These simple, yet elegant individual tarts are at once surprisingly sweet and satisfyingly savory.

That's thanks to the wonderful interplay between the naturally sweet carrots and lemon juice, and the herby thyme and sage.

The tarts also are a wonderfully refreshing way to serve carrots, which too often end up just steamed and buttered.

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And because these tarts are delicious warm or at room temperature, they are an easy do-ahead item. If you'd like to save a little time, you could use purchased pastry dough.

Lemon-Herb Carrot Tarts

Crust ingredients:

•2 cups all-purpose flour

•1 teaspoon salt

•1 tablespoon sugar

•1 egg

•1 tablespoon water

•1/2 cup cold unsalted butter

Filling ingredients:

•1 1/2 pounds carrots

•2 tablespoons butter

•1 tablespoon fresh thyme

•2 teaspoons fresh sage

•Zest and juice of 1 lemon

•Salt and black pepper

•2 egg yolks


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat eight inidividual tart pans with baking spray.

Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add the egg and water and pulse until incorporated. Add butter and pulse until a dough comes together.

Transfer dough to a floured surface and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut circles to fit tart pans and press into each pan, trimming the edges.

Boil a medium pot of salted water. Add carrots and boil until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to the food processor. Add butter and process until smooth.

Let carrots cool slightly, then stir in the thyme, sage, lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper, then mix in egg yolks. Spoon carrot mixture into tart shells and bake on the baking sheet 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden and the filling is set.

Servings: 8

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