Monday, 13 February 2012

La Tartine Gourmande's lemon tarts

Well, when I started this blog, I did promise food! An cooking certainly is one of those things that I love doing, and more importantly, eating! 

One of my recent discoveries in the website of 'la tartine gourmande' a french photographer, writer whose approach is to cook simple, locally-sourced produce in a way that lets the ingredients stand out. I particularly love her deserts. This is my attempt at her lemon and raspberry tarts. I've had a soft spot for lemon tarts since I was a tiny girl and my nana always made lemon curd for me. Funny what you remember from childhood. My fondest memory of my great aunt is also food related. As soon as you walked in the door, she'd whip up a bunch of pikelets. Who does that anymore?

Below is my first attempt at food photography. I've discovered it is significantly harder than it looks! The shots I've included are the only ones I could salvage from dozens I took. Either the focus was wrong, the light dull, or the food styling was a bit ordinary. One other thing I discovered is the tarts photographed a lot better BEFORE they were cooked. I'm sure the professionals use all sorts of tricks.  Either way, it was great fun trying, and I'm sure I will improve and have you salivating before too long. Believe me, even though I couldn't quite get it right in a photo, the tarts are divine!

Happy baking!

Here is the tart recipe if you want to have a go - thoroughly recommended. 

Basic pastry recipe (I cheated and used tart shells)
Raspberry sauce:
200g raspberries
2 tablespoons blonde cane sugar ( I used brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Using a blender, puree the raspberries with sugar. Transfer to pot to simmer. Stir in cornstarch and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. 

Lemon Cream:
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2/3 cup sugar
juice of 4 meyer lemons, plus lemon zest of 1
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, diced

in a bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and lemon zest/juice to combine. Transfer to pot and add butter. warm over low heat until the butter melts, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the cream thickens. 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. our in lemon cream and drizzle with respberry sauce. Bake for 15 minutes.

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