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Baking YaYa Bait: Double Citrus Tart

April 11, 2012

Since my family has ditched me to live west of the Mississippi, I’m often left to my own devices for holidays. Fortunately I have some great friends here in Boston who consistently welcome me into their families’ homes. This Easter I had the pleasure of joining my friend Casey and her aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandmother at their home in Boxford, MA.

Casey has told me a lot about her grandmother, who she calls Yaya. YaYa is Albanian and quite the character. An example: she showed up to Easter dinner with a sick tan (she had just gotten back from Florida) and a Styrofoam container full of friend chicken wings she had brought from church leftovers.

On Saturday before Easter, Casey and I spent most of the afternoon drinking wine (and more wine, and more wine) while I baked this tart to bring to Easter dinner. I considered making a Easter bunny shaped cake like my mom did for my 1st birthday. It must have been delicious–look at the determination in my eyes (if you can find them behind my chubby cheeks)…

Casey felt confident that YaYa would love the dessert since she’s a big fan of gingersnaps. And fortunately, Casey was right.

The tart was just tart enough with a strong lemon flavor. The orange flavor doesn’t really show up much, but I imagine it’s important in keeping the lemon from being too overwhelming. I didn’t have a tart pan, so I used a 9-inch springform pan and it worked out perfectly. Some reviews of the recipes recommended doubling the crust, but personally I thought the proportions were perfect. I suppose if you want the crust to come up higher on the sides, you could definitely 1.5x or double the crust recipe.

Overall, the tart was a hit. A big thank you to Casey’s Teta (aunt) for cooking a delicious Easter dinner and to her whole family for allowing me to join their Easter festivities!


recipe courtesy of Southern Living


  • 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • Garnishes: whipped cream, fresh mint leaves, lemon and orange slices


Stir together first four ingredients. Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch tart pan (or springform pan!) with removable bottom; set aside. Whisk together sweetened condensed milk, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, and egg yolks until blended. Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold into condensed milk mixture. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 325° for 20 to 25 minutes or just until filling is set — watch carefully as I found that mine was done in 20 minutes. It should have a jiggle similar to a cheesecake. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Cover and chill at least flour hours, but overnight is preferable. Remove tart from pan, and place on a serving dish. Garnish with whipped cream, citrus slices, and mint.


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