Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Lemon Tart" by Josi Kilpack and links to other finalists

I just realized that in previous posts I already blogged on the rest of the Whitney romance finalists All the Stars in Heaven by Michele Paige Holmes, Illuminations of the Heart by Joyce DiPastena, and Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace, and Previously Engaged by Elodia Strain (click any of the links to see those posts). So I'll be moving on to the Murder/Suspense category today.

And, lookee there, I've hit several of those as well. This is where I posted on Traci Hunter Abramson's book Lockdown, And here's is Stephanie Black's Methods of Madness. I did post on Josi Kilpack's second culinary mystery, English Trifle, but never mentioned the one that finaled: Lemon Tart, which was the first in her series.

First, the blurb from Deseretbook.com, and bonus recipe:

A recipe for murder!

  • 5 families living on Peregrine Circle
  • 1 flowered curtain tieback
  • 1 missing child
  • 1 body in the field
Mix with a long list of suspects and top with two very different detectives. Increase heat until only the truth remains.

Award-winning author Josi S. Kilpack introduces a new series of culinary "cozies" that is sure to tantalize mystery lovers. In this debut volume, cooking aficionado-turned-amateur detective, Sadie Hoffmiller, tries to solve the murder of Anne Lemmon, her beautiful young neighbor - a single mother who was mysteriously killed while a lemon tart was baking in her oven. At the heart of Sadie's search is Anne's missing two-year-old son, Trevor. Whoever took the child must be the murderer, but Sadie is certain that the police are looking at all the wrong suspects - including her!

Armed with a handful of her very best culinary masterpieces, Sadie is determined to bake her way to proving her innocence, rescuing Trevor, and finding out exactly who had a motive for murder.

Mom’s Lemon Tart
1 cup all- purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter (cut into smaller pieces)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor or mixer, combine ingredients for crust. Pulse together until a dough starts to form in clumps. Press into tart pan, making sure to cover bottom and sides evenly. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork and place in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Place tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake until crust is a golden-brown color, approximately 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

5 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons—DO NOT use concentrated lemon juice)
2 large eggs
Zest from one lemon (get zest from lemon before juicing)

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Mix cream cheese with electric beaters until smooth. Add sugar. Mix until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each egg. Stop and scrape bowl halfway through. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix until smooth.

Pour filling into tart crust and bake on cookie sheet for 20 to 30 minutes or until filling is set. Let tart cool on wire cooling rack. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Use whipped cream as an optional topping. It can be piped on instars or served on top with each piece. For extra flavor in the whipped cream, add a teaspoon of lemon zest.

One interesting thing to note, Josi has a collection of testers across the country who help her try out and refine her recipes in her books, so you don't need to worry about them tasting yummy.

You can learn more about this talented and multi-faceted author on her website or blog. Her latest book in the Sadie Hoffmiller series, Devil's Food Cake has just been released and she's having a launch party this week--but you'll have to check out her blog for details.

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