Lemon Tartelettes

by Urvashee on September 7, 2011 · 12 comments

Post image for Lemon Tartelettes

So it seems the summer escaped from me. I had plans. Lots of plans. But somewhere between MIL’s broken femur, a cousin’s big fat Indian wedding, a visiting cousin, an earthquake, and a hurricane it all got lost. (Ok- I’ll admit the earthquake comment was just for drama. Apparently, NYC did have one but I did not even feel it.) I did not get to bake as much as I thought I would and have not had much time for blogging and tweeting to other foodies. My poor ice cream maker sat untouched all summer.

Luckily, my visiting cousin gave me a nice excuse to bake at least once in the last few weeks. This was her first visit to New York City so along with the usual tourist spots I also gave her a little tour of some of our pastry shops and culinary markets like Union Square, Eataly, and Chelsea Market. I asked her what she wanted to make with me at home and she was really interested in learning to make tarts- specifically lemon tarts and chocolate tarts. With so little time and so much to do and see, we really only had time for the lemon tarts. Since she has no stand mixer, I showed her how to best make tart dough by hand. If you want more extensive detail on what makes a good tart crust or on making it with a stand mixer see my instructions here.

Recipe (Makes an eight inch tart or four 4 inch tarts)

For the tart dough
125g of cake flour (1 cup)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces, and chilled
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
ice cold water (prepare about 50mL to start …only you will be able to judge how much is actually needed)

Sift the flour, salt and sugar together into a cold bowl. Add the chilled butter cubes to the dry mix. Using a pastry blender (or the flat end of a bowl scraper) cut the butter into the dough until the butter is about pea sized.

Next, make a well in the middle and add about 1/2 the ice water. Quickly work the water into the dough. You want the dough to be wet but not sticky. Make another well and add more ice water to the drier ingredients. The crumbly mixture should form clumps when you press some of it with your hand. If I think it is too dry, I sprinkle my hands with cold water and work the dough. This way I don’t accidentally add too much moisture. Do not knead it too much, just enough to be able to wrap up the dough in plastic. Streaks of butter are okay.

Chill the dough for at least an hour or overnight.  Roll out your dough and fit it into either an 8 inch tart ring or 4 inch molds. Chill it again for at least 30 minutes. With a fork, make holes in the tart dough to prevent it from rising. (I also place parchment over the shell and place a pile of beans on it as added weight while baking.) Bake at 350°F  for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Let it cool.

For the lemon filling
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 2 lemons
100 mL fresh lemon juice
3 eggs
3/4 cup butter

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Place the bowl over simmering water. Cook the mixture while whisking over medium heat. Cook until the filling thickens. If you can, measure the filling temperature and cook it to 140 degrees F. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Cool the mixture with plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin  from forming. The curd can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for three to four days.

Spoon or pipe the cooled lemon filling into the cooled tart shell(s). Spread it evenly with an offset spatula. Decorate with fresh raspberries and powdered sugar.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess Wakasugi {Life's Simple Measures} September 7, 2011 at 9:31 am

These are lovely! And I agree with you, I had so many summer desserts I wanted to try out and then hello Fall! Oh well, next year 🙂

Irishbaker September 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Must also agree-had loads of summer desserts planned but just never got around to making them! These look really tasty though

Tres Delicious September 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm

That’s a nice photo. I bet it’s heavenly wonderful too.

Paula September 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I can’t believe it myself that the summer is coming to an end but a walk out doors certainly drives the fact home. Must admit, I’m a little envious of your cousin getting to bake this tart with you and even moreso, being able to eat it. I’m wishing I had one here right now. Looks delicious!

Jun September 8, 2011 at 3:37 am

Lovely, lovely!!!

Elle Marie September 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

Looks delicious, one to crave for 🙂

Ruthanne VandenBosch September 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm

These are just beautiful…! Tarts are one of my favorite things to make and I’ve never tried lemon- you’ve inspired me! Thanks for sharing!!!

Nidhi September 14, 2011 at 1:07 am

The pictures came out good and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for making it for me! I had so much fun learning it.

Marta September 19, 2011 at 2:59 am

I was looking for mango’s cupcake recipie and I have just discovered your blog is amazing! I want to try all your recipies…;) kisses

Baker Street September 30, 2011 at 7:23 am

Gorgeous and delicious. Love it.

Pam February 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm

We made these and they were delicious but the lemon filling was not thick enough and we Ning up needing to bake them. We will try making them again. (we even took the temperature of the filling before we took it off the stovetop).

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