With summer well underway, it’s a good time to break out a zesty and refreshing recipe!
I had never tried hibiscus tea until I began working at the tea house, and my first taste was certainly a shock — I hadn’t anticipated such a mouth-puckeringly sour flavor from a flower. My train of thought went as follows:
1) I have been tricked by a prank beverage. This is much too sour.
2) Maybe I shouldn’t have steeped it so long. I have only myself to blame.
3) This would be awesome in a lemon curd.
Since then, I’ve come to really enjoy hibiscus tea both hot and iced (provided I don’t oversteep it by a matter of hours). It’s a bit like lemonade, and I especially like it with honey over ice and as a way to balance the sweetness of my morning fruit smoothies.
In Chinese medicine, hibiscus flowers are considered cooling, and are a good way to soothe an upset stomach when you don’t want the caffeine of puer tea.
For this recipe, I’ve countered the tartness of the filling by topping it with sweet, fresh raspberries. If raspberries aren’t your cup of tea, feel free to use any other fresh fruits. Kiwis, mangoes, strawberries, nectarines, pineapple, and blueberries are especially nice, and look very attractive when arranged into concentric circles.
Raspberry Hibiscus Lemon Tart
Graham Cracker Crust
- 3.5 oz all-purpose flour
- 1 oz whole wheat flour
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 2 oz brown sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- Combine both flours, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Beat together the butter, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. The mixture will be a bit sticky and slightly crumbly.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. It will keep in the refrigerator for five days, or in the freezer up to a month.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper, lightly dusted with flour. Gently line a standard pie tin or an 8” bottomless tart pan with the dough, pressing together any breaks and using excess dough to patch any tears. Trim the dough to size, and use a fork to prick the bottom all over. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Line the chilled crust with parchment paper and weight it down with baking beads, uncooked rice, or uncooked beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden-brown and mostly firm to the touch. Let cool.
Hibiscus Lemon Curd
- 15 dried hibiscus flowers
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 7 oz sugar
- Pinch sea salt
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- Steep dried hibiscus flowers in 2 cups of boiling water for 45 minutes. Strain 1 ½ cups of the resulting tea into a measuring cup. Drink any remaining tea with a spot of honey – refreshing!
- In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the 1 ½ cups hibiscus tea and the lemon juice.
- Whisk over a pot of simmering water until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and a finger dragged across the spoon will hold the trail for a few seconds before it fills up. This will take about 5 to 8 minutes, and you must whisk constantly to prevent overcooking the eggs.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and butter cubes, stirring until the butter has melted. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a new bowl.
To assemble the tart:
- Enough raspberries to cover the top of the tart (I used about 3 cartons)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- If using a bottomless tart pan, push the bottom through to ensure that the tart shell does not stick.
- Pour the lemon curd into the tart shell, taking care not to overflow the brim.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is set and the middle still has a bit of a jiggle.
- Allow to cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Cover the top with fresh raspberries, thoroughly rinsed and gently blotted dry with a paper towel, just prior to serving.