The combination of thyme with tart lemon or fruity blueberry is not a flavor combination you’ll come across every day, especially when you are out buying desserts from your local bakery or grocery store, but believe me when I tell you it’s one you don’t want to miss.
The very subtle earthy undertone of the fresh thyme as it infuses the lemon curd is so delicately done that if you’re not watching for it, you may not even notice. But as the fullness of the lemon, thyme, and blueberry meld together in your mouth, it’s a taste and experience you won’t soon forget.
There are several layers to this recipe, from preparing and chilling the pastry dough, baking it, preparing your fillings, baking the tart, and then letting the finished dessert cool and chill. Make sure to allow yourself enough time and, more importantly, take your time and embrace the experience of creating delicious and beautiful food!
1 recipe Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Shell, prepared and blind-baked (See recipe here)
Blueberry Jam (makes about 1 ¼ cups):
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon low-sugar fruit pectin
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
⅛ teaspoon (a pinch) kosher salt
1 ¾ cup fresh blueberries
Lemon Curd Filling (makes about 2 ½ cups):
2 large eggs
7 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon zest (about 4 lemons)
⅔ cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
A pinch of salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
Glazed Blueberries (makes about ½ cup):
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
6–8 oz. fresh blueberries
Garnish with fresh thyme and candied lemon peel, if desired
1. Prepare and blind-bake pastry shell (see separate recipe)
2. Prepare Blueberry Jam: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, water, pectin, gelatin, lemon juice, and salt. Add blueberries, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking constantly, until smooth, about 5 minutes.
3. Transfer blueberry mixture to a medium bowl, and place it in a larger bowl filled with ice. Let cool in the ice bath, whisking occasionally, until the jam has thickened and reached room temperature.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
5. Make Lemon Curd Filling: Whisk eggs and yolks together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in granulated sugar until combined, then whisk in lemon zest and juice, thyme, and salt. Add butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and registers 170 degrees, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the heavy cream. (*See note regarding whether or not to strain the filling.)
6. Spoon room temperature Blueberry Jam into prepared pastry shell.
7. Pour warm lemon filling over the Blueberry Jam and carefully smooth the top. Bake the tart on a baking sheet until the filling is shiny and opaque, and the center jiggles slightly when shaken, 10 to 15 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through baking time.
8. Let the tart cool completely on baking sheet on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Remove the outer ring of the tart pan, slide a think metal spatula between tart and tart pan bottom, and carefully slide tart onto serving platter or cutting board.
9. Prepare Glazed Blueberries, if using: Heat granulated sugar, water, and vanilla bean paste over medium heat in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a medium bowl, and fold in the fresh blueberries. Let cool to room temperature, and drain. Yields about ½ cup.
9. Garnish with Glazed Blueberries, fresh thyme, and candied lemon peel, if desired.
An optional alternative to Glazed Blueberries: Toss 6-8 oz. fresh blueberries with 2 tablespoons of apple jelly.
Straining the Lemon Curd Filling: This recipe calls for straining the lemon curd filling, which will remove the pieces of lemon zest and thyme from the flavor-infused filling. I’m of two minds on this. Traditionally, lemon curd is always strained so it is completely smooth and creamy, with a delicious texture and beautifully pure lemon yellow color. I admit I love it this way, but… I also enjoy the visual texture that leaving the bits of lemon zest and thyme in the filling adds. So, I will leave it up to your individual preference. Strain the filling, or leave it as is; either way, the end result will be equally delicious!
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: French Pastry
Keywords: lemon, blueberry, thyme, tart