Monday, July 20, 2009

lemon cream in the style of pierre herme in pate sucree tartlet shells‏

1 cup sugar
finely grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
280 grams unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature
salt flakes to fold through the emulsion to provide bursts of saltiness

things you'll need: a thermometer, a strainer and a blender.
bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.
put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water.
macerate the sugar and zest together until the sugar takes on the lemoniness of the zest.
whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.
set the bowl over the pan, and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. cook the lemon cream until it reaches 82 degrees celcius. as you whisk—you must whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling—you'll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 82 degrees celcius, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. start to take great care at this point—the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. don't stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience—depending on how much heat you're giving the cream, getting to temp can take as long as 10 soon as it reaches 82 degrees celcius, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the blender; discard the zest. let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 68 degrees celcius, about 10 minutes.
turn the blender to high and, with the machine going, add the butter a piece or two at a time. scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. once the butter is in, keep the machine going—to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to blend the cream for another 3 minutes. fold salt flakes through the cream.

pate sucree
120 grams icing sugar
250 grams plain flour
pinch of salt
125 grams butter, softened
1 egg
place the icing suagr, flour butter and egg in to the bowl of a food processor and process until a dough is formed.
dust a work surface lightly with flour. roll dough out and cut rounds to fit tartlet moulds; you should get 36 tartlet cases about 10-12cm in diameter.
prick well and bake for 14 minutes at 180 degrees celcius.
assemble the tarts with a dollop of lemon cream in each tart and top with shards of toffee.
do not attempt to blowtorch sugar sprinkled on the lemon cream as the cream will collapse.

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