Friday, July 18, 2008

The Most Extaordinary French Lemon Cream Tart + Italian Meringue = Love

I'm not a huge citrus dessert fan, but this has to be one of my favourite desserts. I first saw this spectacular tart on foodbeam months ago, but never seemed to have a reason to make an entire tart. I'd been telling friends for months to expect a lemon meringue tart on their next visit- sadly always letting them down! Enough was enough and I was determined to make this tart if it was the last thing I ever did. Well... wow! It was delicious- like no other lemon meringue tart I'd ever had before (even at Chouquette). The process is pretty simple; it's the waiting that's an issue really. The lemon cream must sit overnight, and so must the pastry I used too (Fanny's recipe for Pate Sucree) The first time I made this tart, something must have gone wrong (butter didn't emulsify properly?) because after chilling overnight, the next day the lemon cream was rock hard! At the time I didn't know this was an issue, assuming it was what happened, but this second time I made it, the lemon cream was silky soft when I retrieved it from the fridge the next day. I actually didn't use Fanny's recipe for Pate Sucree this time, and thought I would try out Dorie Greenspan's Sweet Tart Dough. Dorie's recipe was quite nice, however I do much prefer Fanny's.

The first lemon meringue tart I made was for S's mum. She has never been a big fan of lemon meringue tart, but in her words, the one I had made was 'divine'. Anyway word had got around to S's sister (who lives an hour away) and she felt she was really missing out! So that's how this lemon meringue tart came about.

I didn't really want to deal with making an Italian Meringue while visiting family, so I took the risk and made it beforehand. Luckily, it was fine, though not as good as it would have been had it not been on an hour long car drive! I took the lemon cream and the pre baked tart shell separately and assembled it when we got there. Well, S's sister's son couldn't keep his little hands away from the lemon cream! I wouldn't think lemon would go down a treat on a toddler's tastebuds but apparently he loves to eat lemons like oranges. We gave him one little spoon of the leftover cream and from then on we couldn't get him to stop saying "more some"! When there was no lemon cream left he started crying! But when the tart was ready to eat, he got his fair share (along with some of mine!)

I can't imagine anyone not loving this lemon meringue tart...


Steven said...

Droools.... Waaaant....

I love citrus desserts! This one looks particularly stunning! And that is high praise coming from S's mum, it must have been amazing!

P.S. Am now commenting from an account that actually knows my name :)

B said...

Haha! I was wondering if this was actually you.

*fanny* said...

wow B. your tart is stunning.

I think the creme became hard in the first place because your egg mixture was too hot when the butter was added; which resulted in the butter to melt then seize in the fridge.

anyway, I'm damn happy it worked like a charm the second time. gorgeous.

xx fanny

B said...

Fanny: Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely keep that in mine next time (oh yes, there will be a next time!)