Spring has sprung. Are you clinging to it as much as we are?
While I love seeing my friends the hyacinths and daffodils and tulips reemerge from their slumber, I find that I am clinging to more than just blooming flowers this season.
I am clinging to hope.
For the first time in what feels like forever – perhaps a year, perhaps more – we find ourselves on the threshold of long-awaited promises fulfilled. Of Easter Alleluias coming to pass.
It is almost time to plant our massive vegetable garden and watch it grow. Alleluia!
Arleigh is almost one and on the brink of so much walking and talking and weaning. Alleluia!
Lilia is almost spelling out her first words – a huge milestone in her educational journey. Alleluia!
My broken toe is almost healed after months of reinjury and sandal wearing in the snow. Alleluia!
Even better: Jason’s scheduled nerve ablation procedure has almost arrived and is slated to bring an abundant amount of relief to our lives. Alleluia!
So many of our friends and family are almost fully vaccinated so we can finally visit loved ones, hug one another, and gather around a table again. Alleluia!
International travel is almost back, which means I can hopefully return more concretely to work, and we can go on a real vacation as a family. Alleluia!
Summer break is almost here, bringing with it additional childcare and much-needed parental reprieve. Alleluia!
Indeed, it feels like the sheer number of “almosts” in our lives warrant all of the Easter Alleluias we can throw at them.
I have a suspicion it’s because we’ve had so little to sing Alleluia about this past year. Like so many others, we have simply been lying in wait – waiting for it to get better, to get easier, to get less stressful. Waiting to thrive at a time when all of our sources of stability and joy were taken away from us.
We go the entire 40 days of Lent without singing Alleluia in church. I dare say it’s been well more than a year of Lent in our household. But that changes now.
Our Alleluias are armed. Our hope is at hand.
We can’t help but believe that the unceasing singing and dancing and hugging and bread breaking and sunshine soaking are finally, finally within reach. We can hardly wait!
Another thing that deserves an Alleluia? Our favorite lemon tart. It continuously serves as our signal of spring as well as our indulgent Easter treat. I personally love making it because everything can be prepared separately and refrigerated or frozen in advance. It especially pairs well with meringue and any berries of your choosing.
- 1 c. (8 oz) butter, softened
- 1/2 c. (4 oz) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest (optional)
- 1 egg
- 2-3/4 c. (12 oz) flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Zest and juice of 4 small lemons
- 1 c. (8 oz) unsalted butter, chopped
- 1.5 c. (12 oz) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- Cream butter and sugar. Scrape sides of bowl as necessary.
- Mix in vanilla extract, lemon zest, and egg until incorporated.
- Sift and add flour. Mix until everything comes together.
- Finish working dough on the counter until it has the consistency of cookie dough.
- Divide into two equal portions and shape into ½ inch thick rounds. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour before use. It can be refrigerated up to one week or frozen for up to one month. Just defrost in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out.
- In a stainless steel pot over medium heat, bring lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter to a boil.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together.
- Temper eggs with boiling lemon juice mixture.
- Return entire mixture to pot and bring to a boil, whisking continuously.
- Continue cooking and whisking for five minutes after lemon curd has come to a boil. It should thicken.
- Pass lemon curd through a sieve into a clean bowl. Place the bowl in an ice bath to cool the curd.
- Store cooled lemon curd in a plastic bag until ready to use. It can be placed in the refrigerator for two weeks or in the freezer for a year.
Baking & Assembly
- Roll chilled sucrée dough on a floured surface with a rolling pin. It should be between 1/8 and 1/4 inches thick.
- Grease a tart or pie pan and line it with the rolled dough, lightly pushing the dough into the corners of the pan. Patch holes with extra dough as necessary.
- Chill dough for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.
- Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Cover the tart dough with a piece of parchment paper filled with pie weights. Dry rice or beans can be used as a substitute for pie weights.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and paper then return to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes until tart is a light golden brown color.
- Allow to cool fully before filling with lemon curd. Decorate with your favorite meringue or berries.