One of my lucks is to have a lot of friends willing to try out my new recipes. In a way one of the biggest problems of a food blogger is to be able not to waste all the food cooked! A weekly meeting with friends is therefore a perfect occasion that gives me the chance to experiment without any worry!
Today’s dessert is one of the ones that I fear the most: absolutely awesome taste with a huge chance to make it wrong if underestimated! I have to say that I have been a good student and I followed the recipe to perfection!
The Lemon Tart is a typical english dessert, famous for its difficulty! Surely one of the best desserts I ever tasted!
There is a fun story about this tart! It is a difficult dessert to make since, till not long ago, there was no chance to understand when it is properly cooked. The only way to guess it was to wait for it to cool down and make the “Wobble Test”: shaking softly the tart would make its filling “wobble” softly letting the chef understand (well…kind of) if it was firm enough to be served! Luckily the chef Heston Blumenthal was pretty much fed up with this kind of test. He tried for a whole week to prepare tarts till he understood a sure way to guess when the tart was ready! Modern tecnology helps a lot with this: get a food thermometer and measure the filling temperature at the end of the cooking time, if it is at 70° the tart is perfectly cooked! If less it will collapse, if more it will be too firm to “wobble properly”!
Do you want to try it out with me?
Ingredients for 10 portions:
- 192 g egg yolk (roughly 9 yolks)
- 240 g egg whites (roughly 7 albumens)
- 250 g double cream
- 325 g white sugar
- 200 ml lemon juice
- skin of 4 lemons
- round base of shortcrust pastry
I know that the shortcrust pastry is easy to do and so on…I have an unsolved affair with the rolling pin so I bought the frozen one! Let’s start from there. We roll out the pastry and put it in the baking tray (I used one of 28 cm). We let the borders go out of the pan without cutting them: they will help to prevent the pastry to reduce over the edges. We pierce it very well with a fork. We now take another baking sheet and put it over the pastry surface filling it with dry beans (it is always good to keep half a kg of them for this purpose): they will help the pastry not to raise during the cooking time.
We preheat the oven at 180° and we cook the pastry for 30 minutes.
Now we prepare the cream. We cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juices till we have 200 ml. We sieve them and put them aside. Now we peel the skin of the lemons, with no white, and we add it in the juice. We brake the eggs in a bowl and we separate yolks and whites in order to weight them properly. We finally measure the sugar and cream and add all the ingredients in a large glass bowl. We mix them till even. We prepare a large casserole with boiling water and we turn the burner to minimum. We cook the cream at bain marie mixing it continuously. We measure its temperature constantly till it arrives at 62°. When it arrives this temperature we sieve it and put it into a jug. The whole cream produced is one lt.
The pastry is almost cooked now. We take the beans and the upper baking sheet out and we let cook the pastry bottom for other 10 minutes at 180°. After this step we turn down the temperature to 120°, we take out half of the pastry in its baking pan and pour slowly the cream in it. This makes easier to fill it till the border without problems. We let it cook for 25 minutes.
At the end of the cooking time we measure the filling temperature with a thermometer: it must be 70° to be cooked! Hotter will be firmer, colder will collapse! We let the cake cold in the open oven for about a hour. After the cooling time we cut of the excess of the pastry and them we take it off the pan. If you can, buy the baking trays with removable bottom! It helps a ton!
The cake can be served cold or at room temperature, anyway it will be fresh and delicious! We must be very delicate when cutting it in portions since it is very fragile! Every little effort is more than compensated by its mindblowing taste!
Just how can it be this good??
HOW MUCH IS IT? Thanks to the big number of portions we can make, its cost is pretty affordable: Just € 0.55 per person! Would you believe it?