Lemon Tart

Well, I decided to go for it – yummy, sweet lemon curd in tart form.  The crust tastes like a sugar cookie, but a bit firmer.  I decided to sprinkle it with icing sugar and then pipe a bit of whipped cream on top.  It turned out beautifully – I think I’ll make this for Jonathan’s family the next time I visit!

I squeezed the lemon juice myself – unfortunately, I spilled some of it in the process, so it was a good thing I bought a number of lemons.  My sister Sarah watched as all the flour, dough, lemon rinds and lemon juice was transformed into the lovely tart.  Usually Sarah doesn’t like the things I make because they don’t involve chocolate, but she tried a sliver of this and admitted that she loved it.

The tart wasn’t ready until after dinner last night, so the family will try it tonight. Last night’s dessert was the fudge my Mom made as a test run for Laura’s wedding favours. She made both white and semi-sweet chocolate fudge. It was delicious – and has been quickly disappearing from the refrigerator.   Mom systematically tested the process in order to calculate how many batches will be needed.  It will be quite the assembly line in our kitchen the day the wedding favour fudge is made, assembled, decorated and put into boxes.

All of this lovely lemon flavour and wedding fever for Laura’s impending nuptials gets me thinking about my wedding next year.  I saw shortbread cookies as a wedding favour – perhaps I’ll bake lemon flavoured shortbread cookies for mine?

Pate Sucree Pie Crust Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 3 large egg yolks

Directions

  1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter, and process just until mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 10 seconds.
  2. With machine running, add 1/4 cup ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Drizzle in egg yolks, and process just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky, about 30 seconds. Test dough by squeezing a small amount together. If it is crumbly, add a bit more ice water.
  3. Divide dough in half. Pat into discs, and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Lemon Curd Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (COLD and cut into small pieces to melt faster )
  • 1 tablespoon lemon rind, grated

Directions:

1.  Beat the egg yolks thoroughly and add to saucepan on low heat.

2.  Add the sugar and lemon juice, stir to combine, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10-15 minutes.  Do not hurry the process.

3.  Cook until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.  Remove from heat and immediately pour through a sieve.  Stir in the cold butter pieces, which cools down the mixture quickly.

4.  Add the rind, continue stirring until well-blended.

5.  Transfer to a bowl and wrap with plastic wrap directly on lemon curd.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assembling the Tart

  1. Once you have made the tart crust and refrigerated it for an hour, roll it out to fit a 9 inch fluted tart pan.  My tart had extra crust, so you could make a mini pie?
  2. Poke the bottom of the tart with a fork and wrap with tin foil.
  3. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.  Then let cool completely.
  4. Spread the cooled lemon curd filling evenly on cooled tart crust and then bake for another 25 minutes until it is slightly brown on top and not as jiggly in the center.
  5. Let cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and topping with whipped cream.

Whipped Cream Topping

1 cup of whipping cream

1 tablespoon of icing sugar

Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to whipping.  Whip with a hand blender until soft peaks start to form.  Add whipping cream to piping bag if you wish to pipe on the topping.  Remember that whipped cream is only good for one day.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Jonathan and I were at COBS Bread before Easter buying hot cross buns and I decided to buy a cranberry white chocolate chip scone.  The scone was very tasty and I held the flavour combination in the back of my head – and added it to my baking to-do list.  While I was at the grocery store yesterday, I thought I should pick up some cranberries and white chocolate chips to make a muffin version.

Usually my stomach is sensitive to cocoa and milk chocolate, however some brands of white chocolate don’t cause any stomach pain.  I did some reading on Wikipedia about why this might be and the answer seemed to be because white chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa solids.  I am also very cautious about if nuts are processed in the same factory.  The Chipits brand doesn’t seem to aggravate any stomach sensitivity or allergies, so I used them for this recipe – hooray!

I love cranberry and the sweet and tart combination was definitely a winner.  I enjoy baking my own sweet treats and muffins are a splendid treat.  Making my own baked goods is really the only way to know they are allergy safe.  I made them in a mini version so that I can eat more of them and not gain ten pounds.    It probably wouldn’t be the best idea to eat these every day, but every once in a while they are great.  The mini muffins are rich and decadent, sweet and tart – simply yummy!

Some of these muffins are in the freezer for when I see Jonathan next.  I am sure he will enjoy them just as much as I do.

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

½ cup milk

¾ cup sour cream

¼ cup canola oil

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup frozen cranberries – dusted with 1 tsp of flour

¾ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix together in a large bowl the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add in the milk, sour cream, canola oil, eggs and vanilla extract.  Stir until thoroughly combined, but do not over stir.
  4. Dust the frozen cranberries with a teaspoon of flour and then fold them into the muffin batter.  Add in the white chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.
  5. Grease the mini muffin pans with margarine or cooking spray.
  6. Fill the muffin batter ¾ of the way full.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.  If you want regular sized muffins the cook time will be longer 20-25 minutes.
  8. This recipe makes 3 dozen mini muffins.
  9. Enjoy!