Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TWD: Tartest Lemon Tart

This week's lemon tart was a nice walk down memory lane for me. My first pastry job was at an LA bakery called Sweet Lady Jane, and while I was there I developed a lemon tart recipe pretty similar to the one we made this week. Of course, getting the perfect recipe required many many trials, so there was a period of a few weeks where I was obsessed with lemon tarts. I dreamt of lemon tarts. I poured myself a big bowl of lemon tarts and milk for breakfast in the morning. And I tasted the tart variations constantly, so I was stuffed with lemon tart for about 3 weeks straight. Possibly because of that overdose, I haven't made a baked lemon tart in years, and eating this one brought me right back to the Lemon Tart Testing days.

This time, I followed some advice I found on the TWD blog and added fresh raspberries to the tart before baking. I had been planning this step from the beginning, but I absent-mindedly poured the filling in before laying the berries on the crust, so I ended up pushing them in as an afterthought. I think this is why you see the "floaters" through the filling. Ah well. The taste more than made up for the spotty appearance.

I also followed some advice and removed the white pith before pureeing the lemons in the food processor, to take away some of the bitterness. I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup to compensate, and I thought the resulting filling was the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

For something so easy to throw together, this tart is a knockout. Eating it brought back a lot of memories to when I was a fresh young pastry pup, and I was pleased to realize that I still love the creamy, sweet-and-tart taste of this tart as much as I did back then.

25 comments:

  1. Nice suggestions with the raspberries. Great presentation and photographs.

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  2. OhhhOooooOOoo! You actually drowned some raspberries in the lemon filling! What a nice idea, makes it that much more pretty!
    I'm glad you liked it so much, Liz!

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  3. Your tart looks just beautiful! I really loved this one too. The berries were a great addition. Well done!

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  4. excellent choix de marier cette tarte avec des framboises ! c'est superbe et ça devait être excellent :)

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  5. Oh so pretty and I love the way you set up your photos. :) I'm definitely going to try this one again with some kind of fruit!

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  6. Yay! I love your stories about being a pastry chef...honestly, you should write a book about that. I'd buy it just for the photos.

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  7. Your tart is beautiful Liz! I LOVE the raspberries - I don't think they look spotty, I think they make the tart even prettier. The raspberries must have added a nice sweetness to this. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  8. That looks beautiful! I love the lemon & raspberry combo!

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  9. Gorgeous tart --- I love the fact that you can see the raspberries suspended in the filling.

    Now, you've peaked my curiousity about your experience working at SLJ. I used to ("used to" being the key operative words) frequent that place, receiving consistent God-awful customer service. It's a shame as I love their mango cake.

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  10. I love the raspberry addition. It looks wonderful. YUM!

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  11. I love the floating raspberries! Your photos are beautiful. Glad you were able to enjoy this one.

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  12. You worked at Sweet Lady Jane? I LOVE that place! We had their Triple Berry Shortcake at our office last week...yum.
    Anyway, the tart is beautiful! I like the red raspberry polka dots. I bet it was tasty!

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  13. Linda--I would say that "bad customer service" is one of SLJ's trademarks, unfortunately...but it kind of seems endemic to the LA service industry as a whole. And I will also say that there was a big contingent of customers who were really rude and entitled in the way that only Westsiders can be.

    And to southern CA peeps: the apple pie, cherry pie, and lemon tart you see at Trader Joe's under the TJ's label is actually made by the wholesale division of SLJ. They might also do more baked goods now, but those are the ones I'm sure about.

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  14. I'd like to be in a bowl with lemon tart filling. Sounds like a nice place to be ~

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  15. I think the raspberries look great! I can see why you haven't made a lemon tart in years. These experiences can stick with you.

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  16. Oh wow, your tart looks really fantastic with the raspberries! Glad you liked the end result!

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  17. Liz, OMG. Okay, first. Lovely tart! The raspberry additions are lovely. You worked at SLJ? And they make pies for TJs? How interesting!

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  18. Great pictures and tart. Love the raspberries. What fun memories for making a tart. I've got to be careful, still looking at TWD's lemon tarts on a Thursday is going to make me really want to make this again--and I've got quite a few lemons I could use! ;)

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  19. I love the raspberries! Great job!

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  20. Love the title of your blog, nice Eddie Izzard reference

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  21. Mmm, this tart looks delicious--especially with those awesome-looking red spots of BEAUTY that are the raspberries. Totally delicious. I'm so glad you loved this one and that it brought back so many wonderful memories for you.

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  22. Holy smokes, that looks delicious.

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  23. So beautiful, and elegant. And, yes, this tart tart is a total knockout.

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  24. do you have a recipe for this??? it looks marvelous and i would LOVE, absolutely LOVE, to try and make it!!

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