The Buddha’s hand slices in this tart create a striking presentation on top. A mandoline makes quick work of the slicing, but a sharp chef’s knife and a steady hand will also work. Glazing the top of the tart with the jam isn’t necessary if serving right away, but it does help give the tart a beautiful finish and keeps the top from drying out.
You will have leftover slices of fruit, but you can use them in many other ways: Toss a handful of thin slices into an arugula salad with Parmesan shavings, grind some zest with salt or sugar in a food processor to make flavored seasonings, add slices to vodka and sugar to make your own liqueur or add a handful of chopped slices to your favorite lemon bar recipe for an extra pop of citrusy brightness.
Macerate the fruit for the filling: Rinse the Buddha’s hand under warm water, making sure to flush out its crevices where the “fingers” join. Shake the fruit dry, then cut off any dried or withered tips of the fingers. Using a mandoline set over a cutting board, slice each finger until you reach the larger “base” of the fruit. Measure out 170 grams/6 ounces and place all the small cross-section rounds in a bowl. If you need more fruit to reach the weight (or want a few larger slices for the top of the tart), continue slicing the base until you have enough and add them to the bowl. Use the rest of the fruit for another use (see note above).
Pour enough boiling water over the slices to cover them, then let stand for 10 minutes. Drain the slices, return to the bowl and add the sugar, vanilla bean paste (or extract), lemon juice and salt. Toss to combine, ensuring each slice is coated in sugar. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days.
Meanwhile, make the pastry dough: In the bowl of a food processor or in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse or whisk to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it forms pea-size crumbles in the flour, about 10 pulses; or rub the butter into the flour with your fingers. Drizzle in the ice-cold water and pulse just until the crumbles are moistened, about 6 pulses; or use a fork to toss the flour and butter with the water in the bowl until the dough starts to come together. Scrape the dough crumbles onto a work surface and knead briefly to combine. Shape the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or, preferably, for 24 hours. The pastry disk will hold in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Remove the dough disk from the refrigerator and transfer to a floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, flatten the dough into a round that is 1/8-inch thick, about 14 inches in diameter. Transfer the round to a 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and allow it to gently sink into the pan, pressing it lightly against the corner and up the sides. Place your rolling pin over the pan and roll it over the edges to trim the excess pastry. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Line a baking sheet with foil (not parchment paper) and place in a cold oven, then heat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt and butter and whisk until smooth. Add the flour, 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until smooth between each addition, until it is fully incorporated (this helps avoid lumps in the flour). Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Scrape the egg mixture over the sliced Buddha’s hand and stir with a small silicone spatula or spoon until everything is evenly combined, making sure to separate any slices of fruit that may be stuck together.
Scrape the filling over the chilled pastry in the tart pan. All the sliced fruit will pile in the center of the tart, so use your fingers to separate them so they are suspended evenly throughout the custard. Make sure to arrange any particularly attractive slices on top so they show in the finished tart.
Place the tart on the hot baking sheet in the oven and bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the filling is puffed and lightly browned at its edges, and the pastry is cooked through and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and let the tart cool completely in the pan.
Place the jam or marmalade and water for the glaze in a small bowl and stir until loosened. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, then use a pastry brush to lightly brush the top of the tart with the jam glaze. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
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