If in doubt, lemon tart is always the safest choice.
My favourite dessert of all time is lemon tart. Lemon tarts cure depression. Nothing makes me happier than a 9cm diameter lemon tart in a white paper box from Le Pain Quotidien, or less usual at Patisserie Valerie, food markets…*Netley Flashback – I opened the fridge one morning to find a lemon meringue tart from a flatmate’s trip to L’Eto “obvs” marked for me. Guess I made it an easy decision!
I also gained one deep cut from a knife and one burn from the top of the oven whilst making this. Life was definitely much easier when good lemon tarts could simply be bought. Life was even easier when lemon tarts were bought home for me.
4. Almond & Lemon
5. White Chocolate & Lemon
I used the recipe from Le Pain Quotidien – Alain Coumont’s Communal Table – Memories and Recipes. (You might want to halve it .. this yielded two large tarts plus three small ones.) I didn’t realise that a) the crust had ground almonds, and b) the base was brushed with white chocolate. According to The Flavour Thesaurus,
“Ground almond soothes lemon‘s sharpness in cakes and tarts, and that good white chocolate often has a natural lemon character, thus the two are often paired in cake.”
(It is a general rule that I dislike white chocolate. The exception is Green & Blacks white chocolate with the vanilla pod seeds.)
(adapted from a Le Pain Quotidien recipe)
200g unsalted butter, softened
1o0g icing sugar
1 egg white
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
60g ground almonds
1 pinch of salt
50g white chocolate
190g liquid fresh cream
freshly squeezed lemon juice of 3 – 4 lemons
100g cream cheese
zest of half a lemon, finely grated
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.
2. Whisk all pastry ingredients (except the egg and white chocolate) together with an electric mixer til combined. Add egg and continue mixing til the mixture is smooth.
3. Form a ball with the dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
4. For one tart, allow 250 – 300g pastry. Flour a surface, and use rolling pin to flatten the pastry until 4 – 5mm thick. Line a 22 – 24cm pie dish with removable base with pastry. Cover with baking paper, fill with beans (I used risotto rice since that was the only thing in the house with resemblance) and blind bake for 25 mins.
5. Take out of the oven, remove paper and beans and bake for further 5 min.
6. Leave pastry base to cool then brush with melted white chocolate.
7. Mix all ingredients for the filling.
8. Heat on medium heat until the mixture reaches 92 – 93 degrees C. Keep stirring when removing from heat until the mixture thickens (I had to run a whisk through it to remove the lumps of cream cheese.) Pour into the pastry base.
9. Leave to sit for 5 min the refrigerate for an hour.