Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tangy Lemon Tart

This is what the finished product should look like, according to Donna Hay's Classics II

And this is what MY finished product looked like.

Anyway, the reason for the difference in the appearance, I reckon, is quite easy to explain.
1. I do not have a flan tin with vertical walls. The walls to my tin are a bit angled.
2. I did not follow her instruction to strain the lemon mixture, because I added lemon zest to mine, making it even more lemony.
3. The dent you see in the filling is probably from some kid who poked his finger in.

Was actually going to make a lemon delicious pudding for usual family dinner, but my mother mumbled something about a lemon tart would be nice. Anyway, I've noticed the tarte citron in Mr Ho costs a small fortune. I haven't tried the one there, but hey, a lemon tart is a lemon tart, probably differing only in sourness. Most commercial lemon thingies I find aren't tangy or sour enough. Probably the general SOURNESS TOLERANCE INDEX (STI) of the public is quite low.

Tart Shell.

1. 2 cups sifted flour. (actually, its going into food processor, so not sure if sifting is necessary)
2. 125gms cold cold butter, cubed.
3. about 3 tablespoons ice water.

Blitz the flour and butter in a food processor until fluffy like breadcrumbs. Use the pulse mode. Then little by little, add the ice water until it forms a cohesive dough. Watch for that split second when it transforms from crumbly texture to a doughy texture.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes, not longer. Roll out and put into a 9" diameter flan/pie tin, and bake at 180C with a layer of baking beads, rice or beans. This is called blind baking, for you novices out there.

Erm, of course, you need to put a layer of baking paper beneath the beans/rice. Oh, oh, dont forget to poke some holes into the base of the pastry, or the thing will rise like a hot air balloon.

After about 10 mins, remove the beans/rice.... I THINK the purpose of this whole exercise is to make life harder in general, and also to prevent the pastry from deforming too much. Either shrinking, or puffing up.

Meanwhile (after u put the pastry in oven), make the filling:

3/4 cup to 1 cup lemon juice, depending on STI.
grated zest of 2 lemons (avoid the white pith, it gets bitter)
1/2 cup sugar (although donna hay says 3/4.... that might make you diabetic)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup cream

Actually, I reckon for a 9" diameter tin, the above quantities are a bit short. So, my suggestion, 4 eggs, and 1 cup cream

Anyway, using a double boiler set up, ie, bowl over pot of boiling water, dissolve the sugar into the lemon juice. When dissolved, add in the cream and eggs, and continuously stir for about 5 minutes.

At this point, you are supposed to strain the filling mixture. I guess you can, and then add the lemon zest in later.

When the tart base has been cooked, (about 20 minutes), lower oven to 140C. Take out tart base from oven, unless you are heat proof. Pour the strained filling mixture in, (don't forget to add in the zest at some stage), and bake for another 20 minutes on the lower heat.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, or pure cream, or eat it as it is.

So to summarise, sequence is.

1. Make pastry
2. Chill pastry
3. While chilling, grate lemon and squeeze juice, and measure filling ingredients.
4. Bake pastry
5. Start making filling
6. 10 minutes later, take out beans from pastry
7. Another 10 minutes later, take out pastry, lower oven temp, and add filling.
8. Bake another 20 minutes.

And remember this sequence for other tarts.


Anonymous said...

i've tried the lemon tart from Mr. Ho's and let me just say..DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT BUYING IT!! not nice at all...

fatboybakes said...

anonymous: but is that coz you dont like lemony tarts in general, OR this particular tart was no good??? i think mine's quite nice, ahem ahem. can you please try and tell me how it stacks up against chef jerome's? (the supplier to mr ho)

Anonymous said...

hahha!! i LOVE sour stuff and am very particular about where i have lemon tarts...the more sour the better..the one from Mr. ho's...AWFUL!! one of the worst i've tried...i would say the one from Bakerzin or even Delicious is soooo much better....

Anonymous said...

i must add...the one from La Bodega deli is not bad too...not the restaurant but the deli...i'm going to try your recipe this weekend and will definitely let u know how it goes. BTW..i was the one that asked for you orange sour cream poppy seed cake..tried it out over the weekend and it was really good...but i personally think it'll be better with lemon...will try it next time around...thanks for your lovely recipes...

fatboybakes said...

did you and i meet over the weekend??? i met someone over the weekend who said they just tried to orange poppy seed cake. but yes, the lemon poppy seed cake would work just as well, i've tried it many times. u can actually substitute that cake recipe with lemon juice, and pistachios. lemon pistachio sour cream cake. nice oso.

do let me know how it goes with the lemon tart. my mother (but then again, she's biased) said its as good as bakerzins.

