Tarte au citron vert

Well it finally happened. I tired of looking for my truant tart pan, and bought a new one. Therefore I expect to find the old one any day now. Tonight Boyfriend lent a hand and we made a lime tart together, from the recipe used for the lemon tart, just made with limes instead.

Time required: 1 hour

Yields: who knows

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $24

Kitchen implements I used:

  • sauce pan
  • glass bowl
  • juicer
  • zester
  • mesh strainer
  • fluted tart pan

Crust ingredients:

  •  6 TBSP unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP granulated white sugar
  • ⅛ TSP salt
  • 1 C flour, rounded

Filling ingredients:

  • ½ C lime juice (5 key lemons)
  • grated zest of 3 limes, wash and dry them first
  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 210°C / 410° F. Weigh out flour and set aside.

2. In an oven-safe bowl combine: butter, veg oil, water, sugar, and salt.

3. Bake 15 min and remove from oven. Stir in flour.

4. Stir quickly until it forms a ball.

5. Transfer to tart pan and use spoon to press down. Pierce shell with fork a few times.

6. Bake shell 15 min, then cool on wire rack.

TIME TO LOWER OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 180°C / 350°F.

7. In a sauce pan combine: lime juice, zest, sugar, and butter. Heat on low.

(This was right before I got lime juice in the face.)

Heat it up:

I added a few drops of dye, because so far it was looking just like the lemon tart and I thought that’d be boring.

8. Meanwhile… whisk eggs and egg yolks.

9. Once the butter has melted on the stove, temper some of the hot liquid into the eggs, then pour the warmed egg mixture back into the sauce pan.

10. Cook on low until mixture thickens and small bubbles start to form. Stir often.

11. Pour mixture through strainer directly onto tart.

Spread with a spatula…

12. Shake tin to level it out, bake 5 min.

13. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack, and chill before serving.

Remove the pan bottom from the sides, and behold!!

So cute!

Verdict:  I do admire a well turned tart crust. This was delicious.

PlaylistFinal Fantasy OSTs

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Tarte au citron

After the glorious lemon dessert I enjoyed last week, I spent Saturday walking around the city with Boyfriend Unit, and came away with two important purchases: new shoes, and lemons. I had the place to myself today, and envisioned a leisurely Sunday afternoon re-creating that lovely lemon tart.

I’ve no idea how to make a tarte au citron, so my Google-fu led me to David Lebovitz’s blog and I liked his posts on making tart shells and lemon curd which is the recipe I’m using below. I had all my ingredients on the counter when I realized that half of my fluted tart pan was missing. Annoyance!

How can I make a tart without a proper tart pan? I was actually quite excited to use my tart pan, it hasn’t seen any action since it’s debut in 2010 and I was looking forward to using it again. I found the fluted part, but the bottom was missing. I emptied every cupboard, and washed a metric tonne of dishes, alas my efforts did not yield my truant tart pan, so I settled for a pie tin.

Good to know before you start: You need to lower the oven temperature after baking the empty tart shell, once it’s filled the baking temperature is lower.

Time required: 1 hour

Yields: 8 slices

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $24

Kitchen implements I used:

  • sauce pan
  • juicer
  • zester
  • mesh strainer
  • pie plate in lieu of a tart pan  :[

Crust ingredients:

  •  6 TBSP unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP granulated white sugar
  • ⅛ TSP salt
  • 1 C flour, rounded

Filling ingredients:

  • 1 C lemon juice (2-3 large lemons)
  • grated zest of one lemon, wash and dry it first
  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 210°C / 410° F. Weigh out flour and set aside.

2. In an oven-safe bowl combine: butter, veg oil, water, sugar, and salt.

3. Bake 15 min and remove from oven.

4. Immediate add flour and stir quickly until it forms a ball.

5. Transfer to tart pan and use spoon or hand to press down.

6. Once you fuss with the edges to your satisfaction, pierce with fork many times.

7. Bake shell 15 min, then cool on wire rack.

TIME TO LOWER OVEN TEMPERATURE.

8. Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 350°F.

9. In a sauce pan combine: lemon juice, zest, sugar, and butter. Heat on low.

When I slice or juice lemons, I do it with my eyes shut. That’s probably really dumb, but that’s how I do it. I’d like to convince you that I do this because I have ninja-like reflexes in the kitchen, but really I am just scared of getting lemon juice in the face.

10. In a bowl whisk eggs and egg yolks.

11. Once the butter has melted on the stove, temper some of the hot liquid into the eggs, then pour the warmed egg mixture back into the sauce pan.

12. Cook on low until mixture thickens and small bubbles start to form. Stir non-stop.

13. Pour lemon mixture through strainer directly onto tart.

Shake tin to level it out, bake 5 min.

14. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack, and chill before serving.

Slice it up…

Verdict:

“Mmmm, tangy.”

So good. I’m having another piece, just so you know.”

After the euphoric glow wore off, I compared these to the one I ate at Le Papillon, and it held up very favourably. Theirs was a pale yellow, with a difference type of crust, and although mine was a bit different it was equally delicious. Success!

