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...

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.


Ingredients:

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
Filling
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 11/2 cups ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup water
Method:

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.

Note:

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.

Method:

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.

5 comments:

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

I actually have never made a tart, urs look really smooth and PERFECT!!

farida said...

I love the combo of lemon and almond. What a great recipe you've shared.

Hetal said...

nice recipe...looks delicious.You have a wonderful blog.

My comfort food network said...

Thank you all for the comments,

Farida do let me know when you make it. Your Zebra cake is a big hit in my house!

Bren said...

i've never made lemon tart but it's one of my fave desserts.. so darn refreshing and silky smooth for summer! :)