Monday, September 28, 2015

French Lemon Cream Tart

I'm a fan of lemon pies (see here and here), so when I saw "The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart" in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, I knew I needed to give it a try.  It just so happened that my dad was in town when I made this pie (lemon pie is his absolute favorite)!  Essentially, this pie consists of a sweet tart shell that gets filled with lemon cream.  I then whipped some cream and piped little stars around, just to be fancy pants.  If, like me, you aren't sure of the difference between lemon curd and lemon cream, let me share my newfound education!  They basically contain the same ingredients:  eggs, lemon zest and juice, sugar and butter.  The difference is how they are made.  In curd, all of the ingredients are cooked together until they thicken, so you get that nice silky, buttery spread.  In cream, the butter is left out of the cooking - only the eggs, sugar and lemon are cooked until thickened.  Then they are put into a blender, allowed to cool, and whipped with the butter.  This way the butter doesn't actually melt, it gets emulsified, so you end up with a really light, velvety spread.  Lemon cream and lemon curd can be used interchangeably in most cases, however your mood dictates! 
The conclusion?  Lemon cream is blissful!  I would probably reduce the sugar next time (a common theme in my lemon pies) but it was super!  The best part though was when I gave the clever boy a taste of the lemon cream.  He is always eager to try anything I am baking, but had not connected the ideas of "lemon" and "tart".  So when I put a bit of lemon cream into his mouth, his eyes got really wide and he did this little shiver/convulsion throughout his 2-yr old body.  It was hysterical!  Sweet boy. 

You can find The Most Extraordinary Lemon Cream Tart on pages 331 and 332 of Baking: From My Home to Yours, or by going here, to Dorie's website. 

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