Playlist: Carina Round – For Everything a Reason

Lemon tarts at Le Papillon!

Ah, lemons. Today I hit up the St. Lawrence Market with Hobby Victim. I was looking for some pure vanilla extract by the Saffron Imports Co. (my supply is dangerously low but alas, none was to be found).

After checking out the lower level of the market, we took a stroll to find a nice restaurant for lunch. We stopped at Le Papillon.

I’ve walked by Le Papillon many times but never ventured inside. We both ordered the Crêpe du Marché, which is a galette containing St-Laurent bacon, cooked apples, and cheddar cheese. The apples had a flavour I cannot identify, but it was quite tasty.

Choosing dessert was so hard. I just could not make up my mind, but after several agonizing minutes we narrowed it down.

Hobby Victim ordered the Gâteau au Chocolat, and I ordered the Tarte au Citron (French lemon pie).

How was it? From the first bite, as I felt that elusive afterglow feeling creeping over me, my taste buds sang. I could not stop smiling. It was truly delicious. So tart, so good.

Whoever does the desserts at Le Papillon is an artist of the highest calibre.

I know what I’m going to learn to make on the weekend.

Lemon bars

When life hands you lemons, add sugar and rejoice.

I don’t recall eating lemon bars before, but I do love lemon and figured this would be something I’d enjoy. It’s a beautiful spring day and to help my immune system get over my cold, I planned a citrus dessert for tonight’s meal. See? You can justify any baked treat if you try!

This recipe is from Betty Crocker Baking Basics – recipes and tips to bake with confidence, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.  If you like lemon tarts you’ll probably like this.

Time required: 2 hours

Yields: 25 pieces

Cost per slice: $1.08

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $27.00

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • lemon juicer
  • zester
  • electric beaters
  • baking pan: 8″ x 8″

Ingredients:

  • 1 C flour
  • ½ C butter (1 stick), room temp
  • ¼ C icing sugar
  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • 3 lemons (2 TBSP juice and 2 TSP grated peel)
  • ½ TSP baking powder
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 4 drops yellow food colouring (optional)

Step 1 – preheat oven to 176°C / 350°F.

Step 2 – in a medium bowl, use a wooden spoon to cream together: butter, flour, and icing sugar.

It will form a ball:

Step 3 – place dough into ungreased baking pan, press it flat with your hand.  (The book says that if the dough is sticky, to dip your fingers in water, but I didn’t notice a problem.)

Step 4 – bake 20 minutes.  Meanwhile…

Step 5 – in a mix master bowl, beat: granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, baking powder, salt, and eggs.  Add everything at once, and beat on High for 3-4 min until fluffy.

I wasn’t able to add lemon zest because the lemons were slightly overripe, which led to easy juicing, but difficulty in grating the peel.

Foolishly, I drank a little bit of the juice – sans sugar. Wow. Sour. But it smelled so good. Lemons can be deceiving. >.<  <— that’s the face I made.

(Hmm. It occurs to me that I didn’t beat it on High, just Medium, that explains a lot…oh well.)

Step 6 – as soon as crust is finished baking, pour liquid onto hot crust.

Step 7 – bake 25-30 min.  Test for doneness by lightly pressing down onto the top, when it’s done, the top will spring back up, but if it leaves an indentation it’s not done.

Step 8 – cool 1 hour (in pan).  See how it bubbled onto the pan?  I’m not sure why the recipe said to avoid greasing the pan. Oh snap. Why are the edges so dark?

Step 9  – cut into squares…

…and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Verdict: I liked this. In retrospect I’d remove it from the oven 2-3 minutes earlier. The edges are a bit crisp. The recipe said to add yellow food colouring but I skipped that, freshly squeezed lemon juice has lots of colour.

I brought this outside and we ate it on the patio, enjoying the beautiful spring evening. Boyfriend said it reminded him of short bread cookies filled with lemon. I suspect this will go nicely with tea.

Playlist: hard rock

I’m famous! SpatulaGoddess in a restaurant near you!

My citrus cheesecake is the featured dessert at The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse this week in Moncton!!

The restaurant is located at 751 Main Street, downtown Moncton, NB, E1C 1E5, and opens at 11am daily. If you’re in the area check it out!

I found out a few minutes ago. So cool. I love the Maritimes!

Citrus cheesecake bites

Last night marked my 2nd venture into Cheesecake Territory, to make a creamy filling with tangy citrus fruits, on a bed of vanilla crumbs, topped with a hint of sour cream. I ate a piece this morning with my cup of tea, and oh my!!

Food for thought: did you know that cheesecake originated in Ancient Greece over 4,000 years ago, and that the citrus fruit comes from Southeast Asia?

I found a recipe for “lemony cheesecake bites ” in Good Housekeeping Brownies: favourite recipes for Blondies, Bars & Brownies, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

The recipe title is misleading since it contains lemon, lime, and orange, hence the rename above.

