Tart au Citron (French Lemon Tart)

I made this as well as chocolate ganache tart and brought them on my last day of work. Many of my lovely colleagues aware of the calories intake as all of us have already being too indulgent recently. They asks which is less fattening. I was like, er.. probably similar I guess. But at the end, the lemon tart is more popular.

Despite the amount of butter used in the lemon cream (not to mention the crust), which is the reason that makes the tart so dreamy creamy, the tanginess of the lemon is so refreshing and it almost gives you an illusion that it is not fatty.

To my regret, the tart is supposed to baked in the french round tart tin, I couldn’t find it near my neighborhood so I used the flower tart tin instead.

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Tart au Citron (French Lemon Tart) (Adadpted from Baking with Dorie adapted from Pierre Hermé)

Ingredients

Lemon Cream

1 cup sugar

finely granted zest of 3 lemons

4 large eggs

3/4 cup freshly sqeezed lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)

10 1/2 oz unsalted butter, at room temperture

Tart Shell

refer to the pâte sucrée recipe

 

Directions

1. Getting Ready: Have an instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender (first choice) or food processor at hand. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

2. Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.

3. Set the bowl over the pan, and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180 degrees F. As you whisk—you must whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling—you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 180 degrees F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point—the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience—depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.

4. As soon as it reaches 180 degrees F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the blender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

5. Turn the blender to high (or turn on the processor) and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going—to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to blend the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.

6. Pour the lemon cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (The cream will keep in the fridge for 4 days and, or tightly sealed, in the freezer for up to 2 months; thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.)

7. When you are ready to assemble the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell. Serve the tart, or refrigerate ‘until needed.

Serving: It’s a particular pleasure to have this tart when the cream is cold and the crust is at room temperature. A raspberry or other fruit coulis is nice, but not necessary; so is a little crème fraîche. I know it sounds odd to offer something as rich as crème fraîche with a tart like this, but it works because the lemon cream is so light and so intensely citric, it doesn’t taste or feel rich.

Storing: While you can make the lemon cream ahead, once the tart is constructed, it’s best to eat it the day it is made.

Apple Pie

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Apple Pie (Adapted from marthastewart.com)

Ingredient

Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Filling

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 4 pounds apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions

For the crust

1. In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

2. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if necessary, add up to 1/4 cup more water, 1 tablespoon at a time). To help ensure a flaky crust, do not overprocess.

3. Transfer half of dough (still crumbly) onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form dough into a disk 3/4 inch thick; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days). Repeat with remaining dough. Makes 2 disks.

 

For the pie

1. Lightly flour a large piece of waxed paper; place a disk of dough in center. Rolling from center outward, form into a 12-inch circle. (Use paper to rotate dough, and flour rolling pin and paper as necessary to prevent sticking.) Transfer dough (still on paper) to a baking sheet; cover and refrigerate. Repeat with second disk of dough.

2. Preheat oven to 240c degrees, with a rack set in lowest position. Remove first circle of dough from refrigerator; wrap around rolling pin (discarding paper), and carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently lift edges and lower dough into the pie plate so it hugs bottom and sides. Avoid stretching the dough, which will make it shrink during baking. Refrigerate.

3. Place lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel, core, and cut apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices; halve crosswise, and add to lemon juice (to keep them from turning brown) as you work. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt; toss to combine.

4. Remove dough-lined pie plate from refrigerator. Fill with apple mixture, gently packing apples and mounding slightly in center; dot with butter. Lightly brush rim of pie shell with water. Remove remaining circle of dough from refrigerator. Lay over apples; Make a lattice if you prefer. press along moistened rim to seal. Using kitchen shears, trim overhang to 1 inch.

5. With floured fingers, fold overhang under itself to form a thick rim; pinch between thumb and forefinger to form a uniform edge around the rim of the pie plate.

6. To crimp edges: With thumb and index finger of one hand, gently press dough against knuckle of other hand; continue around pie. (Deep indentations anchor dough on rim and prevent it from sliding down sides of pie plate during baking.)

7. With a floured paring knife, cut 5 to 6 slits in top of pie, radiating from center; place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees, and bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes more. If edges brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil. Cool completely, before serving.

Pecan Pie

It’s fall, time to have pie. most importantly, topped with a generous scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream

The good thing (and the most important thing) about making a pie is the crust. It can be made ahead and it will always wait for you in the freezer until anytime you wanna have some fancy treats and just work with anything you have on hand: banana, apple, chocolate ganache, lemon curd… and this time, i have got a patch of crunchy pecans

So here is my chocolate pecan pie for tonight.

 

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Ingredients

  • Your favorite 9-inch pie crust recipe
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, browned and cooled slightly
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk (any fat content is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped

Makes 1 9-inch pie

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 205°C (400°F).

2. In large bowl, beat the eggs until slightly foamy. Stir in the browned butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Whisk together until fully combined. Stir in the flour, milk, and vanilla. Add the pecans and stir until they are fully coated.

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell. Bake in the preheated oven at 400°F for 10 minutes, and then lower the oven to 325°F and bake for another 40-50 minutes, or until the top no longer jiggles in the center. Cool completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

 

Pâte Sucrée

Pate Sucree is Sweet Pie/Tart Pastry

Ingredients

  • 285g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 100g ground almonds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean pulp
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 490g all-purpose flour  (chill this in the freezer if making it in the summer)

Directions

  1. Cream the butter using a food processor or a kitchenaid with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar and mix well.  Next, add the almond powder, salt, vanilla and mix until the mixture is smooth, again scraping when necessary. Add the eggs and mix just until blended. Add the flour steadily. There is no need to wait for the flour to be incorporated thoroughly after each addition. Mix just until the ingredients come together to form a soft, moist dough that doesn’t clean the sides of the bowl completely but does hold together. Don’t overdo it.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and divide it into 3 or 4 pieces:  3 pieces for 10-inch tarts, 4 for 9-inch tarts.  Or, you can shape it into one large ball and cut off as much as you need.  Gently press each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic.  Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or for up to 2 days before rolling and baking.  The dough can also be wrapped and frozen for up to a month.
To bake:
Butter a tart ring and preheat the oven to 180ºC.  Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface (I roll mine between sheets of cling wrap so that it won’t stick) to a thickness between 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch.  Fit the dough onto the bottom and sides of the ring and leave some of the excess.  Prick the dough all over with a fork and chill for at least 3o minutes in the refrigerator
When you are ready to bake the crust, fit a circle of parchment paper or foil into the crust and fill with dried beans or rice or coins.  Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes , until it is just lightly colored.  If it needs more time in the oven, remove the rice/beans/coins and the parchment paper and bake for another five minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and trim off the excess dough using a sharp knife. Transfer the crust to a rack to cool.