See that photo? You have to pretend there’s a piece of lemon cream tart on that plate. Instead of just a spoonful of lemon cream. C’mon, just use your imagination.
It’s not that Dorie Greenspan’s lemon cream tart recipe failed or sucked or anything like that. The lemon cream was just too good. It never made it into the tart shell. Fine, I never made a tart shell. But even if I had, it never would have made it in there. So, I’d like to pretend there was something fancy going on in that picture, but, really, it was just me spooning out lemon cream from a mixing bowl and eating raspberries by the handful with no plate involved.
So much for making a good impression with my first Tuesdays with Dorie post.
Since I failed to make the assigned recipe because I was too cheap/lazy to spring for a madeleine pan, and then failed to make, in its entirety, the substitute recipe, I think it’s safe to say that things aren’t off to a fantastic start. And that’s pretty much how it’s going to continue until I get kicked out of the club.
But, damn, that was good lemon cream. Here’s the recipe if you’re interested. If it seems like a lot of butter, it is. I don’t want to think about how many sticks of the stuff I consumed in less than 24 hours, but the good news is this. The lemon curd, before you whip in the butter, is also outstanding. Tart and addictive, and I already have some plans for it.
Like lemon curd except the butter gets whipped in at the end to a silky, emulsified finish.
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
¾ cup fresh lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into Tbsp.-sized pieces
Have an instant-read or candy thermometer, and a blender with a strainer resting on top at the ready. Bring a medium pot half-full of water to a boil.
Find a large metal mixing bowl that can be set on top of the pot without the bottom touching the 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.
Once the water is boiling, set the bowl on top of the pan and whisk quickly. When it starts to get hot, insert the thermometer. Keep whisking vigorously (so the eggs don’t scramble) until the mixture thickens and the temperature reaches 180°F (between 5 and 10 minutes). Immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into the strainer over the blender, a bit at a time, using a rubber scraper to push it through. Discard the zest. Let the cream sit in the blender bowl for 10 minutes to cool a bit.
Turn the blender to high and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides as needed. Once all the butter is in, blend the cream for another 3 minutes. Pour cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. When you’re ready to use it, just whisk the cream a bit to loosen it. You can use it as a tart filling, a cake filling, on toast, over fruit, or straight out of the bowl like yours truly.
Source: Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and Pierre Hermé.