Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lemon Almond Tart

Lemon Almond Tart 

I had couple of friends come over for lunch.  As I was planning the menu for lunch, I realized that one didn't like chocolate and the other didn't like anything fruity for dessert.  I was stumped - what can I make for dessert that both of them will enjoy.  None of the recipes in my extensive collection gave me any ideas.  

Then as I was strolling in the supermarket to get some inspiration, I found this lovely book on tarts.  It is called TARTS written by Sarah Banbery.  The book was on sale and is worth every penny(look at the price here). I have baked few of the tarts and they have all been magnificent. There are savory tart, fruity tarts, a mixture of first course individual and cocktail size tartlets. There are some useful tips that apply to all recipes which help make your dough success every time.  Here are the tips...

  • Allow a little more butter and flour than the amount stated in the recipe, extra flour for rolling out the dough, and a little additional butter to grease the tart pan.
  • Always roll out the dough and line the pan before chilling, as this will stop the dough from shrinking.  In this way you can trim the dough edges before baking to give a neat finishing edge.  Always chill dough before cooking.
  • Keep the raw dough trimmings to plug any cracks or small holes, which may appear after baking the tart blind. Simply press a little of the raw dough into the crack and the heat of the cooked pastry will fix it in place.
  • Preheat the oven with a heavy baking sheet in it on which the tart shell can be placed. THis will cook the dough better and makes it easier to get the tart in and out of the oven.
  • To bake blind, use parchment paper, which you can scrunch up then smooth out to fit into the tart snugly.
  • Use large eggs
  • The butter and water for the dough should always be as cold as possible and the flour should always be shifted.
  • If not using the food processor simply sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and rub in the butter by hand.

This tart has a beautiful texture that comes from the almonds.  The almonds gives a nutty flavor to this otherwise tart tart.  It is different from the classic French Tart Au Citron, which has a smooth filling.  This tart is lovely with a hot cup of tea or coffee and can be served warm or cold.


Pie Dough
  • 11/8 cups of all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 31/2oz/100g cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsps superfine sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • cold water
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 11/2 cups ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup water

Lightly grease a 9 inch/22 cm loose bottom fluted tart pan.  

Sift the flour and salt into a food processor, add the butter, process until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. (I used my clean hands to do this)

Tip the mixture into a large bowl, add the sugar and egg yolk, and a little cold water, just enough to bring the dough together (most probably you won't need water, but if you do, then put only few drops at a time)

Turn out onto a counter dusted with flour and roll the dough 3 1/4 inches/8 cm larger than the pan.  Carefully lift the dough into the pan and press to fit. 

Roll the rolling pin over the pan to neaten the edges and trim the excess dough.  Fit a piece of parchment paper into the tart shell, fill with dried beans, and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F/190C

Remove the pastry shell from the refrigerator and bake blind for 10 minutes in the preheated oven then remove the beans and paper and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Put the juice and finely grated rind of 3 of the lemons in a large bowl and the eggs, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the ground almonds, and the cream, whisking to combine.  Pour into the pastry shell and bake for 25 minutes.  

Remove the tart from the oven.  Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.


In the recipe, the author makes a topping with lemon slices and sugar.  I didn't do this as I didn't want to add more calories to the tart.  But you can take it a step further... here is how she did it.

Ingredients for the topping:

2 Lemons,
1 cup super fine sugar.


Thinly slice the remaining 2 lemons discarding the seeds and ends.  Put the remaining sugar and water in a pan and heat until the sugar is melted.  Let simmer for 5 minutes, add the lemon slices and boil for 10 minutes.   Arrange the lemon slices over the surface in a spiral pattern.  Drizzle the remaining lemon syrup over the slices.  Serve warm or cold.

The top most picture is going for Click the food photography event hosted by Bee and Jai @ Jugalbandi.  This months theme is yellow for Bri and is a fundraiser for food blogger Bri from Figs with Bri. (See my previous post)

Also this is my last post for this month, I am going on vacation and will be back by mid July.

Monday, June 9, 2008

For all things yellow...

Over the years, you hear more and more about the big C.  In the last 6 years I have lost my friends father, a friends sister, a family friend, and an aunt who have all suffered till their last breath from this deadly disease.  

They say that cancer not only kills the person diagnosed with cancer but also the people around physically, mentally and emotionally.   

Bee and Jai from Jugalbandi announced a special event for their monthly food photography event.  This months event is an appeal on behalf of a group of food bloggers who are friends of Briana Brownlow @ Figs With Bri.

Bri was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. At the age of 15, Bri lost her 41-year old mother to the disease. Now, she’s waging her own war against breast cancer. More about it here.

She is going through intensive chemo and other treatments and needs to focus single-mindedly on healing and finding what treatment works best for her. Her health insurance, unfortunately, does not cover holistic alternatives which she would like to try. Bri and her husband Marc have enough on their plates right now in addition to worrying about her medical bills.

The team organising the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.

CLICK is a monthly theme-based photography contest hosted by Jugalbandi. This month’s theme is: YELLOW for Bri

Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer.

The entries can be viewed HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008.

The target amount is 12,000 U.S. dollars. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise.

There’s a raffle with exciting prizes on offer. After viewing the list, you may make your donation HERE or at the Chip-In button on any participating site.

Your donation can be made securely through credit card or Pay Pal and goes directly to Bri’s account.

This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details HERE.

You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicising this campaign.

Everyone who reads this post please ChipIn for Bri.  Thanks.