Luscious Lemon Curd, Butter, and Vietnamese Sandwiches

Hosted by
Evan will be hosting a week-long eating tour of Puglia, Italy June 28 to July 5. For more information and for a brochure, send an email request to or call Angeli Caffe at 323-936-9086.

On Sunday, June 1 at 6pm, the Los Angeles Mycological Society and Tournesol Bistro will host a Spring Mushroom Dinner, featuring an authentic Southern French menu using morels and other seasonal fungi, plus a slide presentation by field mycologist Nathan Wilson. The dinner will be held at Tournesol Bistro, 13251 Ventura Blvd, Studio City. For reservations or information, call Margaret at 310-558-1970 or email Cost is $70 per person which includes dinner, one glass of wine, tax and gratuity.

Jonathan Gold is a food writer/reviewer for Gourmet magazine and the LA Weekly. He spoke about Vietnamese noodles at Brodard Restaurant 2, 647 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra. 626-281-1840.

Russ Parsons is the author of How to Read a French Fry.

Lemon Curd Tart
6 servings

This recipe makes just enough to spread a thin layer across the bottom of the pastry.

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • Short Pastry Crust, baked and cooled (next recipe)
Beat the eggs, yolks, sugar and salt in a small saucepan until smooth and light-colored. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring, for about 5 minutes until the curd is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; there should be a definite track when you drag your finger across the spoon.

Pour the curd through a fine strainer into a chilled bowl. (You will have about 1 1/4 cups curd.) Cover tightly with plastic wrap, pressing it flat against the surface of the curd to prevent the formation of a skin, and refrigerate until chilled.

Spoon the lemon curd into the crust and spread it in a thin, smooth layer. Cut into wedges and serve.

Short Crust Pastry
Enough for one 9-inch tart

Thoroughly mixing the butter and the flour is the hallmark of short-crust pastry. This is the dough to use with open-faced tarts.

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 2-3 Tablespoons ice water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor or large bowl and cut them together until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly or processing until the mixture just begins to come together. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it lightly and briefly to make a smooth mass. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

On a well-floured work surface, roll out the dough into a circle roughly 11 inches in diameter. Roll the dough back onto the rolling pin and transfer it to a buttered 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Unroll the dough and gently press it into the pan. Trim the excess dough to 1 inch from the pan edges and fold the extra dough over itself between the pan and the dough rim to make a sturdier, taller edge. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To pre-bake the tart crust: Bake the crust until it is firm and the rim begins to brown, about 10 minutes.

Dorie Greenspan is the author of Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City's Best Pastry Shops.

Lemon Butter Cookies (Sables au Citron)
from Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan; fecipe from Patisserie Lerch in Paris

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 - 1/2 lemons (to taste)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • Approximately 1/2 cup sugar for coating
1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioner's sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, vanilla, and zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point. If the flour isn't fully incorporated, that's OK, just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather into a ball, and divided in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.

2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick. Get the thickness right and the length you end up with will be fine. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until smooth and liquid. Spread the sugar out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from refrigerator, unwrap them and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in sugar, pressing the sugar gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch thick. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch space between them.

5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Packed airtight the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. Makes about 50 cookies

David Goldman is the general manager of The Party Staff, 323-933-3900.