Friday, August 5, 2011

Meyer Lemon Tart



Ah.. finally this post is up!!

Every year around Spring time (it is kinda late this year), I am always loaded with a whole bunch of meyer lemons, mostly coming from neighbor's tree, friends, and also from my coworker's too. The coworker has a meyer lemon tree that is producing all year around (yup, I now now where to get my source all year!).


The temperature here is staying around 80's on average, cool in the morning and at night. I guess making lemon tart is really appropriate to finally celebrating the hot summer days! I LOVE SUMMER!

Life is still crazy busy, it seems like there is never enough time for everything, I am sure it happens with most of you too. Lack of sleep is becoming a regular now, so between work, baking, personal life, social life, errands (or chores), sometimes you really just want to sit back and relax.




anyways, if you've been following this blog for a while, you probably notice that I would make meyer lemon tart every year and this year is no difference, just a bit later than usual (I made this about 1.5 months ago). I have been trying to use them fast since they have been in the fridge for quite a while and I would hate it if they're going to waste. So, I managed to make this lemon tart and macaron over a span of a week, one component at a time.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this tart (that is really the primary reason why I make them every year)! As usual, the recipe comes from Pierre Herme and I am pretty sure any lemon lovers are well-informed about his brilliant lemon cream. It is always satisfying everytime I make it and it will continue to appear every year.


So if you still have some stash of lemons, please try this. And even if you don't, you might want to go get it to make this tart.

Pierre Herme's Meyer Lemon Tart

Pate Sucree
yield: three 101/2-in crusts or four 8-in crusts

300g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
190g powdered sugar
60g ground almonds
1 vanilla bean, scrapped
2 eggs, room temperature
500g all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

* Put the butter in a mixer bowl and cream until smooth and creamy using a paddle attachment.
* Add the sugar, ground almonds, and vanilla bean seeds. Mix until combined.
* Add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating the previous one before adding the next one (the dough might look curdled at this point but don't worry, it'll come together once you add the flour)
* Combine the flour and salt. Add to the dough in about three addition. Mix until just it comes together. Do not overwork! Like Pierre said, "it's better to have lumps of butter rather than to have an overworked dough".
* Divide the dough in the portions you need. Form each one into a ball and flatten it into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight (you can also freeze the dough at this point and thaw it in the fridge overnight).
* Remove one disk from the fridge, and roll it either between two sheets of parchment paper, or just well-floured surface. You need to move quickly though. You don't want the dough to be soft and overworked.
* Line your tart pan with the dough and put it back in the fridge for at least 1-2 hrs to rest.
* Preheat the oven to 350 F.
* When you're ready to bake, put a parchment paper on top of the dough and fill the bottom with either rice or beans.
* Bake for 20 minutes. Take the parchment paper and the beans/rice off, then continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes until it's golden brown.
* Let cool in the ring.

Lemon Cream

200 g whole eggs (4 eggs)
240 g granulated sugar
160 g fresh Meyer lemon juice
zest from about 5 lemons
300 g unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed

* Rub the zest with the sugar using your finger until the sugar is moistened with lemon oil.
* On a double boiler, combine the sugar, eggs and juice .
* Whisk/stir constantly until the mixture reaches 85-86 C.
* Strain the mixture and let cool to about 55-60 C and put it in a blender (if you don't have a hand-held blender)
* Add the butter a couple of pieces at a time, to make an emulsion. The mixture will lighten in color. Continue running the blender for a few minutes after all of the butter has been added to ensure the airy and light cream. Make sure stop and run the blender a few times to avoid over-heating.
* Pour the mixture into prepared crust and refrigerate.

61 comments:

labonnebouche said...

This is one of my favourite tarts too - fresh, sweet, full of flavours, slightly sour. Just perfect! Gorgeous photos too, they make me wanna drink some lemonade now :-)

The Procrastobaker said...

Beautifulbeauuttiful tart, and using a recipe from such a baking legend im sure it tastes just as wonderful as it looks :) really perfect!

Heidi @ Food Doodles said...

