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April 26, 2011

Lemon Tart

When I was still a student at Le Cordon Bleu, I dreaded the day when I had to make tarts. Almost everytime I did it in practical , my teacher had always something to say about my tart shell. It was either too thin, thick or uneven. He reminded me to practice more at home. I did but I still couldn't get the hang of it. When I learned that making a tart shell was part of the final exam, I panicked. I only had a couple of weeks to master it. So instead of practising 2 times a week, I made it a habit to make a tart shell every night before going to sleep. My hardwork paid a price. I passed my tartshell exam:-)

Now that I'm working, making tarts has become one of the things I enjoy the most. Since I decide about the menu, I serve 3 different tarts in a week. Here's one that has become popular among my customers.

To make the tart shell, you need:

1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup icing sugar
2 egg yolks
vanilla extract

Sift the flour and icing sugar together.
Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the eggyolk and mix with a spoon.
Lastly, add vanilla. Mix to make a soft dough.
Knead for a bit to have nice smooth dough.
Chill for at least half an hour.
In a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry until it is 2.5 mm thick.
Line a round aluminum tart tin. Trim off the excess.
Prick the base with fork. Chill.
Bake at 170 degrees C for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Chill.

Lemon filling

80 g fresh lemon juice
130 g sugar
3 eggs
56 g butter
1 g gelatine leaf
50 g whipped cream

Soak the gelatin leaf in cold water. Place the gelatin over a saucepan of simmering water. Set aside.
Place the lemon juice, eggs and sugar in a bowl. Beat until light and creamy.
In the same saucepan where you melt the gelatin, cook the lemon mixture until it reaches 71 degrees Celcius.
Remove from heat, add the butter. Mix until the butter melts.
Add the gelatine. Mix.
Lastly, add the whipped cream into the lemon mixture until well blended.
Pour the lemon filling into the tart shell.
Chill for a few hours before serving.

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