Today's TWD recipe Tartest Lemon Tart was chosen by Babette of Babette Feasts. For the recipe please visit her website here.
In the Buswell household my husband and I have an undeclared (but very active) war over lemon (specifically zest). I love lemons in everything, but he doesn't like them at all. To him, lemons taste like soap, especially lemon zest. So, I spend lots of time thinking of ways to sneak lemons in desserts without him noticing. Sometimes this works, but I can't count the number of times I've heard "Is there lemon in this?" or "I would love this if you hadn't put lemon zest in it." Oh well, if at first you don't succeed… make the tartest lemon tart ever.
I was unsure if Joe would like this, so I made a half batch of this recipe. I've made the sweet tart dough with almond meal more than a few times, so it was fast to assemble. The filling was fast as well. The only change I made was I blanched the lemon peel 3 times to get rid of some of the peel's bitterness.
Once the peels cooled, I blended them with the lemon, sugar, eggs, cornstarch, cream and melted butter. One thing I loved about this recipe is the ease of making it. The filling really took no time at all to make, and the ingredients are all items that I usually have on hand (except maybe the heavy cream).
Since I knew I would be making a half batch, I decided it was time to get some new tartlet pans. I had heard there was a cute kitchen store in Concord, MA; so I headed over to The Concord Shop before I made the tarts. This store has everything a baker/cook could want and more. They also have a nice selection of newly released cookbooks. While I was there, I picked up two 4" tartlet pans and a small offset spatula.
The only downside of the Concord shop was the service. I was the only person there and I had to wait 5 minutes to be rung up because a woman I think was the owner was giving the counter girl a hard time about losing an invoice. I was thinking "isn't this something that could wait" as I stood there. Also, I think greeting a customer with a smile is important; and it was frown city in Concord. Lastly when I got home, I realized they had charge me an extra 50 cents for each tart. Regardless of all that, I'm going to hope it was just a bad day there. I really want to like this shop because it has a lot of great kitchen equipment; and few store in the Boston area do. I'll give it one more try before I decide to spend my money somewhere else.
Back to the tarts; they baked at 325 for 20 minutes and then at 350 for 20 more. Total baking time was 40 minutes. I put the extra custard in ramekins and they took another 10 minutes at 350. The tarts looked just as described set with a light sugary crust.
They smelled and looked amazing when I took them out of the oven. The tarts were amazing. So amazing, that Joe even liked them. I bruleed one tart, and kept the other plain. Aesthetically, I liked the look of the unbruleed tart better. I'm also glad that I blanched the peel before making the filling. Other TWDers found the filling to be too bitter, but mine wasn't at all. I will definitely make this tart again.