I love citrus fruits. Everything about them appeals to me as an artist; the pleasing round shapes, the colourful peels, the juicy fruits inside, the range of flavours from sweet to tart, and the scent that rises as you open them. The possibilities;  lemon tarts, lemonade, lemon gin, lime Thai, freshly squeezed orange juice….  and they ward off scurvy, too! Let’s hear it for citrus.

Good to know before you start:

  1. remove cream cheese from fridge at least 2 hours before starting
  2. remove the other dairy (butter, cream, eggs) 30 min before starting
  3. do NOT remove the sour cream from the fridge before you need it
  4. you could probably get away with using 1  lemon, and less sour cream
  5. invest in a juicer, they are cheap, they are great
  6. you make the crust first, and while it’s cooling make the filling, and while it’s baking make the topping, which is chilled until needed

Time required: 2 days (overnight chilling)

Yields: 64 pieces

Cost per slice: $0.31

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $32.00

Kitchen implements I used:

  • juicer
  • grater / zester
  • rolling pin
  • electric beaters
  • baking pans: 9″ x 13″ nestled inside 14.5″ by 10.5″
  • tin foil, plastic wrap,  & plastic freezer bag

Crust ingredients:

  • 5 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lime (need ¾ TSP freshly grated peel)
  • 1¾ C vanilla wafer crumbs (Mr. Christie’s Nilla vanilla flavoured wafers)

Filling ingredients:

  • 2 lemons, large (need ¼ C juice and 1 TBSP freshly grated peel)
  • 1¼ C granulated white sugar
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 4 blocks of cream cheese, softened (32 oz or 1,000 g)
  • ½ C heavy cream
  • 5 large eggs, room temp

Topping ingredients:

  • 1½ C sour cream
  • 3 TBSP granulated white sugar
  • 1 orange (need 1 TSP freshly grated peel)

Step 1 – using centre rack, preheat oven to 176°C / 350°F.  Fill kettle and boil. After water boils, leave on Low for use later.

Step 2 – line 9″ x 13″ baking pan with foil, and grease

Step 3 – place cookies in freezer bag and crush with rolling pin, set crumbs aside  (forgot to count how many cookies this requires)

Step 4 – melt butter in sauce pan on Low

Step 5 – grate lime peel, stir into butter, and remove from heat

Step 6 – stir cookie crumbs into butter

Step 7 – spoon crumbs into foil-lined pan, and press down by hand (note: pressing down crumbs with spoon failed, use hand)

Step 9 – bake 10 minutes and cool on wire rack

Step 10 – from lemons, grate peel and set aside, then squeeze juice and set aside.

Step 11 – in a small bowl whisk sugar and cornstarch together

Step 12 – in mix master or large bowl, on Medium speed, beat cream cheese for 5 minutes.  Use a flexible rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl constantly. Already I am impressed with the texture, looking much better than the previous attempt.

Step 13: one by one, beat in the sugar mix (adding a third at a time), followed by heavy cream, lemon juice, and lemon peel.  It is important to make sure each ingredient is blended well before adding the next. Keep scraping down the sides.

Step 14 – on Low speed, beat in eggs one at a time until just blended, do not over beat

Step 15 – pour filling onto crust, and place 9″ x 13″ pan inside 14.5″ x 10″ baking pan, to form water bath. Carefully pour hot water from the kettle into the larger pan, it should rise about halfway up the side of the small pan.

Step 16 – carefully lift large pan and place in oven, bake 50 minutes until just centre jiggles, then remove from oven and place on rack (turn off oven)

Step 17 – while cake is baking, make topping; in a small bowl stir in sour cream, sugar, and orange peel, cover and return to fridge

Step 18 – immediately after removing cake from oven, spoon sour cream mix onto hot cake, use soft spatula to spread it evenly

Step 19 – return cake to oven for 5 minutes (oven is off)

Step 20 – remove from oven and carefully remove the smaller pan (which holds the cake) from the large pan

Step 21 – place smaller pan on cooling rack until completely cooled, at least 2 hours

Step 22 – cover pan tightly with plastic wrap, chill in fridge overnight

Step 23 – in the morning, use edges of tinfoil to carefully lift the cake out of the baking pan, and use a hot knife to cut a few pieces, return remainder to fridge

Step 24 – let pieces sit at room temp for 10 minutes before consuming

Verdict: citrus cheesecake is delicious. I am really pleased with how this turned out. It smells (and tastes) amazing. Although the lemon is the first flavour you notice, after taking a bite and letting it sit in your mouth, you’ll taste the lime and orange, set off perfectly by the sour cream. I think I’m in love.

Glad I opted to use freshly squeezed fruits instead of bottled juice. It took longer to make than anticipated but I forgot to time myself.

I’ve learned a few things since making my first cheesecake:

  1. cream cheese takes a long time to reach room temperature (2 hours+)
  2. yes, it is important to continually scrape down the sides of the bowl
  3. grating the zest from citrus fruits sucks
  4. yes, the hot knife really should be cleaned and re-heated after each cut
  5. yes, a water bath actually can be too high
  6. always read the instructions with appliances that Mom gives you

Current playlist: Gothic metal