures? That's because I'm very impatient and just had to try it before letting it freeze fully. Make sure your cream is whipped to stiff peaks and is gently folded in to avoid destroying the foam when you combine it with the sweetened condensed milk, lemon, and sugar, and let it freeze for as long as you can stand it. I use both lemon zest and lemon juice for an acidic punch of flavor and unbeatable freshness.

I like to garnish this tart simply with some fresh whipped cream and decorate it with some fresh fruit. Here, I just used some extra slices of lemon I had on hand, but you can decorate it with berries for a red, white, and blue patriotic feel for the holiday weekend or just with some of your favorite fruits. I'd recommend garnishing just before you serve because freezing berries in particular tends to ruin them and leak juices everywhere. Like I said, though, this tart is so tempting you might just eat it too fast for that to matter.

1 1/2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/3 + 1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Stick Butter, Melted
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Lemons, Zested & Juiced (2/3 cup juice, 2-3T zest)
3 T Powdered Sugar

Heat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-11" tart pan.

Combine the graham crumbs, 1/3 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir in the butter and quickly press into the prepared pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until golden. Alternatively, use a pre-made graham cracker pie crust.

Whip 1 cup cream until it holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt together. Gently fold into the whipped cream. Spread into the cooled pie crust and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

Whip the remaining 1 cup cream until it holds soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar and whip until it holds stiff peaks. Use to garnish the tart, along with lemon slices and graham crackers if desired.

Serves 8

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