I'm really glad that I can finally sit down, relax and chill out a little. This week has been pretty crazy at work, pretty hectic after work as well as I had to study for my Japanese paper. After it was over yesterday, I had to rush to buy ingredients to cook a meal for the family as it was my mum's birthday! Well, I'm glad they enjoyed the meal. I made waldorf salad, baked rice, shepherd's pie and ended the meal with this lovely lemon cream tart which, to me, was the best part of the meal. The cream is indeed smooth, luxurious and very delicious. It might look simple as it's just cream in a tart shell, but taste-wise it's lovely :).
The Lemon Cream Tart is one of the recipes I've been meaning to try from Baking from my home to yours. I'm finally able to try this after getting an instant-read thermometer. The cooking of the custard was a little tedious due to the continuous stirring, but the results fully justified the work! The texture was really light, with a tangy lemon taste, very yummy! The boys in my house don't quite like it though (I don't understand what's up with guys and lemons, somehow they just don't click ), but my mum loved it and so did I. I think it's a girl's thing to love lemons and their sourness, it really picks me up at the end of the day :).
Lemon Cream Tart
adapted from Baking from my home to yours
1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 to 5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (10 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
1 fully-baked 9-inch tart shell
1. Have a thermometer, preferably an instant-read, a strainer and a blender (first choice) ready. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.
2. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a large metal bowl that can be fitted into the pan of simmering water. Off heat, work the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs followed by the lemon juice.
3. Fit the bowl into the pan (make certain the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl) and cook, stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels warm to the touch. You want to cook the cream until it reaches 180°F. As you whisk the cream over heat—and you must whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling—you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as the cream is getting closer to 180°F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Don’t stop whisking and don’t stop checking the temperature, getting to the desired temperature can take as long as 10 minutes.
4. As soon as the mixture reaches180°F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of a blender; discard the zest. Let the cream rest at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140°F, about 10 minutes.
5. Turn the blender to high and, with the machine going, add about 5 pieces of butter at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed while you’re incorporating the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going—to get the perfect light, airy texture, you must continue to beat the cream for another 3 minutes.
6. Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and chill the cream for at least 4 hours or overnight. When you are ready to construct the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell.
Yields one 9-inch tart.