Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TWD: Tartest Lemon Tart

This week's Tuesdays With Dorie selection is the Tartest Lemon Tart, chosen by Babette of Babette Feasts.

When I read about Babette's selection, I was immediately smitten by the title. Who doesn't love a good lemon tart? But later, when I checked at the recipe to see what ingredients I would need to buy, I got scared. Dorie's Tartest Lemon Tart is not your average lemon tart.

It contains not just lemon zest and juice, but one and a half entire lemons. You're reading this correctly. Entire lemons. The lemons are blended up with the rest of the tart filling - heavy cream, butter, eggs - until the mixture is entirely smooth and no one's the wiser.

I was skeptical. No, wait, that's an understatement. I was terrified. The last time I threw entire lemons into a recipe, it was when I decided to make lemonade using my juicer - I cut the lemons in half and threw each half right into the machine. I was 16 and didn't realize that lemon pith is very, very bitter. Have you ever had bitter lemonade? I don't recommend it - there's no amount of sugar that will remove its bitter taste.

So as I blended up entire lemons in my trusty Magic Bullet, I couldn't help but think of the bitter lemonade and make a silent prayer to the culinary gods to please, please, please let this recipe turn out well.

The tart dough (which called for almonds, although I skipped them) was sweet and crispy - too crispy, according to my boyfriend, but I loved it. I don't own a food processor, so I made it using my stand mixer. I think that made the dough harder to work with, but I love the sense of accomplishment of making my own crust.

As I pulled it out of the oven - bubbled over and looking a bit curdled - I was scared. It didn't look all that appetizing. After letting the tart cool, cutting it into slices, and taking my first bite, however, I was impressed. There was a hint of bitter aftertaste, but besides that, this tart was smooth, lemony, and otherwise very much like a classic lemon tart. The second time around, I took Dorie's suggestion of making lemon tart "brûlée" - I added a bit of turbinado sugar to the top, whipped out my kitchen torch, and touched the flame to the sugar until it was melted and brown. The burnt sugar complemented the tart perfectly. In fact, having tasted it, I wouldn't serve the tart without the sugar crust on top. It was that good.

For this week's recipe, visit Babette Feasts. Thanks for the selection, Babette!


Cristine May 12, 2009 at 1:39:00 PM EDT  

Looks great!

Pamela May 12, 2009 at 1:46:00 PM EDT  

Hmmmm...mine are still in the fridge, so maybe I'll brulee one tonight before snack time. Looks great!

Eliana May 12, 2009 at 3:36:00 PM EDT  

Your tart looks incredible. The brule top give it such a rustic, elegant look. Great job.

Nichi May 12, 2009 at 4:18:00 PM EDT  

You did that with a magic bullet! Brave girl very brave! It turned out beautiful.

Clivia May 12, 2009 at 7:57:00 PM EDT  

Your tarts looks lovely! Next time I'll have to brulee the top. Glad you enjoyed!

Steph May 12, 2009 at 8:54:00 PM EDT  

Your tart looks pretty. I need to get a magic bullet! It seems a little easier to clean than a food processor!

vibi May 12, 2009 at 10:02:00 PM EDT  

I don't think the lemon gods would have been with me on that one, so ...I didn't risk it and chickened out. Supremed my lemon instead... oh! well... I'm glad you were lucky with it, and that it turned out so great! ...it is beautiful too, you couldn't ask for anything else!

matty May 13, 2009 at 12:41:00 PM EDT  

This recipe was surprisingly good!

Tracey May 13, 2009 at 2:43:00 PM EDT  

Yay, I'm glad it was such a success for you! :) Mine turned out a lot like your lemonade - way too bitter!

MaryBeth May 14, 2009 at 9:27:00 PM EDT  

OMG... fabulous. this is like a big lemon bar, I would be in heaven

TeaLady May 23, 2009 at 11:51:00 PM EDT  

Looks perfect. And with a Magic Bullet. Wow!! Great job.

Tonya @ What's On My Plate May 24, 2009 at 7:50:00 PM EDT  

entire lemons!?!?!?! who knew! glad it worked out for you.

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