Tuesday, April 8, 2008

TWD-The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Tart!


Try saying that title 3 times fast! :) This weeks recipe was chosen by Mary from Starting from Scratch. We had the choice of either lemon, or orange cream. My friend Chelle, who is anti-lemon, chose the orange version, and she compared it to a creamsicle. I am going to try that version too. I have to say that I absolutely LOVED this choice! This has become my "go to" lemon tart recipe. Easy to throw it together, and was probably devoured in less than the time it took to make it. The only problem that I ran into was cooking the lemon curd to 180 degrees. I never got to that temp, I could only get to 165-170, but, the lemon cream came out perfect. Not runny at all!! Very firm, and creamy, and lemony!
Our chick list over at TWD continues to grow, go and check them out!
If you are looking for a great lemon dessert, this would be the one to make!
Next week has been chosen by Judy at Judy's Gross Eats....Marshmallows!! This will be the time that I play with flavors!
Tart
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
¾ c fresh lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 T butter (10 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces, at room temperature.
1 9-inch tart shell made with sweet tart dough (see below).
Getting ready:
Have a instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender (1st choice) or food processor at hand. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy, and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.

Set the bowl over the pan and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture fees tepid to the touch. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180 degrees F. As you whisk- you whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling- you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 180F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point- the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience- depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp may take as long as 10 minutes.
(I never got to this temp, and it took 30-45 minutes to get to the temp 165-170, but turned out perfect!)

As soon as it reaches 180F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the lender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

Turn the blender to high (or turn on the processor) and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going- to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to blend the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests, and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.

Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. (the cream will keep in the fridge for 4 days or, tightly sealed, in the freezer for up to 2 months; thaw it overnight in the refrigerator)
When you are ready to assemble the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell. Serve the tart, or refrigerate until needed.
Sweet Tart Dough
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp salt1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 T) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in- you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal fakes and others the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses- about 10 seconds each- until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change- heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate and dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To press the dough into the pan: butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy handed- press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferable longer, before baking.

To partially or fully bake the crust: center a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, against the crust. (since you froze it, you can bake it without weights). Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, carefully press it down with the back of a spoon. For partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack. To fully bake the crust, bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

20 comments:

slush said...

Looks awesome April! Fab job! I loved it too, and cant wait to try the Orange.

Engineer Baker said...

Yum! That looks delicious! Let us know how the orange version goes!

Dolores said...

Great job April. I love discovering these recipes where, with a little bit of planning and prep, you can 'throw together' a dessert that wows. I made the orange creamcicle version this time; can't wait to try my hand at lemon.

Donna said...

It looks nice and creamy! I'm gonna try the orange next time too!

Mary Ann said...

looks delish- I am curious about the orange tart as well!

mimi said...

your tart looks great, the creamy top is so smooth!

Carrie said...

Nice lookin' tart!

LyB said...

Very nice! I loved it as well, so easy and impressive!

CB said...

Lemon-tastic!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

chelley325 said...

Looks wonderful!!

Gigi said...

oooo! I've seen so many lovely lemon tarts today. You guys did a fantastic job!

Di said...

Your tart looks very tasty! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Beautiful tart, well done!

lemontartlet said...

It looks so nice! the curd never got to 180 F here either, but I loved it and it was nice and creamy. Hurry up and make the orange!

Anne said...

Your filling looks nice and thick. What a beautiful tart- great job!

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

The top of that tart looks like glass. Wow!

Natalie said...

Great job! I want to try the orange one sometime too!

Gretchen Noelle said...

How wonderful that you so enjoyed this! Great job!

Jaime said...

beautiful tart! it will be my go to lemon tart recipe too. can't wait to try the orange

Shopping Blog said...

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

TWD-The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Tart!


Try saying that title 3 times fast! :) This weeks recipe was chosen by Mary from Starting from Scratch. We had the choice of either lemon, or orange cream. My friend Chelle, who is anti-lemon, chose the orange version, and she compared it to a creamsicle. I am going to try that version too. I have to say that I absolutely LOVED this choice! This has become my "go to" lemon tart recipe. Easy to throw it together, and was probably devoured in less than the time it took to make it. The only problem that I ran into was cooking the lemon curd to 180 degrees. I never got to that temp, I could only get to 165-170, but, the lemon cream came out perfect. Not runny at all!! Very firm, and creamy, and lemony!
Our chick list over at TWD continues to grow, go and check them out!
If you are looking for a great lemon dessert, this would be the one to make!
Next week has been chosen by Judy at Judy's Gross Eats....Marshmallows!! This will be the time that I play with flavors!
Tart
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
¾ c fresh lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 T butter (10 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces, at room temperature.
1 9-inch tart shell made with sweet tart dough (see below).
Getting ready:
Have a instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender (1st choice) or food processor at hand. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy, and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.

Set the bowl over the pan and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture fees tepid to the touch. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180 degrees F. As you whisk- you whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling- you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 180F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point- the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience- depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp may take as long as 10 minutes.
(I never got to this temp, and it took 30-45 minutes to get to the temp 165-170, but turned out perfect!)

As soon as it reaches 180F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the lender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

Turn the blender to high (or turn on the processor) and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going- to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to blend the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests, and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.

Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. (the cream will keep in the fridge for 4 days or, tightly sealed, in the freezer for up to 2 months; thaw it overnight in the refrigerator)
When you are ready to assemble the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell. Serve the tart, or refrigerate until needed.
Sweet Tart Dough
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp salt1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 T) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in- you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal fakes and others the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses- about 10 seconds each- until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change- heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate and dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To press the dough into the pan: butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy handed- press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferable longer, before baking.

To partially or fully bake the crust: center a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, against the crust. (since you froze it, you can bake it without weights). Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, carefully press it down with the back of a spoon. For partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack. To fully bake the crust, bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

20 comments:

slush said...

Looks awesome April! Fab job! I loved it too, and cant wait to try the Orange.

Engineer Baker said...

Yum! That looks delicious! Let us know how the orange version goes!

Dolores said...

Great job April. I love discovering these recipes where, with a little bit of planning and prep, you can 'throw together' a dessert that wows. I made the orange creamcicle version this time; can't wait to try my hand at lemon.

Donna said...

It looks nice and creamy! I'm gonna try the orange next time too!

Mary Ann said...

looks delish- I am curious about the orange tart as well!

mimi said...

your tart looks great, the creamy top is so smooth!

Carrie said...

Nice lookin' tart!

LyB said...

Very nice! I loved it as well, so easy and impressive!

CB said...

Lemon-tastic!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

chelley325 said...

Looks wonderful!!

Gigi said...

oooo! I've seen so many lovely lemon tarts today. You guys did a fantastic job!

Di said...

Your tart looks very tasty! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Beautiful tart, well done!

lemontartlet said...

It looks so nice! the curd never got to 180 F here either, but I loved it and it was nice and creamy. Hurry up and make the orange!

Anne said...

Your filling looks nice and thick. What a beautiful tart- great job!

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

The top of that tart looks like glass. Wow!

Natalie said...

Great job! I want to try the orange one sometime too!

Gretchen Noelle said...

How wonderful that you so enjoyed this! Great job!

Jaime said...

beautiful tart! it will be my go to lemon tart recipe too. can't wait to try the orange

Shopping Blog said...

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