Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Beginning

Lemon Cream Tartlet, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

I've decided to start out at the beggining. I am going to post seperately for each recipe. For a few reasons, a.) I'm still trying to figure out the best way to post photos and for now I've found posting them individually through Flickr is the easiest and b.) I'm going to have to stop half way through to make T and I dinner and watch a new episode of the Simpsons.

These tartlets are not only beautiful, but fairly simple to make. The worst part was whipping the cream over the simmering water bath, it takes about 10 minutes to come up to temperature, and by the end of that ten minutes your arm feels pretty severly sore.

I'd also never made a tart dough in the food processor before, and I didn't know what to expect. To be fairly honest I generally stick with what I know, cake, but a goal of mine is to branch out and start getting very creative in the kitchen. I was so excited that I had created a ball of dough in my new food processor that I rushed into the tv room ball in hand as if it was some hurt little bird I'd found in the room and shouted like a little kid at T "Look, look, look what I did!" Sweetly he showed a bit of enthusism and went back to what he was doing on his computer.

From there on it was pretty simple. I'd never used my grandmothers tartlet molds that she has used for Sandbakles (sp?), a norwegian cookie, so that was fun for me too. The whole endeavor was quite succesful and I am very pleased.

The filling is tart, but sweet, and oh so creamy. I want to put it on everything (in fact I've slathered it on nearly every cake scrap from today). It is a Pierre Herme recipe, I don't know much about him other than everywhere I read about him people talk about him as if he is God of the Pastry. I'll take their word for it, this recipe doesn't do any harm in reaffirming what I've heard.

These will definately be a staple at the Wonderland Party. I'm going to top with a fresh raspberry and a mint leaf. Hoo-ray for my first succesful nailed down Wonderland recipe, though I'll probably have to quadrouple it. I'm getting pretty excited.

Makes about a dozen

For the tart shells:

1 stick plus 1 Tb. butter, cut in small pieces
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk

1. In a food processor, pulse all the dry ingredients.
2. Add the butter and pulse again.
3. Add the egg yolk and pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball.
4. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
5. Roll between sheets of plastic wrap and cut out circles larger than your tart shells, fit the dough into the molds and cut out the excess.
6. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Because the dough has a tendency to puff up, take the shells out halfway through the baking process and pat the bottoms flat with the back of a spoon.

For the lemon cream:


1 cup sugar
zest of 3 lemons
4 eggs
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 sticks butter, cut into 1 inch pieces, softened


1. Make a water bath by putting a saucepan of water over heat to simmer and placing a metal bowl over, without the bottom touching the water.
2. Rub the sugar and lemon zest with your fingers and add to the metal bowl.
3. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.
4. Cook the mixture over the water bath, whisking constantly until the cream reaches 180 degrees. It can take up to 10 minutes.
Once the cream reaches 180 (your whisk will leave ribbon tracks in the cream)
5. Remove the cream off the heat and put it into a blender. Let the cream cool to 140.
6. Add in the butter and process until perfectly smooth.
7. Pour into a container, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

The tarts will pop right out of the molds and should be chilled/cooled before filling. The longer the filling sits in the fridge the more it will solidify, this is a good thing because when I first blended the mixture it was a bit soupy.

These are so good, it's a good thing it only makes 12 or so.