Those tarts look so pretty! You're so fortunate to have access to meyer lemons, they look so delicious and their color is beautiful!

Reem said...

Beautiful and Delicious!!! I love meyer lemon but somehow never made a tart. Will try this one.

Susan said...

May I ask for the US standard measurements to your post?
Lovely flavors you have used to create a beautiful dessert!

yenny said...

Bertha,

Those looks so yummy! Some questions for you:
* Did you make the whole batch of the pate sucree? It said it makes 3-4 crusts. Or did you make several lemon tarts?
* What did you use as your tart pans? From the shape of it, it looks like you use either a cake pan or a springform pan, probably 8"? Is that right?
* Are meyer lemons different from the ones commonly sold at supermarkets?

Bertha said...

Yenny:
- Yes, I do make the whole batch. I keep the rest in the freezer which is GREAT! so that I can make one crust for all different tarts
- I used tart rings measured about 3" in diameter and 3/4" high. You can use any other tart pans you have
- Some supermarkets carry meyer lemons too, although they are generally a little more expensive than the regular ones. You can use the regular lemons too

Swee San @ TheSweetSpot said...

have tried PH's lemon cream before and it's amazing!! oh butter!

travellingfoodies said...

I'm so jealous!!! You get these beautiful meyer lemons! Are they in season now? My sis is currently in Seattle. Hopefully she can lug some back when she comes home in 3 weeks' time!

Bertha said...

travellingfoodies: It is not in season right now, but in CA, I'm pretty sure you can always find it. I always got mine from neighbor/coworker. My coworker has a tree full of them all year long

Anna said...

Such gorgeous photos!

Ειρήνη said...

great photos and lemon tart is my favorite!i want to try it as soon as possible!

Paterfelis said...

Absolutely wonderful. Made two for Thanksgiving and getting ready to make a third. It is very important to strain well and emulsifying the butter in a blender gives a much creamer texture than using a hand mixer. Your photos are wonderful.

Jason Tritton said...

Hi.
Your reciepe states "yield: three 101/2-in crusts or four 8-in crusts" but in the comment you say you use a 3" tart ring.

Could you let me know which the reciepe makes as i would like to make 4 x 3" tartlets and dont know if i need to half the amounts.

Many thanks
Jason

Bertha said...

Jason: I used the same recipe as stated on the post. I always divide them into 3 rounds or 4 rounds when making the dough and freeze it. One round is enough to make about 5-6 mini tarts (measured about a little over 3" inches in diameter and 0.5" high

ashlynn said...

I am having a hard time converting this recipe but I want to try it! Any suggestions?

Bertha said...

Ashlynn: what are you converting it to?

ashlynn said...

Cups or ounces - I am in the US

kale @ tastes good to me! said...

Oof. I. WANT. The lemon cream looks divine.

Anonymous said...

I bake a lot using my German recipes. Here are the conversions I use:
500g flour = 3 cups
25g sugar = 1 heaped Tbs
13g butter = 1 Tbs
28g = 1 oz in weight

Anonymous said...

How long will the cream keep for??

Bertha said...

Pierre Herme says (in the book) that the cream can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and frozen up for a month

Anonymous said...

Your pictures look great... What size pans did you use in the pictures?

Bertha said...

Anonymous: Thanks! I am using 3" in diameter and 3/4" high tart pan

p said...

I, too, have a 20yo Meyer Lemon tree that produces year-round in northern California while my Eureka tree, 4yo, has very few. I prefer the strong, Eureka skin oil but give away at least 50# or as many as people will carry. Never made lemon cream, but since I love lemon curd, this is now near the top of my to-make list. Still have lots of fresh raspberries and strawberries here, so perhaps next week. So thankful to find your blog from Pinterest. Though a novice baker (and science geek), I never used a scale until a year ago: it is well worth it and often means fewere measuring cups to wash!

