Making things rosier with rosemary grapefruit tart

Rosemary grapefruit tart

While Gourmandistan has documented its serious love of local fruit, we’re not hardcore enough to remain fruitless through an entire winter. While we (especially Steve) can be satisfied with store-bought pears and apples, the winter fruit we really enjoy comes from the citrus side of the family. While we won’t go so far as to say a day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine, in these drab winter months we’re looking for as many sun substitutes as we can find—and this rosemary grapefruit tart seems to be one.

We’ve never tried making curd with grapefruit before (well, OK, once before, and it was a disaster), and really enjoyed the sweet tart flavor which reminded us of key lime pie. The rosemary crust added a spicy, aromatic tang along with a buttery crunch to the sweet curd. All in all, a simple and satisfying dessert that will help us hold out until local rhubarb arrives.


  • Servings: makes one 13 x 4 inch tart
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(crust adapted from Alice Medrich’s Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts; curd inspired by lemon curd in Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruit and this recipe from Martha Stewart Living)


  • 10 TB unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 TB finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 t. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine melted butter, rosemary, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a separate small bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until completely blended. Let stand for a couple of minutes to firm up.

Using your fingers, press the dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom. We used a 13 x 4″ rectangular pan, but you could also use a 9″ round pan. Make sure to press well into the corners so that edges will not be too thick.

Bake in the bottom third of the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is done all over. Check occasionally during baking to see if bottom is puffing up. It usually doesn’t, but if it does, prick with a fork to deflate.

Cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, remove sides of pan.

Grapefruit curd:

  • Juice of 2 or 3 red grapefruits, strained (about 1-1/3 c.)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 stick (8 TB) butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks

Put grapefruit juice in a heavy saucepan. Boil for about 5 minutes, until reduced by approximately half. You need 2/3 cup of reduced juice. Let cool for a few minutes, then add sugar, butter and salt.  Heat over low heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.

Whisk eggs and yolks together in a bowl. Slowly add the hot lemon mixture to the eggs, whisking all the time. Then, return the mixture to the saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. (This should take around 5 minutes.)

Strain the curd through a fine-meshed sieve. Pour into prepared crust. When cooled a bit, refrigerate.


Just before serving, top tart with grapefruit supremes.


  1. Your tart is so pretty, and so pink! I love grapefruit, and I’m sure the rosemary in the crust must really add a little “je ne sais quoi”. And I agree with you that a winter day without citrus would be like a day without sunshine. I would even say “a day without several citruses…”.

    • Thanks so much, Misti. A decade or more ago, I had a grapefruit tart at a friend’s and I’ve never forgotten how much I liked it. I’ve tried a number of things over the years, mostly using pastry cream, but they just never worked out as well as this one did.

    • Many of the recipes I came across used grapefruit zest, but I think it is far too bitter. So, I tried the Martha Stewart method of cooking the juice down to intensify the flavor instead. It worked nicely.

    • Aaaw, thanks, Daisy. It was awfully good. But one of those things that doesn’t hold up long. If I make it again, unless I’m having company, I’ll make little tarts and leave the fruit off until the last minute.

  2. Pretty, pretty! I haven’t tried making grapefruit curd before, usually just do lemon though I once made a cranberry curd and was so thrilled with its bright and cheerful color. Also love citrus with rosemary — such a great combo.

    • Thanks, and I bet cranberry curd is gorgeous! I do wish that the grapefruit curd was a little more pink, but it takes a lot to overcome the bright yellow in our egg yolks. Next time, I might add some blood orange juice to see how the color turns out.

  3. Michelle and Steve… I am constantly torn about what to buy (fruit-wise) during the long, winter months. Pears and apples are a go-to purchase, always. This recipe is ideal for any month; I love the concept of grapefruit curd (wow – ingenious – and worth the effort!). This recipe looks technically sound and a true treat. Oh, and the photo? Perfectly focused in just the right viewpoint. The pop of ruby red and deep green colors are divine. A lovely visit to Gourmandstan, as always, Now, stay warm and dry. Best, Shanna PS My autocorrect just attempted to change Gourmandstand to Gourmands Tan. The nerve.

    • Thanks, Shanna! I had a grapefruit tart at a friend’s house years ago and have often tried to duplicate it. (Not that she was secretive about the recipe. It just didn’t make the impression on her that it did on me and by the time I asked her she couldn’t even remember where she got it.) This was the first time I was successful.

    • Thanks! I love rosemary, but it can be a bit overwhelming. I was afraid if I put it in the curd it would overpower the grapefruit. Now, I am trying to think of other sweet fillings would go with an herby crust.

  4. Heavenly! I love the addition of rosemary into the crust (one of my favourite ingredients/ uses in sweet pastry or biscuits.) As for those pink gems of grapefruit segments, they glow so very beautifully too! Looks divine 🙂

  5. I love the idea of combining herbs and fruits – sounds really great! And what a funny coincidence: Recently , I made something really similar and used it as one of my first posts on my blog mamangerie that I started only some weeks ago: orange jam with rosemary. I really loved that one, too. In case you ´d like to try it – being as much as a citrus fruit fan as I am – please let me know and I´ll send you the recipe (the blog is in German and I don´t know if your familiar with German).

  6. Pingback: A writing process blog frolic, and a favourites list | Saucy gander

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