TUESDAYS WITH DORIE
Here's another awesome recipe from Dorie Greenspan's book, "Baking: From My Home To Yours". Thanks to Mary of Starting From Scratch for choosing Pierre Herme's Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart, pages 331-333.
Another week has flown by and it's time for Tuesdays With Dorie all over again! I honestly didn't think I was going to get this dessert done in time. It looked delicious, but at the same time, very consuming. I asked myself, "Do I really want to get into this when I had so many other things going on in the kitchen?" Being a sucker for all things lemon, I decided to go for it anyway!
Sweet Tart Dough
I used the Sweet Tart Dough from Dorie's book on page 444. It was very easy to make if you had access to a food processor. Everything went in, got pulsed a bit and Ta-Da! Out came perfect tart dough! I didn't have a fluted tart pan, but I had an idea to use a springform pan with a removable bottom. It worked perfectly and I saved a bunch of money by switching to Geico!
French Lemon Cream Tart
I was amazed at how easy this French Lemon Cream Tart went together! At first I thought it was going to be like the filling used in Lemon Meringue Pies. But it was nothing like pie filling. This was light and creamy and it melted in my mouth like a Lemon Cloud...if you can imagine what that must be like?
Saving time is almost as rewarding as saving money, and I love to take short-cuts if I can! Instead of whisking the sugar, zest, eggs and juice by hand, I did it in the Kitchen Aid. I left it in the mixing bowl, then moved the bowl and set it over the pan of simmering water. Dorie's book doesn't say it, but the bowl HAS to be metal (stainless) in order to reach the desired temperature. If you use glass, you'll be whisking it for up to 45 minutes!
My finished French Lemon Cream Tart looked sooooo plain and lonely. I made some whipped cream for the top. It was still looking a little sad and unfinished so I melted a bit of white chocolate. Then I piped out some stars on parchment paper and chilled them. When it was time to serve the tart, I just peeled them off the paper and decorated. I think it made all the difference ~ in the baking world anyway!
So, without further ado, here's Pierre Herme's Most Extraordinary Lemon Cream Tart, adapted from "Baking: From My Home to Yours", by Dorie Greenspan.
FRENCH LEMON CREAM TART RECIPE
- 1 cup sugar
- Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 to 5 lemons)
- 2 sticks plus 5 Tablespoons (21 Tablespoons; 10 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into Tablespoon-sized pieces
- 1 fully-baked 9-inch tart shell
Getting ready: Have an instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender (first choice) or food processor at hand. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.
To Make The Lemon Cream:
Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over a 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. (My Notes: I used a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, added the sugar, zest and then whisked in the eggs and lemon juice just until foamy. Then I set the mixing bowl over the pan of hot water. Others were having trouble reaching a temperature of 180 degrees, but I think that's because they used glass and not stainless steel.)
Fit the bowl into the pan (make certain the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl) and cook, stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. You want to cook the cream until it reaches 180°F. As you whisk the cream over heat—and you must 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 the cream is getting closer to 180°F, 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 and don’t stop checking the temperature. And have patience—depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.
As soon as you reach 180°F, pull the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of a blender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream rest at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140°F, about 10 minutes.
Turn the blender to high and, with the machine going, add about 5 pieces of butter at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed while you’re incorporating 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 beat 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 chill the cream for at least 4 hours or overnight. When you are ready to construct the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
SWEET TART DOUGH RECIPE
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (9 Tablespoons) very cold and cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
To Make The Dough:
Put the flour, powdered 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 flakes and some 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. (My Notes: I had to add another Tablespoon of water to the dough to get it to work.) 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 any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
To Press The Dough Into The Pan:
(My Notes: I didn't have a fluted tart pan, so I used a 9 inch springform pan with a removable bottom. It worked just fine.)
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. Don't be too heavy-handed--press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces clinging to one another, but not so hard that the crust looses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
To Bake The Crust:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.
Last week's dessert was Gooey Chocolate Cakes on pages 261-262, and chosen by Leigh of Lemon Tartlet.
Next week's recipe is, Marshmallows on pages 404-405, and chosen by Judy of Judy's Gross Eats.
Previous recipes are: Caramel-Topped Flan, pages 395-397 and Brioche Raisin Snails, pages 56-57.