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+ servings

Grapefruit Cream Tart

yield: 1 8-inch tart
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Special Equipment

  • a medium ovenproof glass bowl (see baker's notes for recommendations)
  • an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom
  • a quick-read digital candy thermometer
  • a regular blender or an immersion blender


For the Brown Butter Tart Crust

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) all-purpose flour

For the Grapefruit Cream

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 fluid ounces) freshly squeezed and strained grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks // 8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon portions
  • a few drops of red food coloring (see baker's notes)
  • sliced kumquats, for garnish


For the Brown Butter Tart Crust

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400 (F).
  • In a medium ovenproof glass bowl, combine 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and a pinch of kosher salt. And now, this is going to sound real weird so you're gonna have to trust me, but transfer the bowl of ingredients to the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is boiling and the butter has started browning.
  • After 15 minutes, remove from the oven (but keep it on!) and immediately add 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour all at once, using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir the flour into the rest of the mixture. As you do this, the mixture is going to bubble and smoke, so watch out! Continue mixing until you have a dough that pulls off the side of the bowl and looks a little bit like a lump of mashed potatoes.
  • Once the dough is cool enough to touch, transfer the ball of dough into an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Use your fingers and the back of your hands to flatten out the dough onto the bottom of the pan, as well as into its corners and sides. It's going to feel greasy and kinda unpleasant, but go with it. Once the tart dough has covered the pan completely, use a fork to poke several holes into the crust.
  • Transfer to the oven and bake until the crust is light brown and starts to appear flaky, around 15 minutes. Remove carefully from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

For the Grapefruit Cream Filling and Kumquat Topping

  • Pour 2 inches of water into a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place over medium heat, and bring the water to a simmer.
  • Combine 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 3 large eggs, 1 large egg yolk, and a pinch of kosher salt in a glass bowl. Place the glass bowl over the saucepan containing the simmering water to create a double boiler, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk gently until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 170 (F) on a quick-read digital thermometer.
  • When the mixture reaches 170 (F), remove the bowl from the sauce pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool to 140 (F), whisking gently from time to time in order to release the heat.
  • Once the mixture reaches 140 (F), transfer to the bowl of a blender. With the blender on medium speed, start to add a few cubes of the butter into the mixture. Blend well after each addition of the butter pieces, making sure the cubes are fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next few pieces — the sound of the mixture will change, going from a bumpy sound to a smooth sound as the butter gets incorporated.
  • Once the butter has been fully incorporated, add a drop or two of red food coloring and blend just until the mixture is a homogenous pale orange color. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture out onto the prepared tart shell, smoothing the mixture across the shell evenly. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving. During this time, the curd will solidify slightly and take on a texture similar to room temperature butter. Garnish with sliced kumquats before serving chilled.