Anonymous said...

nope..i dont think we've met...pistachio sounds good too...well...will let u know how it goes..

boo_licious said...

I've not tried the lemon tart from Chef Jerome's but the choc tart which was very very nice. Damn pricey though hence I have been meaning to recreate one of my own at home instead.

The one in Delicious i.e. the lemon meringue pie is not very tangy at all - mild lemony taste but very nice flaky pastry with poppy seeds inside it. Yet to try the Lemon Meringue Pie from Bakerzin but my mum said it's exactly like her version from long long ago.

Wow, Donna Hay getting a real workout these few days, first Babe with her choc chip cookies and now yr lemon tart. I wonder if this Times sale will have more cookbooks for sale.

fatboybakes said...

boo, yar, tell me about it....the choc tart is RM75!!! what do they use? Lindt? Valhorna? I've made chocolate tart couple of times. Tasted alright I reckon, but with chocolate, I guess it really boils down to what chocolate you use. What chocolate does madam connoiseur use??

Anonymous said...

yes..the lemon tart from Delicious may not be sour enough but i liked the crust and how they made it interesting my adding in somepoppy's the whole package thing..

fatboybakes said...

hmm,an idea just came to mind. the lemon rind in the lemon tart gives it that unkempt pock marked faced appearance. maybe incorporating THAT into the pastry, and leaving the lemon custard a nice smooth texture like a baby's bottom will yield a tart like donna hay's, yet not compromising on the lemon rind/zest. pastry with zest, and poppy seeds. now, it that doesn't give one a high, i donno what will.

Anonymous said...

hmmm....i actually like your idea...putting zest in the pastry instead of the filling..maybe i should try doing that instead...will let u know how it goes..

Anonymous said...

U know, MR75 is about AUD25, so that is about right for a choc tart or any nice desert/tart/cake in Sydney. Used to be in the teens. Price of petrol has increased cost of living.
Add a meringue on top and it is lemon meringue pie! Donna Hay's recipes are pretty good.
Tigeress Chin

fatboybakes said...

hmm, tigress chin, dunno about it being lemon meringue if you just plonk on the egg white. lemon meringue pie different texture, the lemon curd is dairy free, in my recipe. as in no cream lah. the LMP i make, the curd is usually made from LOTS of lemon juice, cornflour, water, egg yolks and butter. ah well, will post that recipe for the benefit of others...i'm sure you make a mean LMP.

fatboybakes said...

oh, tigress, by the way, you cant convert laidat lah, RM75=AUD25 for good dessert, coz you guys earn dollar for dollar lah, and RM75 is a small fortune here, using per capita income. To put it in perspective, RM75 will be able to buy you roti canai breakfast, with a teh tarik thrown in, for the entire month. OR, 21.5 bowls of wantan mee, prawn mee, or fried kueh teow at RM3.50 a bowl/plate. (that's in KL. in ipoh, probably 30 bowls leh). see, we are suffering here. (when it comes to non hawker food)

Flower said...

Hello, never comment in your blog before. Your tart looked nice and yummy. I just bought Donna Hay Classic 2 in Big W Perth yesterday. It was on sale. I will use the recipe and your instruction.

fatboybakes said...

flower, hope you enjoy donna hay's classics II. some of the noteworthy recipes there are the flourless chocolate cake, the pancakes, the doughnuts, the lemon tart, the chocolate tart (although I've never tried her version)...

Flower said...

I tried the doughnuts yesterday, and it turn yummy and easy to make too. Might try the lemon tart because I have a lemon tree in the back yard.

Jade said...

Hi, i came across ur blog the other day and decided to try your flourless chocolate cake with the molten centre just to's absolutely DIVINE!!..I honestly think u can give Chilli's a run for their money:) looking forward to trying your other recipes

fatboybakes said...

hi lychee, nice of you drop by. glad that the cake was a success. of course, since u are in the UK, you can use the best quality chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, etc...which should make it even more divine.

Gloria Clary said...

Hi Fatboy, We've moved to the US from AU and unfortunately didn't take our Donna Hay magazines with us. We're missing her basic butter cake recipe, which also show different versions made by adding other ingredients such as chocolate chunks, etc. It was in one of her magazines published sometime in 2005 or 2006. Do you have that recipe by any chance?