“Moses sent them-a thousand from each tribe for the army-them and Phinehas son of Elazar the Kohen to the army, and the sacred vessels and the tumpets for sounding under his authority.” (Num. 31:6)

One of the sacred vessels they brought was the Tzitz, a gold plate with “holy to H-shem” engraved on it that the Kohen Gadol wore on his forehead. Being that it is summer I figured I’d freshen things up with a lemon tart. I saw a really interesting recipe on smittenkitchen.com. It called for a lemon tart that you use one entire (peel and all) lemon. I am a huge lemon bar fan and have always wanted to try making a tart. The first order of business was to purchase a tart pan which I was happy to find one for half off at Williams and Sonoma. For the ties on the Tzitz I used some puff pastry I had left over from a Chicken Pot Pie I made. I will tell you I was not over the moon for my outcome with this tart. I think I may have over worked the dough because it was a little hard and I made the crust too think, grrrr. And the filling was not as lemony or tart as I preferred. Maybe the lemon I had was too small. Smitten Kitchen tart looks amazing so I’ll ll have to try it again. Have a great week! Below is the recipe:

Kohen Tzitz (Whole Lemon Tart)

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 partially baked Great Unshrinkable Tart Shell, or your favorite sweet tart shell

1 average-sized lemon (about 4 1/2 ounces; 130 grams), rinsed and dried*
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted margarine, cut into chunks
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons (14 grams) cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon table salt

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven 350°F (165´C). Place the tart shell on a baking sheet, which you can line with foil or parchment paper to make any spills a breeze to clean up.

Slice the lemon into thin wheels, remove any seeds, and toss the rounds — lemon flesh and peel — sugar and chunks of butter into the container of a food processor. Process, scraping down the sides of the container as needed, until the lemon is thoroughly pureed. Add the eggs, cornstarch and salt and pulse until the batter is smooth.

Pour into prepared tart shell. It will fill it completely but if due to slight variances in tart pans, egg sizes, lemon sizes or crust thickness, you have too much, do not pour it past the top of of your crust or it will become difficult to unmold later.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the filling is set. You can test this by bumping the pan a little; it should only jiggle slightly. 

Let cool on rack, unmold tart pan and serve. 

* Meyer lemons are the first choice here. They’re milder with thinner skin. But if you know that you do not mind a stronger lemon and rind kick, feel free to use a regular lemon, which will have a stronger flavor and a higher proportion of skin to flesh. If your lemon is not 4 1/2 ounces (Meyers often weigh in closer to 4 ounces) go ahead and cut a wedge out of a second one to keep the lemon flavor in balance with the sweetness of the tart.