Are you a lemon lover like me ? When my brother Chris and I were little,we would go behind the couch and eat lemons.I would eat mine with salt and he would eat his with sugar ! Have you had the wonderful delight of tasting Meyer lemons ?!! Now this is a lemon that I would do cartwheels over, if I still did cartwheels ! This lemon is sweeter than regular lemons and the skin smells divine ! According to Wikipedia, it is a citrus fruit native to China,and is thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange.It was introduced to the United States in 1908 by the agricultural explorer Frank Nicolas Meyer, an employee of the US Dept. of Agriculture who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China.
My daughter has a home nearby me that just happens to have many Meyer Lemon branches hanging over their fence from the neighbor's yard, that was loaded with lemons this Spring !! And the neighbors said that we could have ALL we wanted ! Well,needless to say, I was in lemon Heaven making lemon vinaigrette, honey lemonade, and this delectable Lemon Cream Tart from the cookbook "Tartine",which was written by Elizabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson. They are a husband and wife team having trained in France to bake, who own the very popular Tartine bakery in a neighborhood,in the Mission District, San Francisco,Calif..I used to visit my daughter's Brittany,Courtney,and Ashley who lived there for awhile,and there was always a line out the door of this sweet-filled place !
This tart is so creamy and lemony,that I would advise you only to make it for a crowd or immediately taking some to the neighbors,thus preventing you from eating the whole thing yourself !
If you can't find Meyer lemons now,you can use regular lemons or wait until next winter/spring when they are in season...if you can stand to wait that long !! I like to eat healthy food most of the time,having fresh fruit for dessert,but a little something sweet is nice to have once a week, or for a special occasion !
Sweet Tart Dough for Lemon Cream Tart
Fully baked and cooled 9-inch Sweet Tart Dough tart shell
1 cup + 2 tbsp Unsalted butter, at room temperature (9 oz./255 g)
1 cup Sugar (7 oz./200 g)
1/4 tsp Salt (1 ml)
2 Large eggs, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups All-purpose flour (17 1/2 oz/500 g)
Egg Wash (optional)
1 Large egg
1 Pinch salt
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 chili for at least 2 hours or overnight.
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.Do not stretch the dough,or the sides will shrink during baking.If the dough has become too soft to work with,put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before transferring it to the pan.If the dough developed 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. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Dock (make small holes) in the bottom of the tart shell with a fork or the tip of a knife,making tiny holes 2 inches apart.Place in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes for a partially baked large shell or 5-7 minutes for tartelette shells.The pastry should be lightly colored and look dry and opaque.Check the shell(s) during baking and rotate the pans if necessary for even color.If you want to brush the shells with a glaze,beat the egg with the salt in a small bowl.A minute or two before the desired color is reached,remove the shell(s) from the oven and lightly brush the bottom and sides with the glaze. Return the shell(s) to the oven and bake until the desired color is reached and the glaze is set.Then bake 5 minutes longer to make this a fully baked golden brown shell.
Let cool completely on wire racks.
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Lemon juice (5 oz/155 ml)
3 Whole large eggs
1 Large egg yolk
3/4 cup Sugar (6 oz/170 g)
Salt- 1 pinch
1 cup Unsalted butter,cool (8 oz/225 g)
1 cup Heavy cream,very cold
2 tsp Sugar
Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a saucepan, (Do not use an unlined aluminum pan,as this creates a metallic flavor when mixed with the acidity in the juice.) and bring to a simmer.Combine the lemon juice,whole eggs,egg yolk,and salt in a stainless-steel bowl that will rest securely in the rim of the saucepan over,not touching,the water.Whisk the ingredients together.(Never let the egg yolks and sugar sit together for more than a moment without stirring;the sugar will "cook" the egg yolks and turn them granular.) Place the bowl over the saucepan and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180 degrees F on a thermometer.This will take 10-12 minutes. Remove the bowl from over the water and let cool to 140 degrees F, stirring from time to time to release the heat.
Meanwhile,cut the butter into 1-tablespoon (15-ml) pieces.When the cream is ready,leave it in the bowl if using an immersion blender,or pour it into a countertop blender,With the blender running,add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time,blending after each addition until incorporated before adding the next piece.The cream will be pale yellow and opaque and quite thick.
Measure out 2 1/4 cups and pour them 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,(if you can stand to wait that long !) before serving.It will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
If desired,whip the cream in a mixing bowl with a whisk until thickened.Add the sugar and whisk until the cream holds soft peaks.Top the tart with the whipped cream and decorate with edible flowers like roses,Johnny jump ups,violets,etc..
Take this tart to church, to a party,or just eat a slice at home and dream of traveling one day to Santa Barbara,California,where the lemons,oranges,and avocados are plenteous in the warm sunshine !!