Bertha said...

p: I've never actually heard of Eureka tree, now I am curious. I am so envious of your tree! I could go crazy if I have a tree full of lemons.
If you still have lots of strawberries and raspberries, you might want to make this version of lemon tart:
http://gourmetbaking.blogspot.com/2012/10/lemon-tart-with-white-chocolate-cream.html

Jess Joseph said...

Hi Bertha

Just to clarify from the comments, the recipe makes just enough curd for a 10 1/2 inch tart?

Bertha said...

Jess Joseph: I've always made it using the mini tart rings (3" diameter) and I always have leftover cream. According to Pierre Herme book, you will need about 1.5cups of cream. The lemon curd recipe will give you about 2.5 cups of curd

Jess Joseph said...

Thanks!

Are those tart rings the bottomless kind? I've never used one before, but I've always love the look of the tarts that use them.

Bertha said...

Yup, it is the bottomless kind. I love it too!
Btw, I rechecked the book, and the lemon cream will give you 2.5-3 cups of cream.

Eleonor Cosenza said...

Hi Bertha, so after finding a picture of your tarts, i decidef to try this PH recipe. I've done the one from the bakery and book Tartine (in San Francisco). They also say to bring the lemond curd temperature to 180f which is about 85c. Now here is my issue. In the book, she says it takes about 10-15 min to get to that temp. using a metal bowl. Ph recipe says 20-25min. Well, i was ovrr the stove for over 40min and the highest reading i got was 76C. I used a candy thermometer and even the digital one you use for a roast in the oven!!!! I know the curd was definitely cooked. It had the consistency of pudding. Am i doing something wrong for it to take over40min? I'm wondering if the glass bowl i was using was too big so the curd was cooling off as i was whisking it!

Bertha said...

Eleonor: use metal bowl instead of glass bowl. Glass is not a good heat conductor, it will take a long time to reach the temperature. The end consistency should be thick, like pudding i guess. 85c is the temperature before the eggs curdle

Eleonor Cosenza said...

Thanks for your quick response :) Next time I'll make sure I use the metal bowl. Also, just out of curiosity, which P H book do you have? I'm also a self taught baker and haveall kinds of baking books and I'm always looking for new ones. I believe i saw you mention Allen Ducasse, is that a book worth getting cause its not cheap ;)
I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing these recipes and techniques. Before i had children, i was always in the kitchen trying all kinds of difficult recipes and now its hard to find time to make them and read all those books. I have my 2year old making afew simple things but most of the ones i want to try are complicated for him to help.

Eleonor Cosenza said...

I forgot to mention the Alain Ducasse book I'm talking about is the Grand Livre de cuisine:Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries. And the Pierre Hermes book, is it the one Dorie Gresspan wrote? Thanks again.

Bertha said...

I like Alain Ducasse's book, it is a very thick book, full of inspiration. Not many entremet or cake recipe but I think it is worth it for me, depending on what kind of baking you do.

I have a couple of PH book, Dessert by PH, Chocolate Dessert by PH, macarons, Pierre Herme Pastries, and La patisserie de pierre herme

Ronja said...

So beautiful and much better than a big tarte!

Elizabeth M. said...

This looks so incredible! I need to buy some Meyer lemons as soon as the supermarket carries them. I have a question though, I hope you don't mind me asking! Did you get your tart rings online or in store? I can't find any in the baking stores around me and I find that some of the ones online are a little pricy. But since I've been wanting to make so many different tarts for a while, I must have some! Do you have any suggestions?

Bertha said...

Elizabeth: I got my tart rings online, as most of my baking tools. They are a little pricey, i think about $5 each (plus shipping), but I am so glad I got it. The only regret is that I didnt buy enough :)

Elizabeth M. said...

This is a little late, but thanks so much for replying! If you don't mind me asking, where is a good site to buy the tart rings?

Bertha said...

Elizabeth: I havent done a whole lot of research, I guess it depends on your location (for the shipping cost) and is you're gonna shop for other things, but I bought mine from www.bakedeco.com

Bridget said...

I made this yesterday and did not fully read your instructions, had to take a lot of freezer shortcuts to have it ready to serve that night. I made it in six 4" tart pans - would have loved to make them a lot smaller - that is a LOT of butter in the lemon!! But delicious.

