Thursday, June 3, 2010


I'm getting used to this blogging business. Even still, I must say it's psyching me out a little. I actually waited a whole day to eat this tart so that the light in my kitchen would be perfect when I took pictures of it. This could become a problem. I NEVER wait to eat desserts.

It feels better to have confessed that.

So let's talk about this gorgeous little tart. Every crumb worth the wait. Oddly enough, I got the recipe/blog link from an old childhood friend of mine from Indonesia (So really, we haven't spoken since we were 10.) The powers that be, otherwise known as facebook, allowed me to discover that she has something of a food blog herself, called om nom nom nom. Of course, I couldn't help but read it. I was intrigued by her post about lemon curd. I'm always on the hunt for better and better lemon curd, so I figured I'd try Pie In The Sky's version on Kahlia's recommendation.

The original recipe is lemon créme fraîche, folded into lemon curd. I had some extra créme patisserie in the fridge from a disastrous attempt at creme filled doughnuts that I was anxious to get rid of so I chose instead to mix just a small amount of the créme patisserie into the lemon curd, to make it a little sweeter and just slightly vanilla-flavored. My plan was also to make a little bit more of shallow tart.

This crust is absolutely fabulous. Perfectly crunchy, perfectly sweet and just the right amount of cardamom and ginger.

Something I think is important to note is that Benny went back for seconds when I finally allowed him to eat some. (After I got a few good pictures, of course) He doesn't really like sweets and he definitely does not like lemon flavored sweets. But those dutch-indonesians really do love their spiced desserts. I think before this tart is gone we will be splitting pieces so that I scoop out all the lemon and he eats the crust. Plus I got to use my new tart pan! Win-win if you ask me.

And while we're on the topic of Benny, I'd like to point out his recent discovery of browned butter popcorn. Just add a little browned butter into the oil right before the kernels start popping. It's amazing.

But.. Back to the point.

Recipe Soundtrack: "Here It Is Tomorrow Again" - Billie Holliday


Cardamom-Ginger Brown Sugar Crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350. Grease the bottom and sides of your tart pan (I don't have one of those, as you can see). In a small bowl, stir together the flour and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, beat butter and brown sugar together until combined, about 1 minute; at low speed, add the flour mixture and mix just until crumbly. Pat the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of pan; prick well with fork. Bake crust for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Lemon curd filling:
4 large egg yolks
3 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup sugar

Whisk yolks and eggs together in small bowl. Combine lemon juice, butter, and 1/2 cup sugar in top of double-boiler. Set pan over simmering water (medium-low heat); whisk until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk 1/3 of hot butter mixture into eggs, then whisk mixture back into bowl with remaining butter mixture set over simmering water. Whisk constantly until custard thickens enough to hold marks of whisk, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Pour lemon curd through strainer set over medium bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of lemon curd; chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Créme Patisserie:
(From Epicurious)
2 1/4 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

In medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch.

Transfer remaining 1 3/4 cups milk to heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add pod. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup sugar over, letting sugar sink undisturbed to bottom. Set pan over moderate heat and bring to simmer without stirring.

Whisk hot milk mixture, then gradually whisk into egg yolk mixture. Return to saucepan over moderate heat and cook, whisking constantly, until pastry cream simmers and thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, discard vanilla pod, and whisk cream until smooth. Transfer to bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Chill until cold, about 4 hours. (Pastry cream can be made ahead and refrigerated, wrapped well with plastic wrap on surface, up to 3 days.)

To Assemble The Tart:

Once the crust has cooled, and both the créme patisserie and lemon curd have chilled, spoon a small amount of créme patisserie into the lemon curd, tasting after each mix. Keep adding until you achieve the flavor that you want. (I only added probably half a cup) Spoon the mixture into the crust and, using a spatula or spoon, spread the filling to fill the tart shell. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Garnish with blueberries, lemon slices, or whipped cream.

*[Next time, I think I'd like to double the lemon curd recipe, I love lemon!]

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