Welcome to “The Lemon Grove Cake Diaries” a blog about cakes, desserts and all things sweet, with a little bit of savoury thrown in for good measure.
Last July a postcard landed in my letterbox from my very good friend the Divine Miss C. It was a picture of 20 different pastries from Patisserie Stohrer, the oldest pastry shop in Paris. Miss C sent this as a joke, a sort of homage to the fact that I was halfway through my patisserie course.
My husband promptly took one look at it and decided it was his own personal menu and that he should be able to order anything from it that he wanted… his words “there is no point in having a trainee patissier in the house if I never get to sample the pastries.”
After a little thought, I decided to surprise my husband and challenge myself by creating each pastry highlighted on the postcard.
So Paris Postcard Challenge set and accepted.
I must admit I was sure we would cover a lot of these pastries in class so I didn’t really see this as being a big challenge. Alas, we ended up only covering six of the twenty pastries. So, as part of my blog I am determined to bake my way through that postcard.
In deference to the name of my blog I have decided to start with the French classic Tarte au Citron. This recipe has been adapted from Emmanuel Mollois “et voila! French pastries from Choux Café”. The tart has a great hit of lemon and for something just a little bit different I absolutely loved the brulee top giving it a nice satisfying crack when you cut into it.
Makes: 4 x 12 cm tarts.
- 1 portion of sweet pastry
- 165ml lemon juice, strained
- zest of 4 lemons
- 240gm caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 120gm butter, melted
- extra caster sugar to caramelise.
Make sweet pastry and allow to cool completely.
In a heat proof bowl add the lemon juice, zest and sugar and whisk together. Add eggs one at a time whisking well between additions.
Heat water in a saucepan on a medium heat. Put heatproof bowl containing lemon mixture on top of saucepan, keeping at a medium heat. Whisk continuously for approx 10-12 minutes or until mixture thickens. Mixture is ready when you can drizzle a ribbon of the mixture from the whisk and form a figure eight on the top.
Pour mixture into cooled tart shells, smooth the lemon mixture with a pallet knife. Refridgerate for approx 2 hours until cold. Once tarte au citron is cold sprinkle with caster sugar and caramelise the top with a blow torch.