Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 Subscribe in a reader

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Add to Technorati Favorites


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Tarte au Citron

For the last throes of summer we are picnicing in Prospect Park tomorrow. Since I love to bake I volunteered to make dessert. I was debating making a cake or making my signature tarte au citron. Since it is going to be a picnic, cakes with butter creams or cream cheese frostings are not that good of an idea so I went with a classic!

Start with a good Pâte Brisée. I use one that uses a little sugar and egg yolk as a binding.

Pâte Brisée

Yolk of one large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons cream
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (omit this for a savory crust)
Pinch salt
1 1/2 sticks of chilled butter.

Pre-heat the over to 375 degrees.

Cube the butter and chill in the refrigerator. Beat together the egg yolk and cream in a small bowl and chill. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. I like to keep the flour in the freezer to make this easier to keep cold. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or using two knives until the pastry reaches the consistency of small crumbs. Slowly add in the egg mixture until the pastry just holds together. Roll into a ball and chill for 30min to an hour.

Because I have such a small workspace I like to line my counter with wax paper and flour that to keep the space clean and the pastry from sticking.

Roll out the pastry on the floured surface until large enough for the tart pan. It will be about an inch wider than the pan. I roll it up on to the rolling pin lined with more wax paper and roll it out into the pan. You don't want to stretch it because it could shrink.

If there is extra pastry, roll the pin over the pan to get rid of it and press the edges into the scallops with your thumb. Chill the pastry in the pan for 20 min.

Line the pastry with foil or parchment paper and weight with beans (no need for fancy pie weights from Williams Sonoma. A 99 cent bag of pinto beans works just as well.

Bake the crust for 10 - 15 if you are going to bake it again or 20-25 min for a prebaked crust for fruit tarts. It will be a nice golden on the edges.

Tarte au Citron

1 Pâte Brisée cooked about 15 minutes
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 3 lemons

Lower the heat from baking the crust to 300 degrees.

Whisk eggs, yolks and sugar together and add the cream. Whisk in the lemon juice and add the zest. Put the shell with the pan still onto a baking sheet and pour in the mixture. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes until the custard is set. cool completely and serve with crême frâiche and fresh berries.

My oven is on an angle so when I bake I make sure to shim the pans with about 1/4 of an inch of tin foil otherwise i get lopsided cakes, leaky tarts or uneven custards. It took a while to figure it our but the method works really well!

No comments: