Summer’s sultry sunbeams have arrived! And with them, the delightful delirium you fall into while trying to keep yourself cool by standing in front of an open fridge with a washcloth plastered to your forehead. In this case, it was a perfectly pleasant way to fight off the fever and keep a cloyingly close eye on my Lemon Basil tarts chilling to completion.
What!? I have strayed away from my beloved Frozen Key Lime pie to abate the humid hot pocket my apartment has become?
Yes, it must have been the heat that bamboozled me into doing some edible experimentation. I’d say it was a scientific sensation!
Something about how June makes everything blossom with vibrance and the beginning of another sweltering season, made me want to make something bright and crisp. Lemon and Basil are two ingredients that, when married together, become a most refreshing flavor fusion, very appropriate.
Something else about June, it makes me want to put Jim Beam in my coffee, sit on the fire escape and take it real easy-like. You win, June!
The recipe I used was, well, let’s just call it minimalistic, so it was a fly by the seat of your pants kind of thing. I added some helpful tips and confidence boosters (drink whiskey while baking) to get you through this tasty task.
First, make the graham cracker crust, which you can find in the post for Frozen Key Lime Pie below. Simple, bake in tart shell for 10 minutes and set aside for later assembly.
Lemon Basil Custard
1/2 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 Cup heavy cream
2 Egg Yolks
3/4 Cup fresh lemon juice, strained
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup whole fresh basil leaves, cleaned
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a double boiler (I use a regular medium sized pot of simmering water and fit a large bowl on top to create the same effect.) Combine all ingredients into the large bowl, sounds weird but it is just fine. Take a shot of whiskey and whisk mixture continuously until mixture is heated through to prevent eggs from curdling. Continue to cook over double boiler, whisking every few minutes. Cook until mixture reaches a custard like consistency (coats the back of a spoon), for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer, this will catch the basil leaves, into a clean bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
Phew! You did it! Take another shot you master chef!
Place cooled tart shell on a baking sheet and fill with custard. Bake until custard sets, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before handling. Place them into Fridge and let those lemon babies cool down, eat, and enjoy!
The recipe I used was adapted from: