1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 Tbsp butter, cut into Tbsp size pieces, at room temp
1 9-inch tart shell made with Sweet Tart Dough
Have an instant read thermometer, a strainer and a blender on hand. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.
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.
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. 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 it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. This could take as much as 10 min.
As soon as it reaches 180, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the blender; discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees, about 10 min.
Turn the blender to high 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, you must continue to blend the cream for another 3 min.
Pour the 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.
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.
Sweet Tart Dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 Tbsp butter, very cold or frozen, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in-you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses-about 10 seconds each-until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 min, preferably longer, before baking.
Lightly butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake crust for 25 min. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, gently press is down with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 8 min, or until it is firm and golden brown. Cool completely before filling.
Ok...if you are a citrus fan...if you're not a citrus fan...this lemon cream is spectacular! Talk about silky, creamy goodness. I loved making this tart. Talk about stepping out of my comfort zone...I would usually pass up a recipe like this. I would be very intimidated by all of the steps. However, the ingredients are all household items, and it really is amazing watching the science part of this recipe work it's magic. My husband and kids were even into it! (I soooo wish I had a pic of that!) I served it up with a little sweetened whipped cream, a perfect accompaniment in my opinion. I would love to try these next time as individual mini tarts. Overall...a great choice by Mary at Starting from Scratch. I loved every little aspect of this weeks recipe...making it and of course eating it!