I’ve been baking like crazy the passed months, having a blast in my kitchen. Friends and family wonder how I have got the time, since I’m on maternity leave but all I can say – I have a really sweet and satisfied baby. Some kind of planning is of course necessary, like making my mise on place in the evening, so I can bake the next morning or just keep on moving, not going to bed at all, and bake until 2am…
Besides baking I have been sharing my results both online and offline. Last week I experienced my first food swap which was actually documented in the local paper Skånska Dagbladet, go figure. It was really fun and a great way of meeting people who share your passion for food! Since it was my first time ever, I wasn’t sure how much pastry I should bring. And since I am a very ambitious baker I ended up bringing one Tarte Orange (I will post this recipe on the blog as soon as I can), two small Chocolate Cakes with a Beetroot Twist (in the spirit of Green Kitchen Stories) glazed with chocolate and finished of with hazelnut praline, and finally a small jar of lovely, silky lemon curd. I love lemon curd and I’ve made quite a lot of it in the passed, trying out different recipes with butter, whole eggs and cornstarch. The best is the one by Brave Tart, a blog by the ever so inspiring pastry chef Stella Parks. It contains only three ingredients measuring to the ratio 1:1 – super easy! Lemon curd is a great way of taking care of lemons and it can be used in multiple pastries, such as tarts. As I got leftover dough from making my Tarte Orange I made a mini tarts and used the lemon curd as a filling. As a fun twist (also inspired by Stella) I sprinkled some sugar on top and caramelized it with a kitchen torch – et voilà, Lemon Curd Brûle Tart at your service! A rustic but elegant little sweet treat, just the way I like it. And perfect tasting samples for my fellow food swappers. Read a lovely review on the blog I wish I was a river by Lotta Holmström, who arranged the food swap.
My online sharing has not taken place here on the blog, as it should have. I’ve been totally mezmerised by this new app called Steller (#stellerstories). Through text, photos and videos you can create stories, like digital books, and share them through the app or/and other social media. As a graphics designer I love this and I feel I get more space to really capture a story, not only a brief moment or in 140 words. Maybe this is a reaction to the fast and instant communication that’s been dominating the social media communities? We need to slow down and take our time, be brave enough to pause and really listen to what we are saying to each other. It’s just like baking tarts, the dough need to rest in the fridge or you will not get the best result. The lemon curd needs to cool before it sets and can be truly enjoyed on a scone or in a tart.
Here are a couple of my recent #stellerstories:
In this recipe I’ve added another way of pimping your lemon curd tart. With small pre-baked merengue kisses you can make a crunchy Lemon Merengue Tart. I made a batch of mini meringues the other day to use as cake decorations (for my wedding and party cakes) and they where perfect for the tart as well.
PS: Did I get to take something home with from the food swap? Oh yes, some delicious rose hip marmalade, pumpkin and apple jam, apple and ginger compote and herbal tea. All homemade and beautiful!
Now, take your time, and bake!
Lemon Curd Tarts in Two ways
225g / 8 oz. juice from organic lemons
225g / 8 oz. granulated sugar
225g / 8 oz. egg yolk (7–10 eggs)
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp of organic lemon zest
1. Pour lemon juice in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Whisk egg yolks in a bowl together with sugar and a pinch of salt.
3. Carefully pour some of the hot lemon juice into the eggs and sugar mix. The juice will start to cook the eggs so keep on whisking to prevent them from turning into scrambled eggs – I love it but no, we don’t want that here. This method is called tempering, when you gradually warm up the eggs with hot fluid.
4. When all the the lemon juice is mixed with the eggs and sugar, pour it back into the pot. On low heat, while whisking gently, cook the curd just until the first bubbles appears on the surface and it has thickened.
5. Strain the curd through a sieve and add the lemon zest. Let the curd cool completely before placing it in the fridge. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface to avoid a skin forming.
TART CRUST – PÂTE SUCRÉE 1 tart (20 cm/8″) or 6 mini tarts
56g / 2 oz. granulated sugar
115g /4 oz. butter, room temp.
170g / 6 oz. plain flour, sifted
flavoring of your choice e.g. lemon zest vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon etc.
a pinch of salt
1. Cream sugar, butter and salt until just combined in a bowl.
2. Add the flour and rub the flour and the butter together between your hands until you get a sandy texture. Then form the dough into a ball.
3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. You can press the dough into a tart pan and then chill the unbaked crust.
4. Bake the tart crust for 12 minutes or until golden brown in 180 °C. Let the tart/tarts cool completely.
LEMON CURD BRÛLE TART: Fill each tart with lemon curd. Sprinkle some sugar on top and caramelize the sugar with a small kitchen torch.
LEMON MERENGUE TART: If you want to make an easy lemon merengue pie, just place a couple of merengue kisses on top of the curd, dust with icing sugar and devour.