it seems like lemons are popping up everywhere these days. it is definitely lemon season you can say! a couple of weeks ago a friend gave me some meyer lemons from her garden. i knew exactly what i wanted to make with it. for sure some lemon curd and maybe some lemon cake or something lemony anyway. upon researching different lemon curd recipes i discovered tartine's lemon cream tart. i've gone to tartine multiple times, but i've yet to try their lemon tart. i don't know… must be because it's always so crowded there (the lines are ridiculous no matter what time of day – this place is hugely popular here in sf) that i feel a bit overwhelm sometimes even when i know exactly what i want to get (usually a morning bun and/or almond croissant).
okay, so after reading what it would take to make tartine's delicious lemon tart (as attested by many who've tried it and have made it themselves), i decided i too would attempt to make this yummy piece of goodness. so… how did it turn out? absolutely delicious! it is so lemony, creamy… and just so, so, good. even if you're not a fan, i say you fall in love it (and become a fan!?! =/). and if you are, you've got to make this! i love how the sweet dough for the tart gives that perfect amount of sweetness to offset the tartness from the lemon cream. everything just works well together in one scrumptious bite.
below is the recipe should you want to try and make this. it's super easy to make. usually i don't care for pie/tart dough because it's such a pain sometimes, but this one is a piece of cake. and the lemon cream is nothing if you've done plenty of double boiler stuff before. actually, even if you haven't, just follow the recipe and everything will turn out fabulous.
good luck and let me know how yours turn out! happy baking and eating, as always.
sweet tart dough
by tartine (makes 4 9-inch tart shells or twelve 4-inch tartlet shells)
1 cup + 2 tbsp (9 oz/255 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (7 oz/200 grams) sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups (17 1/2 oz/500 grams) all-purpose flour
- using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar and salt and mix on medium speed until smooth.
- mix in 1 egg. add the remaining egg and mix until smooth. stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- add the flour all at once and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- on a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 4 equal balls and shape each ball into a disk 1/2 inch thick. wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight or freeze 3 for future use (this dough will keep for up to 3 weeks).
- to line a tart pan, place a dough disk on a lightly floured surface and roll out 1/8 inch thick, rolling from the center toward the edge in all directions. lift and rotate the dough a quarter turn after every few strokes, dusting underneath as necessary to discourage sticking, and work quickly to prevent the dough from becoming warm. cut out a circle 2 inches larger than the pan. if the dough is still cool, carefully transfer the circle to the pan, easing it into the bottom and sides and then pressing gently into place. if the dough has become too soft to work with, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up before transferring it to the pan. if the dough develops any tears, just patch with a little extra dough, pressing firmly to adhere. trim the dough level with the top of the pan with a sharp knife. place the pastry shell in the refrigerator or freezer until it is firm, about 15 minutes.
- if you are making tartlet shells, roll out the dough in the same way, cut out circles according to the size of your pans, and line the pans. the rest of the dough, including the scraps, can be frozen for future use.
- preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.
- dock (make small holes in) the bottom of the tart shell or tartlet shells with a fork or the tip of a knife, making tiny holes 2 inches apart. place in the oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes for a partially baked large shell or 5 to 7 minutes for tartlet shells. the pastry should be lightly coloured and look dry and opaque.
- let cool completely on wire racks. the pastry shells will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
by tartine (about 2.5 cups /625 ml)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (5 oz/155 ml) lemon juice
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup (6 oz/170 g) sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup (8 oz/225 g) unsalted butter
- pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.
- combine lemon juice, whole eggs, yolk, sugar and salt in a stainless steel bowl on top of double boiler. whisk ingredients constantly for 10-12 minutes until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180°F on a thermometer.
- emote the bowl from over the water and stirring from time to time to release the heat.
- meanwhile, cut butter into 1 tbsp-pieces. when the cream is ready, using either a regular blender, or an immersion blender, add 1 piece of butter at a time to lemon mixture, blending after each addition of butter. the cream will be pale opaque yellow, and quite thick.
- you can use the cream immediately, or pour it into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
to assemble the tart
have the tart shell ready for filling. pour the lemon cream directly into the cooled tart shell. shake the tart pan gently to smooth out the top of the filling. chill the tart until firm, about 2 hours before serving.
that's it, enjoy!