Grapefruit Tart with Rosemary Shortbread Crust

The girls all love to bake. As soon as we settled on a day for our next brunch they got busy pouring over recipes. After an hour of searching they had found about a hundred different grapefruit recipes. The one we settled on was one from gourmandistan who in turn had adapted the crust from Alice Medrich’s Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts with a curd inspired by lemon curd in Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruit and from Martha Stewart Living. We in turn again modified the recipe. This dessert is beyond fabulous. After all, how could it not be after the five adaptations above.The grapefruit curd is wonderfully light without being bland.


The rosemary in the shortbread adds depth to the crust and gives it just the right zing. It smelled so good in the oven I think I actually felt my mouth water. I know, crass, but true.


Together, the combination is outstanding.


  •      10 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  •    1/2  tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  •    1/2  tablespoon dried rosemary
  •    1/2  cup sugar
  •    1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract
  •           pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4  cup all purpose flour
  •    1/4  teaspoon baking powder


Preheat oven to 350o F.

Combine butter, rosemary, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate small bowl mix the flour and baking powder. Combine the two bowls and stir with a wooden spoon until completely blended but do not over mix or crust can become tough. Let rest for a few minutes to firm.

Spread the dough into a 13″ x 4″ tart pan with a removable bottom. As we were making to serve for brunch we double the recipe which was the perfect amount for 3 of the 13″ x 3″ tart pans we had. If you choose to use the smaller pans as we did we did not press the crust up the sides of the pan for a slightly healthier option of less crust to filling ration.

Bake in the bottom third of the preheated oven until the crust is done. If it puffs up prick with a fork. We did not need to do this.

Cool on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the pan if you made your crust with raised sides. If you made the crust without sides as we did, leave it in the pan until after filled and chilled.


Grapefruit curd:

  • 1 1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, about 1.5 large grapefruits
  •    1/2 cup sugar
  •       1 stick unsalted butter (8 Tablespoons)
  •          pinch of salt
  •       3 eggs
  •      (3 egg yolks in addition to above which we did not use)


In a heavy saucepan boil grapefruit juice for about 5 minutes until reduced to half the original amount. You will need 2/3 cup of this reduced juice. Let cool for a few minutes then add sugar, butter, and salt. Place over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted.

Whisk the eggs (and yolks, if desired) in a separate bowl. Slowly add the hot grapefruit mixture to the eggs while whisking all the time to prevent curdling. Then return the entire mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low head while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, approximately 5 minutes.


Strain the curd through a fine meshed sieve.


Pour the curd onto the prepared crust while still in the mold, or into the crust if you made raised sides.


After filling the pan let cool, then refrigerate.


For a beautiful presentation you may top the tart with Grapefruit supremes as picture in the center with a sprig of rosemary. Although the presentation is lovely this way, the tart actually tastes better without the grapefruit topping. (I never thought that I would say that).

At the table for brunch.


Equipment to get started is below . If you are interested in a particular item, there is an embedded link in each picture below to make it convenient for you to click on the item and get in time for your next event…

Inspirations for the recipe…

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Cookware…All Clad is hands down the best. The pots are a great weight and keep food from scorching. The handles stay cool. They are pricy but worth the investment. I used the 2 quart but they are running a promotion from the manufacturer and the 3 qt actually costs $30.00 less so I listed both below.

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If you choose to get the 3 qt, you should also consider getting the double boiler and steamer inserts. As those of you who follow regularly know, uses for them come up frequently and they stack for storage which is great.

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The specifics…

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Grapefruit image from Rosemary image from


2 comments on “Grapefruit Tart with Rosemary Shortbread Crust

  1. Janine

    Thank you for this recipe! My niece, who is amazing in the kitchen, has been following your blog and decided to experiment with this recipe. I was lucky enough to be visiting, and felt I was in a bakery when I walked into the house. And the taste was out of this world. Not cloyingly sweet, just the right amount of every ingredient and the rosemary and shortbread crust made everything pop. Yum!

    1. Phoebe

      I’m so glad you came over for brunch! I was excited to prepare this tart and enjoy it with you. And it only tastes better and better as each day passes.