16-18: Lemon Basil Tart

Here’s one I’ve wanted to make for a LONG time, but never got to. I had even intended to do a version of 16-18: Lemon Basil Tart when I worked at the restaurant and was doing tarts every week moonlighting as the pastry chef, but the day I intended to make it, we were short on lemons and basil. Now I finally have a chance, and I even have the big tart pan in which to properly make it.

16-18 Lemon Basil Tart

I didn’t even see until now that they mention that basil is related to mint–it makes sense. In this tart, the basil functions a lot like mint, and gives the tart a “fresh” flavor that just lemon wouldn’t provide. It took me a while to get to it, but it was worth it. ??

16-18 Lemon Basil Tart1

Damn, the more I read over this the more I wish I would have attempted it when I was making tarts for the restaurant. I really think I would have nailed it and it would have been a fun dessert to sell. Oh well, I still got to make it and share it with people who liked it, so that’s really all you can ask for.


Ingredients. LF milk because that’s what we have, everything else is pretty much what it calls for.


Whipping up the crust dough in the stand mixer.


Pressing the dough into my 11″ tart pan with my tart tamper (both courtesy of Santa last Christmas).


After some serious tamping. Into the oven it goes.


Creaming the sugar and eggs while the crust bakes.


A bit poofy after baking (it didn’t instruct me to pierce it or weigh it down though), but otherwise it looks good.


Combining the rest of the filling ingredients with the butter & eggs.


Don’t want to overflow–that’ll look ugly. I put a sheet pan underneath just in case there’s unexpected spillage. Into the oven again, setting the timer for 20 minutes just to make sure there’s no overcooking.


Steeping the basil in milk on the stove for the sauce. Reduced fat milk is going to end up giving me a thinner-than-intended sauce, but I’ll live with it. I crunched/bruised up the basil leaves a bit before putting them in the milk to increase the basil transfusion.


After 20 minutes. It’s not overdone, but it’s definitely a lot darker than theirs was on the cover pictures. I have to admit, at this point I was disappointed with how dark it ended up. I left it to cool while I finished the sauce.


Strained out the basil leaves with a colander/bowl combination. The egg mixture was in the bowl already, and I just set the colander in, poured the mixture in, and lifted the colander out.


Whisked the mixture in the original pot–why dirty more dishes?


Well, I was disappointed with the dark top, but the inside underneath was bright and beautiful. We ended up eating half of it before wrapping up the other half and bringing it to Sunday dinner with my folks. They enjoyed it a lot as well.


One of the pieces we ate at home. Like I said, the sauce was thinner than I would have liked (thanks to reduced fat milk), but it definitely still conveyed a nice fresh basil flavor. The whole thing was absolutely delicious, and I would make it again in a heartbeat.

Grade: A+