French Lemon Cream Tart is the perfect combination of sweet and tart. The amazing velvety smooth dessert is perfect for Easter, or anytime.
Ingredients for French Lemon Cream Tart:
Borrowing from Dori Greenspan, I used the following ingredients for the French Lemon Cream: Sugar, lemons eggs and unsalted butter.
The day before I made the lemon cream, I made a pâte sucrée dough and refrigerated it. The next day, I separated the dough in half, and placed a half on a floured piece of parchment paper. Because the dough was cold, I hit it a few times with my rolling pin to begin to soften it. I rolled it into a rough circle that was about 12-inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. Then, I rolled the pastry around the rolling pin and carefully placed it in my 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Next, I rolled the rolling pin over the top edges of the tart pan to cut the excess dough, and pierced the bottom a number of times with the tins of a fork. Finally, I refrigerated the tart dough for about an hour.
Before I was ready to bake it, I took a piece of parchment paper, crumpled it, and placed it on top of the tart dough. Then, I completely filled the tart pan with dried beans. I baked the tart shell until it was golden brown, half way through removing the parchment paper and beans, and allowed it to cool to room temperature.
Making the Lemon Cream:
I started by grating the zest from three lemons, and adding the zest to the sugar which was in a large heatproof bowl. Next, I rubbed the sugar and zest together between my fingers until the sugar was moist, grainy, and very aromatic. Finally, I squeezed the juice from the lemons.
I whisked the eggs into the sugar and lemon zest, and added the the lemon juice.
Then, I placed the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water making sure that the bowl did not touch the water. As soon as the mixture felt a bit warm, I began whisking it until it reached 180° F on my instant read thermometer. When it reached 180° F, I removed the lemon cream from the heat and strained it into the container of my blender. I let the lemon cream stand for about 10 minutes until it cooled to 140° F. Then, I turned the blender on to high and added the butter, 5 pieces at a time. Once all of the butter had been added, I kept the blender on high for another 3 minutes. During this time the cream took on a light and airy texture. I poured the lemon cream into a non-reactive bowl, and pressed a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal. Finally, I refrigerated it for about 4 hours.
Putting it Together:
When it was time to assemble the French Lemon Cream Tart, I removed the lemon cream from the refrigerator. Then, I whisked it to ensure that it was smooth, and added it the cooked tart shell. Using a small offset spatula, I smoothed out the top. Now was Susan’s turn to pipe stabilized whipped cream onto the top of the tart. She did this using a large star tip.
The result? We ended up with a perfectly delicious French Lemon Cream Tart. Yum!