Thank you Prerna for inviting me to share my recipe with your readers, I am very happy to be here.
Inspired by the countless hours I’ve spent eyeing the gorgeous displays in patisserie windows, I wanted to share my Lemon Raspberry Tart with White Chocolate Drizzle.
When I first walked into the pastry shop, I didn’t know where to focus my attention. What had lured me in were the colorful rows of delicate macarons displayed in the shop window. Once inside my eyes darted frantically around the room landing first on the rows of individual chocolates. Countless varieties of creamy ganache-filled squares sat just out of reach behind the glass case. Across from those were the boxed gifts stuffed with tuiles and buttery miniature cookies. Just down from the chocolates were the pastries. Oh, the pastries! A case full of exquisitely crafted pieces entranced me, and the above was quickly overlooked.
Insatiable. That’s the appropriate word for my appetite when it comes to dessert. My face lit up, and the wheels started turning in my head. “They all look so amazing. Should I get one? Which one should I try?” Oh the agony of choosing! I quickly reminded myself that it is very possible to overlook gems if your focus is always on the most ornate offerings, so I composed myself and refocused. Elegant yet understated, it was the simple aesthetic of the lemon tart that caught my attention. But the minimal and straight lemon tart exudes simplicity in its content as well as its form.
While it sounds rather ordinary, a good lemon tart is a brilliant juxtaposition of intensity and delicateness. The pastry crust is sandy and light in texture, yet rich with butter flavor. The bright tartness of the citrus filling is tamed ever so slightly by just the right amount sugar. The creaminess of the sweet-sour filling contrasts in turn with the crumbliness of the cookie-like crust. Bold and boisterous when it first hits the tongue, the gooey bed of lemon quickly melts and melds with the crunchy bits of crust, the two smoothly rolling around the mouth.
You don’t need any advanced pastry skills to make my version however. The food processor does all the mixing for the pâte sable. No rolling is required either; you just press the dough into the tart pan. The tart shell is blind baked, then filled with a mixture of eggs, sugar, lemon juice and heavy cream. Quickly whisked together and briefly baked, it requires only the slightest attention. The tart is finished with a thin layer of raspberry jam and a drizzle of white chocolate for a big impact with little effort.
Oh, and that lemon tart I was eyeing… I got it; that, and a few more pastries.
Lemon Raspberry Tart with White Chocolate Drizzle
Serves 8 to 10
For the Crust
1 1/4 cups (166g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (50g) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (114g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Lemon Filling
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75 ml) strained fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon (100 ml) heavy cream
For the Finish
1 cup (320g) good quality raspberry jam
4 oz good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
Make the crust:
1. Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a food processor and process to combine. Add the butter pieces and process briefly to blend, until the mixture resembles bread crumbs (about 10 seconds). Mix the egg and vanilla together in a small bowl just to combine. With the motor running add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, then pulse in 1 second intervals until the mixture starts to come together (do not overmix).
2. Turn out the dough onto the bottom of a greased 9 inch false-bottomed fluted tart pan and press the mixture into the pan firmly with your fingers into an even layer over the entire pan bottom and up the sides. Prick the bottom with a fork and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm. (The crust can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge or freezer until needed)
3. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375° F (190° C) Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Line the dough with parchment and evenly fill with pie weights (or you can use dried beans). Bake the crust for about 20 minutes, or until the edge of the crust is golden. Remove parchment and weights from crust, and continue baking until the entire crust is a light golden color, about 5 minutes more. Set aside to cool while you make the filling. Leave the oven on.
Make the filling:
1. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs lightly to just combine them. Add the sugar and lemon juice and mix just until blended. Stir in the cream slowly just until blended.
1.Pour the filling into the partially baked tart shell. Return to 375°F (190°C) oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the filling appears set, and only the center quivers a little.
Finish the tart:
1. Heat the raspberry jam until just warm to make it easier to spread. Spread evenly over the cool tart with an off-set spatula. Place the tart back in the fridge to firm up while you melt the chocolate.
2. Slowly melt the white chocolate in double boiler or alternatively, place in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50% power) for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 30 seconds more or until the chocolate is softened, stir until smooth.
3. Drizzle tart with melted chocolate, using a small spoon, or alternatively put in a squeeze bottle and squeeze across the top of the tart in a zig-zag pattern. Return the tart to fridge to allow chocolate to set for another 20 minutes or longer.
4. Slide the rim of the tart pan down so that the bottom of the pan is released as the metal rim slips down. Cut the tart into wedges with a sharp knife.