Friday, January 29, 2010

TFL #8 Lemon Sabayon-Pine Nut Tart with Honeyed Marscapone Cream

When I first left the workplace, I chose baking as a project to help me stay sane. Well, that came after repainting every room in the house and redecorating. Anyway, I used to bake. A lot. I mastered both Angel Biscuits and Buttermilk biscuits; made a decent pie crust, a perfect baguette (at least outside of Paris) and cookies, cakes and tarts galore. One thing that comes with the baking territory, at least in my experience, was a lot of specialty equipment. Baguette Pans, Tart pans of all size, Springform pans, cake pans, biscuit cutters, cookie cutters, and on and on. When it came time to remodel our kitchen, I needed to whittle down the list of equipment as much as I needed to whittle my waistline from all that baking! So I gave away most of my stuff. Fortunately, I kept some small tart pans.

Jim arrived home with some beautiful Meyer lemons, immediately I asked, "you got any plans for those?" In his usual WSH style he replied "whatever your creative instinct desires"  Isn't he just wonderful? I had this recipe in mind. In fact, this recipe appears in both The French Laundry and the Bouchon cookbooks. The only difference is TFL adds the side note of honeyed marscapone... I couldn't resist. So here we go...

The crust:

That's pine nuts (as in the title) , flour, sugar, an egg, room temperature unsalted butter and some vanilla. This recipe makes enough dough for three 9 in tart pans but thankfully, it freezes well. See my cute little tart pan there? I don't know how many I will need so I am preparing 3. (Note of hindsight: should have done 4.)  First you butter and flour the tart pans and stick them in the fridge.  Then you pulse the pine nuts in a food processor a few times, then add the sugar and the flour. Whir that up until everything is broken up and looks like this:

Then you load that into a mixer with a paddle attachment (or you can mix it by hand) and add the vanilla and the softened butter.  Mix it up until it forms a dough. You will need to divide it into three parts, and since I am challenged with eyeballing amounts, I used a scale. Wrap each piece up in plastic wrap and refrigerate (or freeze the other two for future use).

After the dough has rested in the refrigerator 10 minutes, press it into your tart pans with your fingertips, as evenly as possible and press it up to fill in the sides. trim any excess dough from the top.

The dough was a little thick, but in the end, not so bad. I could have done 4 of those little tarts easily with what I had left over. With the oven preheated to 350, put them on a tray and slide them in. Cook 10-15 min and then check them and rotate and cook another 10-15 min. The crust should be evenly golden brown.

Hard to see the golden brown, I know. I think a new camera will be on my birthday wish list.  Let the crusts cool. And get started on your filling:

That's lemons, 2 egg yolks, 2 eggs, sugar and unsalted butter. Juice the lemons until you have 1/2 c juice It took 3 smallish lemons for me. Keep the butter in the fridge until ready. You will need a pan with 1.5 inches of water brought to a boil and a metal bowl that can fit inside that pan. Here's my tweetle-dee and tweetle-dum:

Before you put the bowl in the hot water, in the bowl whisk the egg yolks, eggs and sugar until smooth.

 When ready place the bowl inside the pan and whisk! whisk! whisk!  while also turning the bowl to ensure even heat distribution and whisking. In case I haven't told you, I have been declared a "spazz" by a board-certified Neurologist... it's true!  So, obviously I cant whisk and turn and time and take pictures all at once. I had to call in reinforcements.  Whisk, turn, whisk until the mixture thickens, then add 1/3 of the lemon juice. Continue whisking and turning until it's thickened again, and add the second third of the lemon juice. Repeat with the last of the lemon juice and whisk until thick. Total cooking time 8-10 min.

When it's thick, turn off the heat, leave the bowl in the pan and add the pieces of cold butter, one at a time and whisk until combined, repeat until all butter has been used. Pour the mixture into the tart crusts and preheat the broiler.

Once the broiler is hot slide the tarts in but keep the oven door open. The goal is to evenly brown them on the top. It should take only a half a minute or so, rotate during browning if necessary to ensure an even color.

Ok now to the final step: the Honeyed Marscapone Cream.  The culprits:

In a bowl situated in another bowl with ice (Thank God for my Wulfgang Puck stackable stainless bowl set!)
Whip the cream (1/2 c) until it's frothy, then add 3 T marscapone and 1 T honey and whip until it's sturdy. I'm sure there's a culinary-correct word but I am at a loss at the moment.  WHIP WHIP WHIP it good!
Until it looks like this:

I know its hard to see. Keep this stuff refrigerated until ready to use. Here's what the final plating looks like:

Verdict: the crust was lovely,crumbly and not too sweet. The lemon sabayon which is really akin to a lemon curd was out of this world. I'm into lemon as a dessert so I didn't really need the extra of the honeyed marscapone cream, but it added a nice balance. This took a fair amount of time but wasn't that difficult. I'd definitely do it again.  And oh, by the way, WANTED: neighbors looking for dessert!

See you soon.

1 comment:

  1. these look great! i love this tart and have made it over and over since my blog post. awesome job!