Bertha said...

Bridget: well, the most important thing is, it came out delicious! Glad you like it

Anonymous said...

hello!i m wondering if i should bake the whole pie after i put the cream in the tarte or is it done (talking about the 20 min baking of the Pate Sucree ,is it enough?)thanks

Bertha said...

Anonymous: Only the crust that needs to be baked. After you fill it with lemon cream, you just need to refrigerate it until it firms up. The lemon cream is fully cooked. It has so much butter and it will become a messy goo if you bake it

Annie Lin said...

Hi Bertha,

Love your photos!!! They look so delicious! :D Iwould you mind me asking if I use normal lemons instead, do I need to add in more sugar to reach the sweetness that Meyer lemon does to the taste? I'm here in Australia so abit hard to get those lemons from supermarket. Sigh***

Bertha said...

Annie Lin: The amount of the sugar in the recipe is originally for regular lemon tart.

When I make this tart, I usually add a little more of the meyer lemon juice. So you will be fine using regular lemon with the exact amount of sugar.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Can I opt out ground almond? Any substitution? Thanks!

Bertha said...

Any nut flour should do. but if not, I think you can substitute it with flour, haven't tried it though

Anonymous said...

Wow this was absolutely delicious thank you for the recipe

Sylwia said...

Hi, this recipe looks great and I'm planning on making these for valentines day. I'm just a little confused about what you do with the grains of rice. Do you place the parchment paper and then throw some rice in there or do you first put rice in the shells and then cover with parchment paper?

Bertha said...

Hi Sylvia,
the rice is to prevent the shell to puff up during baking. You want to put the parchment first, then the rice, so that when it is time to remove them, you can just lift the parchment paper.

Nowadays, I dont even use the rice/beans (because I am too lazy), I just prick it with forks whenever i see bubbles forming :)

bequalls said...

I am so jealous of folks who get Meyer Lemons in the SUMMER...ours all come off at Christmas (in South Texas), which is, to say the least, inconvenient!

Bertha said...

Citrus season is actually during winter. Although in CA, some of my coworkers' tree have lemons all year round. But I also got a bucket of them a week before Christmas. No worries though, they keep for a long time in the fridge :)

Sylwia said...

Hi Bertha, sorry to keep bugging you but how many little discs would you divide the dough to make 4" tartlets? I've baked tarts before and I'm not sure to what thickness should I roll out the dough to. Please help

Bertha said...

I never actually measured it. I never divide the dough that way. I just took out the dough ball from the fridge, and roll it to the thickness that I want. Then using a mold (or a bowl) bigger than your tart mold, cut discs out of them.

I just keep doing this until all the dough is gone.

Sorry if it not much help. many people say probably about 1/8 of an inch, but I am too lazy to measure. So I just roll it out thin but making sure that it doesn't tear. Even if it does, then I can just patch it up. The thicker your dough is, the harder it is going to be

Anonymous said...

Hello! I just made this, and the lemon cream looks curdled upon refrigeration. Any idea why and what I can to save it? :(

Bertha said...

I don't know why it would curdle. It's hard for me to say what needs to be done to save it since I don't know how it looks like, but I would suggest taking it out of the fridge, and whip it in a mixer to see if it can come together

Joshua Fletcher said...

This is a beautiful recipe and your tarts look amazing Bertha. I made this in the past with a larger tart ring but really want to try some smaller ones like you've pictured here. Its difficult to get 3" tart rings in the UK, but you can get crumpet rings such as these
They measure out to be pretty much the same as the ones you have, just wondering if you think they would work? Thanks, also magnificent blog, such inspirational work.

Bertha said...

Joshua: The crumpet ring looks exactly the same as the tart ring that I used, so i am sure there isn't any problem using it.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos! But I am dying to know: what is the garnish on the finished tarts? Looks almost like finely chopped pistachios. I love the look of it in a line down the middle of the tart - gorgeous!

Bertha said...

Yup, that's chopped pistachios