Winter is full of earthy and savory dishes. I think it’s fun to contrast them with a zinger like this Lemon Tart also known as Tarte au Citron.
My mother has a few lemon trees that keep her supply of lemoncello flowing but I managed to grab a few for this Tarte au Citron.
Tarte au Citron is a Lemon Tart that you will find all over France but to be clear it’s origin is Mediterranean.
The best Tarte au Citron are from Menton, a tiny village in France, located at the Franco-Italian border, just across from the Ligurian town of Ventimiglia. Menton celebrates the Lemon Festival with colorful parades where floats are decorated with citrus fruits.
Recipe for Tarte au Citron:
1 par-baked sweet pastry crust – pate sucree
Note: I like to bake the crust for about 8 to 10 minutes without the filling
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
100 grams of granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup of lemon juice
3/4 cup of heavy cream
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk the eggs + egg yolks together. Next, add the sugar while you continue to whisk along with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and the cream.
3. Pour this liquid into your par-baked shell. It should come to 1/8 inch from the top, you might have some left over, which you can bake in a ramekin for a taste.
4. Place the tart carefully on the center rack of the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until filling is firm to the touch. It shouldn’t jiggle when you shake the pan.
5. When it’s done remove from the oven and let it cool.
6. Once it is cool you can slide the tart off onto a serving dish.
7. I like to serve it with a dollop of Mascarpone whipped cream at room temperature.
Recipe for Mascarpone whipped cream:
8 oz of Mascarpone Cheese at room-temperature
1 cup of heavy whipping cream, very cold
4 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1. Using a hand-mixer or stand-up mixer with the whisk attachment, on medium speed, blend together the mascarpone cheese and 2 tbsp of the powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside in another bowl.
2. In a mixing bowl add the heavy whipping cream and the remaining sugar and blend on high-speed just until stiff peaks form, about a minute or two.
3. Turn the mixer off and carefully fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Add the vanilla extract and gently stir to combine.