Saturday, March 7, 2009

Whole Lemon Tart

I had been in the mood of making a lemon tart for some time now using a recipe from Dorie Greenspan's book. I guess the final straw came when I saw a tart recipe posted up in Smitten Kitchen's blog. Lemons do so well in any dessert recipes and furthermore it's a readily available fruit all year round. I've made lemon slice before but have never attempted a lemon tart. I would image it's pretty close to a slice as it does have a biscuit-like base and sitting on top of it would be a lemon filing. However the filing of this particular tart is what makes it stand out amongst other lemon filing. It calls for the use of an entire lemon ... yes, you heard me right, one full lemon, skin, white rind and pulp is used. When I read the recipe, I wasn't sure about it. I've heard that the white rind should not be used as it gives a certain bitterness to the recipe. However if it had worked for the talented Smitten Kitchen, who am I to argue about it!

I've made her "unshrinkable" pie shell recipe before into a fresh mango tart and I have not been disappointed one ounce. So with her pie shell recipe at hand plus the lemon tart recipe, I dived right into this project. I made the pie shell the night before, unbaked of course, wrapped it nicely and placed it into the fridge. The next afternoon, I made the lemon filing and baked off the tart. Based on the recipe, I turned this into an 8" lemon tart with 2 smaller tart ramikins. I was going to give the 8" lemon tart to a fellow baker friend and the other smaller tarts for tea-time for myself and my hubby. We enjoyed it thorough. The pastry was flaky, buttery and soft and the lemon filing was certainly tart. Excellent dessert with our afternoon cup of coffee. This is definitely a recipe I'll bookmark to make when friends come around.

Whole Lemon Tart
Adapted from Rollet-Pradier via Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets

1 partially baked 9-inch (24-cm) Great Unshrinkable Tart Shell recipe or your favorite sweet tart shell
1 average-sized lemon (about 4 1/2 ounces; 130 grams), rinsed and dried (a regular lemon works fine but a Meyer lemon works even better; the former will taste sharper, the latter more mild)
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons (12 grams) cornstarch
1 stick (4 ounces; 115 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled


1) Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven 325°F (165°C). Line a trimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and put the tart shell on the sheet.

2) Slice the lemon into thin wedges, remove the seeds, and toss the lemon and sugar into the container of a blender or food processor. Blend or process, scraping down the sides of the container as needed, until the lemon is thoroughly pureed and blended with the sugar, 1 to 2 minutes.

3) Turn the mixture into a bowl and, using a whisk, gently stir in the whole egg and the yolk, followed by the cornstarch and melted butter. Pour the filling into the crust.

4) Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake the tart for 20 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and lightly browned.

5) Transfer the tart, still on the baking sheet, to a cooling rack and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. The tart is ready to be served when it reaches room temperature.

6) Best served on the day it is made, slightly warm. However it can be kept in the refrigerator overnight; bring to cool room temperature before serving.


ebagger said...

Your tarts looks so wonderful! I'm sure a meyer lemon would taste fantastic.


Information Waitress said...

Oh my I baked your tart for dinner tonight and it came out looking gorgeous and golden brown. The whole family was drooling. But when we bit into it was so tart none of us could finish more than one bite. I wonder if more sugar would help? Not a complaint just a warning, this is NOT a sweet dessert. However I love your blog and the pictures are beautiful. Thanks for posting.

Jo said...

Hi Emily, I've been told that using a meyer lemon would be better as it won't be so tart. Unfortunately where I'm staying I've not been able to find meyer lemons, so had to resort to using normal lemons.

Hi Information Waitress, surprisingly we found it delicious and finished off the 2 small tartlettes. I guess if you don't like a tart lemon, you could add a few more tablespoons of sugar or alternatively subsititute it with a meyer lemon instead. I had baked the recipe from original printing and found it worked out well for our own taste.

Sara said...

This looks beautiful! I have just a few meyer lemons left, I may have to make this soon.

Joie de vivre said...

Gorgeous pictures!

Natashya said...

I have Paris Sweets, but haven't made anything with it yet.
Lemon is one of my all time favourite flavours. The tarts look great! I love the rectangular dishes.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love lemon tarts and anything citrusy! A fantastic dessert item! I love that gorgeous filling...



Ingrid said...

I made this about a month it go. I used a meyer lemon. It was very good. My one son in particular LOVED it. Yours looks lovely!

I need to email you about the tart crust as I found the instructions confusing. It worked out but I'm not certain about it.

Anonymous said...

citrus is an all time favourite with me...beautiful tarts!

Ramya Kiran said...

Lovely post. I loved your last pic. Its just so very tempting!! I'll be trying this soon...

The Food Librarian said...

This looks great! I have a bag full of Meyer lemons that are looking for a recipe...and I think I found it!

A_and_N said...

Hi, first time visitor and I have bookmarked this recipe. The picture is so irresistible :)

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