After a pear tart and and a figs tart, we continued with the sweet pastry dough and proceeded to make two variations of tarte au citron, or lemon tarts. The chef first demonstrated a few ways of slicing the lemon…
Then we worked on two types of the lemon tart fillings. The first is lemon curd, which is a mixture of lemon juice, zest, sugar, custard powder, gelatin, and eggs.
After incorporating all the ingredients, churn in the butter.
For this version of lemon tart, the pie crust is pre-baked completely, then filled with lemon curd and left to set.
After the lemon curd sets, decorate with lemon slices and glaze. A full moon it is!
The second type of lemon tart uses lemon sauce, which is a mixture of eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and butter. The tart shell is first blind-baked (you can understand this as half-baked), filled with lemon sauce, then sent into the oven.
After the tart is done baking, it is decorated with Italian meringue, made by beating egg whites until they reach soft peaks, then slowly streaming in hot syrup and beating the mixture until it is thick and glossy. This is more stable than the basic meringue, also known as a French meringue, which is made by beating granulated sugar into egg whites until the mixture reaches soft peaks.
Bake the tart for a more minutes until meringue reaches a soft brown color.
Making these tarts is not as easy as it looks! There are many ways in which the tarts can go wrong. For example, a tart shell that is too thin will break easily, causing lemon sauce to flow out…
Here’s my tarte au citron #1, made with lemon curd. This is my preferred lemon tart since I absolutely adore lemon curd and also like its bright yellow color better the duller yellow of a baked lemon tart.
Here’s tarte au citron #2, with Italian meringue. Many students in the class preferred this tart, and for some it’s because this tastes stronger/more sour than the lemon curd version.
Next up: tarte au chocolat!