FRENCH LEMON TART

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This traditional dough recipe for French tart is not difficult to make.  You must use a stand-mixer.  A hand-held mixer is not heavy enough to mix the dough.  The buttery dough makes a  delicate,crisp cookie-like crust.   The recipe makes enough for two tart crusts –  use one now and freeze the other for a delicious tart in your future.

Pierre Hermes is the inspiration for this stunning, sublime lemon cream (think curd) filling.  Pierre Hermes is a French pastry chef famous for his unusually flavoured macaroons.  The addition of a little orange zest calms the sharpness of the lemons.   It has all the ingredients of the  traditional lemon curd but it is lighter and silky smooth.  The secret is the way the butter is added. It is not difficult to make.

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To simplify the recipe make the pastry and bake the tart the day before you plan to serve it.  The next day make the filling and finish your very French tart … worthy of the finest patisserie.

FRENCH LEMON TART
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: Dessert
Cuisine: French
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: 6-8
Pierre Hermes is the inspiration for this stunning, sublime lemon cream tart.. It has a delicate sweet buttery crisp cookie-like crust with a rich, smooth, puckery lemon filling topped with whipped cream.
Ingredients
  • 10 oz. (2 l/1 cups) all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 3½ oz. (3/4 cup plus 2 tbs.) confectioners' sugar
  • 6 oz. (12 tbs.) cold (not frozen) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, l separated and egg white set aside
  • LEMON FILLING;
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) sugar
  • Finely grated zest from 2 lemons
  • Finely grated zest from l orange
  • ⅓ generous cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs whisked to combine
  • 5 oz. unsalted butter room temperature cut into 5 pieces
  • To finish:
  • 1 cup( 8 oz) whipping cream
  • 1 tbs. confectioners' sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Whisk whole egg and egg yolk in small bowl just until combined and set aside
  2. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment combine the flour, sugar, and salt
  3. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter begins to break up, about one minute
  4. Increase the speed to just below medium and continue beating until the mixture looks sandy with butter pieces the size of tiny pebbles, about two minutes more.
  5. Turn the mixer off and add the whipped whole egg and egg yolk (reserve the remaining white for baking the crust).
  6. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
  7. Increase the speed to medium and mix just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about thirty seconds. DO NOT OVER MIX
  8. Divide the dough in half, press each half into a disk about four inches across, and wrap in plastic .
  9. Refrigerate one disk for at lease three hours and up to 25 hours.
  10. (Freeze the other disk for up to a month; thaw in the refrigerator before using.
  11. SHAPE AND BAKE THE CRUST:
  12. Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin.
  13. Rub an 8½ or 9½ inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with butter
  14. Working quickly, roll the dough disk into a ⅛-inch-thick round.
  15. Transfer the dough to the tart pan and gently coax it into the pan. Do not stretch or pull the dough to fit.
  16. Allow the excess dough to hang over the sides and trim it about ½ inch all around. Fold the dough into the tart leaving a small amount above the edge.
  17. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to cut off the excess dough. This will give you crust a professional looking edge.
  18. Patch any tears or cracks with the scraps.
  19. Using a little of the left over pastry rolled into a small ball gently ease the dough a little above the tart pan to allow for shrinkage when baking.
  20. Prick the base of the tart all over with a fork.
  21. Refrigerate the crust for at least 20 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes.
  22. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400F.
  23. Line the crust with a generous amount of parchment paper and fill it TO THE VERY TOP with beans, or pie weights.
  24. Put the pie crust on a baking sheet and put it into the oven. IMMEDIATELY turn the oven down to 375F.
  25. Bake until the edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes.
  26. Carefully remove the weights and paper.
  27. Return the crust to the oven and bake until the center of the crust looks dry and is just beginning to colour, about 5 minutes.
  28. Whisk the reserved egg white and brush the inside of the crust with some of the egg white (you won't need it all ) and return the crust to the oven until the egg white has dried, about 2 minutes. Brushing the crust with egg white and baking it briefly creates a barrier that keeps the crust from becoming soggy when filled.
  29. Cool completely on a rack.
  30. You can prepare the crust up to 24 hours before filling.
  31. MAKING THE LEMON FILLING:
  32. In a medium sized bowl, using a wooden spoon, combine the lemon and orange zest with the sugar.
  33. Whisk in the two eggs.
  34. Whisk in the lemon juice.
  35. Set the bowl over a saucepan that has about 2 inches of water.
  36. Using a thermometer whisk the mixture over medium heat until it reaches 180F.
  37. This will take about ten minutes. Keep track of the time and increase the temperature of the water if after ten minutes it hasn't reached 180 F.
  38. Remove from heat and whisk for a few minutes more to allow the mixture to cool slightly,
  39. Pour the mixture into a blender and add the butter into the mixture one piece at a time, making sure each piece of butter is assimilated before adding the next piece.
  40. Pour the mixture into the prebaked tart and refrigerate for 1- 2 hours
  41. To finish:
  42. Whip the cream and when it starts to thicken add the sugar and vanilla. Continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
  43. Using pastry bag with a decorative nozzle fill with the whipping cream and decorate the tart.
  44. You can also simply spread the tart with the cream .
  45. Refrigerate until serving time.

 

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