Lemon Tart A Fine Sweet Sour Balance
Lemon tart or tarte au citron might otherwise be described as the non-dessert eater’s choice. When the baker has perfected the right combination of sugary-sweet and lemony-sour there is nothing more satisfying than this tart. David adapted this dessert for his blog Cocoa & Lavender from the book Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living with photographs by François Millo and recipes by Viktorija Todorovska.
Tarte au Citron
For the Crust
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour Start with 1 1/2 cups
- 7 oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the filling
- 8 oz Crème fraiche
- 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 Eggs lightly beaten
- 7/8 cup Fresh Lemon Juice about 4 lemons
- 4 tbsp Butter softened and cubed
- Lemon slices or meringue, for garnish
Preparing the crust
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, butter, sugar, and salt. Mix until crumbly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and beat lightly with a fork.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes, or until a dough forms. * This took less than 30 seconds with my KitchenAid mixer, using the paddle attachment.
- Turn out the dough on a lightly floured work surface.
- Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough for 1 minute.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (or up to four days). * If you chill the dough for longer than 1 hour, let it warm slightly before rolling out.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch (6mm) thickness.
- Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (22.5-cm) tart dish with a removable bottom. Trim off any excess dough.
- Cover and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Uncover before baking.
- Line crust with parchment or aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights or beans.}
- Bake for 25 minutes (removing beans at about 10 minutes). My crust was done at about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Preparing the filling and assembly
- In a mixing bowl, whip the crème fraîche until it is light and airy. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, eggs, and lemon juice over low heat (I suggest medium-low)
- Stir well. Cook, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes. (It took 15-20 minutes before it was thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Straining might be necessary.)
- Remove from the heat.
- Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the butter and stir well to incorporate.
- Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Fold in the whipped crème fraîche.
- Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, garnish with lemon slices or with meringue that has been browned under the broiler. (I garnished with fresh flowers from the garden.)