Can someone explain to me how it’s already JUNE?! What. The. Heck. It feels like Christmas was just yesterday, yet now it’s 9000 degrees and full “summer” mode is upon us. The disturbing thing is that based on how busy things are, summer will be over before we know it. This June alone, Nick & I have three weddings, my birthday, our first year anniversary and a trip to Brussels. Not to mention a temporary (amazing!) roommate the last three weeks of the month. WHEW! Time will be flying (and lots of champagne will be popping…) this month!
While it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen for me this month, one of my absolute favorite summer activities is to invite friends over for a casual cookout. Barefoot, backyard, beers. The ingredients for a perfect cookout. Though I guess I should revise the “backyard” part of that statement, seeing that we currently live in a rented duplex whose swampy backyard is full of snakes and other mysterious wildlife. Side yard/ front yard work too (just don’t have the same alliterative ring.)
My typical summer cookout menu consists of some sort of grilled meat, a couple cold sides, and of COURSE a dessert. Because let’s be real…a meal is not a meal without dessert. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of random dishes served at the same time. Dessert is the pretty bow on top of the package that ties everything together.
While I typically engage in, let’s say, the more “indulgent” desserts, I like to keep my summer desserts light, refreshing and easy. This berry lemon tart is one of my absolute favorite warm weather sweets. Cool, creamy and tangy, each bite is like a dip in the pool. Plus, this tart is super simple to throw together. The velvety lemon filling comes together in 5 quick minutes, since literally all you have to do is stir. If you’re looking for a short cut, you could definitely use a store-bought graham cracker pie crust. However, I am absolutely obsessed with this homemade butter cookie crust, and strongly encourage you to spend the 15 minutes preparing it. It is salty and buttery and vanilla-y and almond-y and amazing.
As someone who typically struggles in the artistic/creative department, I was extremely proud of my decorations on this berry lemon tart. It’s pretty much impossible to mess up, seeing that all you’re doing is arranging naturally beautiful berries on a beautiful yellow background. I would honestly be impressed if you made this tart look BAD. I had blueberries and raspberries on hand, but feel free to use whatever combination of berries you want! Some plump blackberries or bright strawberries would look beautiful and taste delicious.
You can make this berry lemon tart a day ahead so that when cookout time comes, all you have to do is pull it out of the fridge. Like my idol/soul sister Ina Garten would say, “how easy is that?”
- 2⅔ cups butter cookie crumbs (1 10-oz. package)
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Berries for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter a tart or pie pan.
- Crush butter cookies into course crumbs. (I put cookies in a plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin.)
- Mix crumbs together with melted butter, powdered sugar, almond and vanilla extract together in a medium bowl.
- Firmly press crumb mixture on bottom and up sides of your prepared pan.
- Bake crust for 18-20 minutes, or until light brown and firm to the touch.Let crust cool for one hour.
- While crust is cooling, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- Pour mixture into prepared crust. .
- Bake tart for 28-32 minutes, or until almost set.
- Cool completely, and then cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
- Decorate with berries right before serving