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Encore un tout petit peu, et ce sera un autre jour – Tarte meringuée et gâteau de voyage au citron

[Just a bit longer and it will be another day - Lemon meringue tart and lemon cake]

lemon tree

If at times, nature compels us to slow down, I must admit I was slightly surprised when I saw the first lemons on my parents’ tree.

Lemons in september feels like eating strawberries around Christmas time for me.

But well, the little guys were hanging out in the tree and my sister’s favourite dessert in the whole entire huge universe is lemon meringue tart.

So I took this as an opportunity to remind you how lovely Pierre Hermé’s recipe is. This time around I just changed the crust for my new go-to recipe which seems to be easier to work with – which in my world means no shrinkage during baking (the one thing I dread the most in pastry).

lemon meringue tart pentax

Basically, you can make the dough and lemon crémeux a day – or three – in advance, and when you’re ready for THE tart, simply bake blind the shell and fill it with the smooth and tangy cream.

Whip up a nice and soft meringue italienne, pile it on the tart and burn with a châlumeau [blow-torch] or failing that the grill of your oven (something I’ve realised I’m not good with, burnt tart anyone?).

And trust me when I tell you I’m doing you a favour by writing down the ingredient list so you can just print it, go shopping and come back at home only to make the most delicious lemon tart you could ever dream of.

lemon meringue tart recipe

When it comes to the dough, the process is exactly the same as the one I described over there. Except thet ingredient list is different: less butter, more almonds and a tad more icing sugar make for the most perfect dough ever. Easy to work with, it will have a very deep aroma when baked. Just make sure you don’t get it out from the oven before it has the nicest shade of golden-brown.

As with most doughs, this recipe will yield to more than what you actually need for one tart. But I suggest you divide it into 3 to 4 pieces and wrap them in clingfilm. Then you can freeze them for as long as a month or two, and go back to your freezer every time you will need some.

Recipes: Lemon meringue tart & pâte sucrée (just for the process, using the ingredients above, please try this new recipe and tell me what you think).

Quite evidently, we also made cake. This cake to be precise. Because it is the best lemon cake. Because it’s soft and fragrant. Because it will keep for days. And mostly, because we need no excuse to make – and more generally, eat – cake.

lemon cake pentax

This time, I used T110, which is a fine semi-whole wheat flour. I’m not sure it’s widely available outside of France, but I suggest you try making a tant-pour-tant using plain and whole-wheat flours.
What I love about this flour is the lovely aromas – deep and hearthy – that balances the tanginess of the cake and the sweetness of the soaking syrup.

As a matter of fact, I first intended to top the cake with a thick citrus and earl grey glaze, but ran out of icing sugar so syrup it became.
Whether you want to go for a glaze or a syrup, you simply need to heat the lemon juice to 70°C, infuse it with the tea for two or three minutes, then pour onto the icing sugar slowly.

I drenched the cake with it as soon as I got it out of its tin and it created the most perfect layer of fresh lemon flavour.

lemon cake recipe

Recipe: Lemon cake.

And since this post is too long already, maybe I should add a couple of things.

ONE. I would love to hear your suggestions for upcoming articles.
What would you like to see on foodbeam? Is there a specific French technique you would love to learn?

TWO. I’m thinking of putting a F.A.Q. post together. I find them so fun to do. So anything you’d like to ask!

THREE. I hope you don’t mind my current REmakes of old recipes. To be honest, I really enjoy writing them (and photographing them with my pentax ME). To me, it’s all about: 1) highlighting some of the very best pastries around and 2) showing you new techniques/ingredients.

OK, I’m done now. So do ask your questions in the comments below and tell me what you want to see here! x

empty plate

I’m moving past the feeling – On brownies 2.0 and autumnal desserts

brownies

It seems we made brownies. Yes those brownies.

In between sleeping on the beach, sipping through Pastis glasses, finding a name for the small pâtisserie I will own – one day – in France, buying heaps of vintage things at a vide-grenier, and spending time with my favourite person in the world – namely, my sister.

And well, the brownies are as good as ever. So please, if you haven’t done so yet, run to your kitchen and make a batch.
And keep in mind you can switch caster sugar for demerara or light brown. As delicious, and perhaps even better.

brownies recipe card

Now, I’m rushing to pack my suitcase as I’m heading on the west side.

But stay still, I have two recipes with apple coming – as in terrine of baked apple, some crisp cinnamon crumble, and an apple and walnut strudel – and one with white chocolate.

strudel

Who said autumn is just around the corner? I do think it’s time to forgive the winter. Soon.

Always and forever more – An attempt at riz-au-lait ice-cream

Today, I could tell you a long story.

From the day I ate riz-au-lait for the first time in years, to the moment I thought it could make a pretty good ice-cream.
From the point I actually boiled some viallone nano rice in full-fat milk with a plump bean of vanilla, to the time I realised it would probably end up in a disaster.

riz au lait ice-cream

But to avoid unnecessary pain, let me just sum up the facts for you.

I knew I wanted to make riz-au-lait ice-cream.
I knew the rice grains would freeze to solid pieces.
I knew it would make the tasting sort of awkward.

I just didn’t expect it to taste so good.

riz au lait ice-cream spoon large

So after sharing the tub with a friend (somewhat embarassed because what we were eating – using the biggest spoons we could find – felt like uncooked rice in the most delicious rice pudding flavoured ice-cream), I went the easy way and cooked more rice – still in full-fat milk.

This time, I strained it. And made a – smooth – ice-cream out of it. And served it with a terrine of baked apple, some crisp cinnamon crumble, and a touch of caramel foam.

terrine pomme au four

The plate ended up empty. Mostly because of this face. Rather evidently, I also took some pictures of the moment just before he grabbed his spoon. So I might write up about this sometime soon; when summer will be over.