It’s the man’s birthday today and being the birthday boy, he has the privilege of deciding the menu for the entire day – yes, breakfast, lunch and dinner! I had actually spent the past couple of weeks bugging him about what he wanted since the only thing I could afford (well, I can get him a gift but I’m just stingy) was a lovely meal comprising of a main dish and a dessert. Well, as much as people like to think that I am capable of running a restaurant, I’m not a chef and neither is my home a restaurant. 🙂
Anyway, Nil filed in a request – yes, it sounds awfully funny but I did tell him that the kitchen is now only taking special orders and in advance due to the baby belly – for some asam laksa and his all-time OTHER favourite dessert – tarte au citron.
FYI, I HATE LEMONS. Sure, I like the smell, I like using the rind in baking but to make a lemon tart with tons of lemon juice and rind…no, no, no!
BUT it IS the birthday boy’s wish so okay, tarte au citron it is. I looked around my cooking books and found a pretty easy recipe with no fuss ingredients – eggs, cream, lemons (of course), butter and so forth. As usual, yours truly made some adjustments to the recipe, particularly the pastry. I had some leftover cocoa powder which I’m trying to use up so hey, why not make a chocolate pastry shell? I didn’t put much as I wasn’t too sure how the mix would go plus I just wanted a hint of cocoa in the pastry NOT full-blown chocolate. Nil was a bit shocked at first (“why chocolate????”) but it turned out surprisingly good. I halved the recipe to get just enough for a small (and shallow) 8″ pie pan.
The result was a very tangy custardy tart – perfect with a side serving of fresh strawberries to take the edge off the sourish taste of lemon but still fragrant and delish without being too…well, lemony! Again, both the pastry and custard filling was not very sweet as I cut back on the sugar and/or substitute white/refined with cane sugar.
Tarte au citron & chocolat
Adapted from The Cook’s Companion by Lisa McCormick
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp cane sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water
Rind from 2 lemons
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup whipped cream/cream (35% fat)
1/4 cup cane sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease an 8″ tart/pie pan.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl before adding in the sugar and cubing the butter into the flour mix.
- Rub the butter with the flour, using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the center, add the egg and water. Mix well until it forms a dough – add more cold water if necessary.
- Cover and leave to rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
- When ready, remove from the fridge and roll out before covering the tart/pie pan. Remove excess dough from the top/sides, prick some holes in the base before pouring in the baking beans.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is set.
- Remove the pastry shell from the oven, put aside and immediately lower the temperature to 190°C.
- In a bowl, mix the rind, lemon juice and sugar. Beat well. Gradually add in the cream – do not overwhisk as it will result in bubbles or a frothy mixture. Add in the eggs one by one while stirring gently.
- Remove the baking beans from the pastry shell and pour the filling in before baking it for 20 to 25 minutes until the filling has set.
- Remove from the oven, and allow to cool. Serve as is or with a dollop of cream and/or some fresh fruit.