The Baking Illustrated Challenge: Lemon Tart

Cook Book: Baking Illustrated

Challenge: The Baking Illustrated Challenge

Menu/recipe: Lemon tart

I know I have been slow in blogging as of late. I have been extremely busy, and the summer heat does not help matters. There have been many things going on this month. From job searching, family get togethers, and school.

I have yet to find a job even though I have applied to many places. I was hopeful for a job at Apple as an at home advisor, but that did not pan out. I am still hopeful that I will get a call for an interview one of these days.

I have been doing well with my orientation class, WMU OT 2020, for grad school. I have found over the years that spreading out the work over time is the best method for classes. A good majority of the class is starting the grad program in the fall which is neat. I still have a lot of things left to do before I start grad school in the fall.

Background check – August 1st

Physical – August 3rd, Hopefully, my Doctor has had more success in getting my immunization shots from Texas than I have. I have been trying to get my immunization records from my pediatrician for the past three years. I personally would rather have my shot recorders rather than the alternative which includes shots….many shots over many weeks.

The due date for the background check, finger printing, and drug test is August 15th, and by the orientation date, Sept. 5th, I have to have my medical records, Ids, health insurance etc all copied and ready to go.

Needless to say these things are stressing me out, and I have very little control over either situations. I just keep hoping and praying that everything will work out the way it needs to.

Two weeks ago on Saturday, Brian and I had his Mom , Grandma W., Theresa, Eric , and Nicholas over for a Saturday dinner. Everything went very well. Theresa’s and Eric’s dog Daisy,  and my spunky monkey Gizmo got along well. We had country style ribs that Brian cooked on the grill, beans, fruit salad, corn on the cob, juice, and buttermilk biscuits. It was really warm but we moved some tables underneath a tree in the back yard and that helped. Nicholas had tons of energy and ran around a lot. Brian has a huge tub of cars that Nicholas gets to play with when he comes over. He always asks about the cars , and eventually Brian had the time to go down and get them from the tub in the basement.

Later on this month we got to watch him for an hour or so and I found an old box of stuffed animals that I have collected over 25 years. Though I think the stuffed animals need a good airing out Nicholas seems to like the Raccoon the most. Interestingly enough a friend of my mom’s gave the raccoon to her, which I believe she won at a Texas fair, and some how I ended up attached to it and dragging it around the house by its tail. The raccoon is easily as big as a toddler. Now in the living room we have two tubs. One of the tubs is full of cars and the other one is full of stuffed animals. Now at least we don’t have to drag the tubs upstairs when ever Nicholas comes over :).

However, lets get back to this tart. I debated whether to make a chocolate cake, free form tart, or the lemon tart. In the end I felt that the lemon tart would compliment everything we were having. It was perfect and beautiful. I did have issues with the dough and rolling it in to the pan. On the third try I finally got it in the pan! I made some fresh whipped cream to decorate with. Needless to say the dessert did not last two days. The next day my husband walked in to the kitchen and found me slicing up the rest of the tart. I looked up and said it will make it easier for us to ‘portion’ the dessert. He just smiled and said uhh huu. He knew that I was going to get a second slice and I was justifying the slicing of the remainder of the tart.

Lemon Tart

1 recipe sweet tart pastry for pre-baked tart shell (page 223) fully baked and still warm

7 lg egg yolks, plust 2 large eggs

1 cup plus 2 T sugar

2/3 cup juice plus 1/4 cup finely grated zest from 4-5 medium lemons

pinch salt

4 T unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces

3 T heavy cream

1. Remove the baking sheet with the tart shell from the oven and place the baking sheet on a wire rack. Keep the oven temperature at 375 degrees.

2. In a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together the yolks and whole eggs until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk until just combined, about 5 seconds. Add the lemon juice, zest, and salt; whisk until combined, about 5 seconds. transfer the mixture to a medium non reactive saucepan, add the butter pieces, and cook over medium- low heat , stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the curd thickens to a thin sauce like consistency and registers 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour the curd through a fine mesh stainless steel strainer set over a clean nonreactive bowl. Stir in the heavy cream; pour the curd into the warm tart shell immediately.

3. Return the baking sheet with the filled tart shell to the middle rack of the oven. Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center 3 inches jiggle slightly when shaken, 10-15 minutes (* NOTE : Do not over cook, trust that the oven has done its job) . Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove the outer ring, slide a thin metal spatula between the bottom crust and the tart pan bottom to release, then slip the tart onto a cardboard round or serving plate. serve the tart within several hours.


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