I don’t know what’s up with me, but lately I’ve been wanting to express myself in French. Sometimes, things just make more sense in French or maybe it’s just that it sounds better? My once-mad skillz aren’t all that excellent enough to write fluently anymore. And when I’ve been calling La Belle Province, they pick up right away that I’m Anglophone and they switch on to Language: Anglais.
Anyhow, I’ve been looking at the lemons in my fridge and I became slightly worried that they would go bad. Case in point: Bob was going to cook up some asparagus I bought “the other day”. Well, I don’t remember when that day was and when he took them out, they had turned soft, and brown, and rather disgusting. ~ [Re: Lemons] I was actually just going to do a Nigella Lawson [juice your lemons; put the juice in ice cube trays; let freeze; then put them in Zip Loc bags for future use. No waste, no guilt!].
But I really wanted a nice dessert that would embody the beauty of lemons: their tartness, their colour, and all round citrus goodness. Then I remembered making Laura Calder‘s tarte au citron [lemon cream tart] many a moon ago. And that’s what I decided to bring to Sunday dinner.
For the pastry you will need:
- 1 cup + 2 tbsps of flour/150 g flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsps cold water [I ended up using 3 tbsps because the dough wasn't forming as well as I would have liked]
- Put the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and pinch with the fingers to create a crumb texture.
- Make a well in the middle, and pour in the vanilla and water. Quickly work in the flour to create dough. Do not over-mix.
- Pat into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 15 minutes.
- Roll out the dough, line the tart shell, chill anothr 15 minutes.
- To prebake: Heat the oven to 400F/200C. Bake the shell until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.*
*I used some foil and pie weights so that the crust wouldn’t bubble up too much so I ended up baking this shell for 20 minutes with foil + pie weights, then another 5 minutes without the foil + pie weights.
For the lemon cream tart centre
- 2 whole eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar, more to taste
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 2/3 cup 2/3 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
The first time I made this I acutally used Realemon. I didn’t have any fresh lemon juice and it just had to do. This is another tart product I’ve produced. If you would prefer less tart-ness, you could probably get away with 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Also, you’ll have extra filling. Not wanting to waste it, I buttered a ramekin and filled it with the remaining filling. Then I put it in a waterbath to bake for about 20 minutes (same temperature as the tart). Eating the filling on its own was SUPER tart. Perhaps next time I could attempt to transform it to a brûlée??
I’d say this would be good for a picnic, or midnight snack. Either or, it’s super lemony goodness.