Lemon Cream Tartfrom Baking: From My Home To Yours
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 to 5 lemons) (Tip: I have found I get more juice out of a lemon if I let it come to room temperature and roll it firmly over the counter before cutting and squeezing. It seems to "loosen up" the juices.)
2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (10 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
1 fully-baked 9-inch tart shell (see below)
Getting ready: Have a thermometer, preferably an instant-read, a strainer and a blender (first choice) or food processor ready. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.
Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off heat, work the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic.
Set the bowl over the pan and start whisking as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. Cook until it reaches 180°F, whisking continually to prevent eggs from scrambling. You will 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. The tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature. This part can take up to 10 minutes.
As soon as it reaches 180°F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of a blender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140°F, about 10 minutes.
Sweet Tart Dough
Makes 1 9" Crust
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 TBSP (9 TBSP) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
Put the flour, confectioners 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. 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.
Butter a 9" fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. (If you don't have a tart pan a pie pan would probably work too) 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 cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
Preheat the oven to 375. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. (Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) 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.
Hope you all have a great weekend - see ya Monday!