As you might have read before I took a Patisserie class a month ago and I’ve been dying to do the recipes on my own. I was just curious to find out if I am capable of making a competitive Tarte au Citron all by myself. And yes, I CAN!
Now I know why these little things are so expensive and I also have to admit that I will keep buying them instead of making them myself… I was also a little confused with the quantities in the given recipes. But after preparing the cream for what felt like ages and what was only enough for 3 little tartelettes, I recalled that we multiplied and divided some of the recipe parts… I try to give you quantities that should match but I haven’t tried yet.
Piecrust (Enough for 1 large pie tin and 4 Tartelettes or approximately 10-12 Tartelettes)
- 200 g butter at room temperature
- 135 g confectioners’ sugar
- 2 g salt
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 40 g powdered almonds
- 80 g egg at room temperature
- 320 g flour
- 50 g maize starch
Sift the powdered ingredients (not together, each ingredient itself). Scrape the vanilla bean and cream together with the soft butter, the confectioners’s sugar, salt and the powdered almonds. Only mix at low speed, we do not want too mix in too much air. If you use a Kitchen aid mixer as I do, use the flat beater attachment at maximum speed of 4. Add the egg and work it in. Then add the rest of the powdered ingredients in two parts. Please do not add any flour because you think the dough is still too sticky, that is exactly how it is supposed to be. Form into the shape you want to have (round for a big Tarte, rectangular if you want to cut out small tartelettes), wrap in plastic foil and store in the fridge for one day.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 2,5 mm and cut out rounds that are a ca. 1-2 cm wider than your tin, dependent on the height of the tin edges. For perfect Tartelettes roll out the dough maximum 3 times, if you work too much on it, the dough will contract while baking and the edges won’t have the same height any more. I found Tartelettes to be much easier than a large tarte tin, so to start with Tartelettes are the way to go.
Chill the cut out rounds for 15 minutes. Meanwhile grease your tins with vegetable oil. Do not use butter or margarine because it will affect the consistency and taste of your Tartelette. Align your round on one side of the tin and carefully push it into the tin without giving too much pressure. Make sure to not flatten the dough itself, it should be still 3 mm thick afterwards. Cut the edges with a sharp knife from inside out. And this is how the whole process looks like when you did thousands of these tartelettes. Let the tins rest in the fridge for another 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C or 180°C fan assisted. To blind-bake the cakes use either pie weights or parchment paper squares and raw peas. Cut squares of parchment paper that are a little bigger than your tartelette diameter. For Tartelettes you need to cut in the squares 8 times, 4 times from each side in the middle and 4 times diagonally from the corners. Put into your tartelettes and firmly pack up with raw peas. Bake for 15 minutes, bigger tartes might need a little longer. After removing the Tarte from the oven let it cool completely in the tin.
Lemon cream filling for 1 large tarte (to fill the rest of the Tartelettes mutiply with factor 1.5)
- 250 g Lemon Juice
- 140 g Egg yolk
- 160 g Egg
- 150 g Sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 150 g Butter at room temperature
Mix the sugar and the lemon zest and let the flavors mix for 30 minutes. Squeeze out the lemons and mix with all other ingredients except the butter using a heatproof rubber spatula and put over simmering water. The mixing bowl should have a round bottom with no edges. Keep the mixture moving and scraping it from the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Keep heating and constantly stirring until the mixture thickens and reaches a core temperature of 85°C. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve into a high slim pot and add the butter. Use a immersion blender to work in the butter without working too much air into it. The best way is to keep the immersion blender ca. 1cm above the bottom of the pot. Blend until the cream turns white with a touch of yellow. Fill the Tarte or Tartelettes with the cream and chill.
Italian Meringue (enough for decorating 1 large pie and 4 tartelettes)
- 200 g Sugar
- 50 g Water
- 100 g Egg-white
- 5 g Sugar
Cook sugar and water until it reaches 124°C. Let it cool until the bubbles are gone. Meanwhile beat the egg-white with the small amount of sugar until stiff, not giving it too much speed. Add the hot sugar syrup slowly while beating, make sure not to hit the batter itself with the syrup. Keep beating until the mass has cooled. Then fill the meringue into a piping bag and decorate your Tartes. You can flame them afterwards if you want.