The second and final recipe I’m going to share from my Dads 60th is a wonderful, if slightly off season, lemon tart and by complete accident is yet another Pierre Herme recipe, not that this is a bad thing of course. I had planned on giving Monsieur Herme’s recipes a well deserved break from the blog but didn’t realise this was his recipe until I was making it. A couple a years back I picked up a book called simply “The Cooks Book” which I got for the bargain price of £5. Its a kind of text book in that it is very in-depth and shows the steps clearly. It also cover many different styles from Chinese and Indian to Desserts and Breads. Chapters are divided by chef and it includes the likes of Ferran Adria, Rick Bayless, Atul Kochar, Dan Lepard, Marcus Wareing and of course Pierre Herme. It was only whilst checking over the recipe whilst making the tart that I realised I had chosen another Pierre Herme recipe, but no apologies because it is wonderful. The tart shell was crisp and flavoursome, flecked with vanilla seeds and made more indulgent with ground almonds. I decided to only make half the filling and top with fresh berries so the tart nature of the lemon was cut by the fruit.
Tarte au Citron (Lemon Tart)
Pierre Herme – “The Cooks Book”
5 Unwaxed Lemons
240g Caster Sugar
160ml freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
300g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature cut into pieces
26cm Pâte Sucrée Pastry case, fully baked
Apple or Quince Jelly (optional) for glazing
1. Zest the lemons over a large bowl. Pour in the sugar. Using your hands, rub the zest into the sugar until the mixture is damp and grainy. Add the eggs and whisk everything together. Stir in the lemon juice.
2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl must not touch the water in the pan. Cook, stirring with a whisk, until the lemon cream reaches 82-83C. (I couldn’t get mine that high not matter how long I seemed to cook it).
3. Strain the cream into a large bowl. Allow to cool to 60C, stirring from time to time. Add the butter pieces one by one whisking them into the cream with a hand blender. Mix the cream with the blender at full speed for 10 minutes until very smooth.
4. Pour the cooled lemon cream into the baked pastry case. Smooth the surface with a spatula. To glaze the tart, melt some apple or quince jelly in a small pan over low heat. Pour the cooled glaze evenly over the lemon cream filling.
If making like I did, with berries, make a half recipe of the lemon cream and simply top with the fruit once the cream has cooled and has set slightly, dust with a little icing sugar for decoration.