April 21, 2008

It's a coincidence

I swear it's a coincidence that I made yet another yellow food thing yesterday! I saw this divine looking tart here the other day and bookmarked it. It's Dorie Greenspan's Most extraordinary French lemon cream tart. I had already noticed the recipe for it a few weeks ago in my new Baking: from my home to yours cookbook - which I hadn't got around to making a single thing from up until then. Last night we went to Nick's for dinner so was the perfect opportunity to try it. The filling is made in a very different way to a normal lemon curd. Usually you cook the butter, eggs, sugar and lemon juice together until they thicken. Here, the butter is added in a food processor after the other ingredients are cooked and slightly cooled. This way, instead of the butter melting it emulsifies, so that the resulting texture is velvety smooth and light. Dorie's recipe is here.

I must admit I had to whisk the mixture over the heat for much longer than the suggested 10 minutes - it was more like 45. And even then I found the temperature wouldn't go above about 165, but I'd already read in the comments on Dorie's blog that that was ok.

I used an adapted version of Dorie's Sweet tart dough recipe for the crust:

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

1/4 tspn salt

1 stick plus 1 Tab butter*, very cold (or frozen) and cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk

Heat oven to 180C. Pulse flour, icing sugar and salt in a food processor a couple of times to combine. Scatter over the pieces of butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and process in long pulses until the mixture forms a ball around the blade. Turn out and knead sparingly. Press into a fluted loose-bottomed 23 cm. tart tin. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Bake blind for 25 minutes, remove paper and weights and bake for a further 8 minutes or until golden brown.

* I used 125g of butter. I find it so frustrating that some U.S. recipes use spoon measures for butter. Is it just me? Could someone please explain how you actually measure a tablespoon of icy cold butter?!

The tart was delicious but we didn't finish it. As you're not supposed to fill the tart case until just before serving I imagine the pastry is probably a little soggy today. The filling will keep for about 4 days in the fridge so I think next time I'll make individual tartlets instead.

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