Instagram and Pinterest have replaced Flickr for my late-night food gawking. I spotted a mile-high lemon meringue tart from a Parisian salon de thé on Instagram and started baking right away. I made the sweet tart dough in advance and let it rest overnight. Again, I used my Edgeware Better Zester for the lemons which made everything so much easier and less time-consuming. The buttery lemon cream is just dreamy!! SO hard not to lick the bowl too much because you actually need most of it. Then, I used Nigella Lawson's recipe for meringue frosting and piped little meringue-towers on top of the tart. Pierre Hermé's lemon tart recipe does not call for meringue, but it is so much more delicious with a creamy topping! Rating: absolute heaven!
Sweet Tart Dough: "Desserts" by Pierre Hermé
Ingredients: I used half this recipe and it made enough for one large tart
- 2 ½ sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- ½ cup ground blanched almonds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ vanilla bean pulp or ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar, almonds, salt, vanilla and eggs, beating on low speed. Still on low, add the flour in 3 or 4 additions and mix only until the mixture comes together - a matter of seconds. Don't overdo it.
- Gather the dough into a ball and divide it into 3 or 4 pieces. Gently press each piece into a disk and wrap each one in plastic. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or for up to 2 days. (mine rested 2 hours) The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to a month.
- Work with one piece of dough at a time; keep the remaining dough in the refridgerator. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a round 1/8 inch thick. Roll the dough up and around your rolling pin and unroll it onto the tart ring. Fit the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the ring, then run your rolling pin across the top of the ring to cut off the excess. If the dough cracks or splits, patch the cracks with scraps, moisten the edges to 'glue' them back in place. Prick the dough all over with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fit a circle of parchment paper or foil into the crust and fill with pie-weights (dried beans or rice). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, then remove the pie weights and bake for another 5 to 7 mintes, until golden.
Lemon Tart: "Desserts" by Pierre Hermé
- 1 cup sugar
- Zest of 3 lemons
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 sticks + 5 tablespoons (10 ½ oz) unsalted butter, softened
- Put a saucepan of water heat and bring water to the simmer. Place the sugar and lemon zest in a large metal bowl that can be fitted over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs and then the lemon juice.
- Fit the bowl into the pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring with the whisk, until the cream thickens and reaches 180°F. As you cook the cream, whisking all the while to keep the eggs from overheating and scrambling, you’ll see that at first the cream is light and foamy, then bubbles get larger, and finally, as the cream starts to thicken, the whisk leaves tracks; the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Keep whisking, check the temperature and keep your patience; it could take as long as 10 minutes for the cream to reach 180°F.
- Pull the cream from the heat as soon as it is cooked and strain it into the container of a blender or food processor. Let the cream rest, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140°F, about 10 minutes. Make sure it is not over 140°F, before you add the butter!
- Working with the blender on high speed, beat the cream adding the pieces of butter. Scrape down the sides as needed. When all the butter is incorporated, continue beating the cream for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Meringue Frosting: "Feast" by Nigella Lawson
- 2 egg whites
- 4 tablespoons golden syrup or light corn syrup
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Make a doubleboiler with a bowl that will fit snugly over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Put all the ingredients, except for the vanilla, into the bowl. Whisk everything with an electric mixer until the icing becomes thick and holds peaks like meringue. This will take for about 5 mnutes, so be patient.
- Take the bowl off the saucepan on to a cool surface and keep whisking while you add the vanilla. Then keep whisking until the mixture cools a little.
I'm in a Spring/Summer state of baking!