Remember when you were a kid and after you got a shot the doctor would give you a lollipop for being brave? The lollipops were always red, purple, or yellow, and were cherry, grape, or lemon flavored. I always picked the red lollipop, because red was my favorite color, and cherry tasted the best. Yellow-lemon? The worst! I mean, who wants to eat candy that makes your mouth pucker and your tongue recoil? Yuck.
I was pretty intensely anti-lemon until I started dating Dan, the lemon fiend. He actually enjoyed yellow Starbursts and lemon drop candies; he loved lemon meringue pie; and he could lay waste to a plate of lemon bars. Watching him eat, I was both repulsed and fascinated. After a while I became curious enough to try some of the lemony foods I had previously avoided, and I was shocked to discover that I actually liked them. A lot.
These days lemon curd is my dessert kryptonite. The cafeteria at work sells these amazing, gooey lemon tarts, and I can’t let myself look at them. If I look, an intense internal battle immediately ensues:
Good Tina: “You cannot eat one of those. There is so much fat in there!”
Bad Tina: ”Who cares, just go for a run tonight.”
GT: ”If you eat one today, you’re going to want one tomorrow. It’s a slippery slope.”
BT: ”Mo’ tarts, mo’ happiness.”
GT: ”You are on a budget.”
BT: ”You’re getting paid on Friday. Budgets are for wimps.”
More times than not, I’ll cave and buy one, telling myself that it’ll be fine if I just eat half and save the rest for the next day. But, once I get back to my desk and start eating, I don’t stop until the whole thing is gone, and I’m left with nothing but a sticky sweet taste in my mouth, a slight stomach-ache and intense eater’s guilt. This is why I have to pretend those things don’t exist.
Baking with lemon curd would normally be a no-no as well, but it’s my birthday this weekend, and I’m treating myself. Plus, these are miniature tarts with just a spoonful or two of lemon curd each, so…how bad could they be?
Recipe for the sugar cookie tart crust can be found here, courtesy of the Baking Bites Blog.
** Since I was making mini tarts in a muffin pan, I only baked the crusts for 10 minutes.
Recipe for the lemon curd filling can be found here, courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa.