Culinary Odyssey: Meyers make lemon curd tarts more flavorful
Culinary Odyssey appears Wednesday. Salim Ben Mami is head chef and owner of Café Collage restaurant in Oregon House.
Throughout the years I have tasted a great many lemon tarts and my favorite is definitely the one that is served at Boulettes Larder restaurant in San Francisco at the Ferry Building. I personally recommend using Meyer lemons mainly because they are less acidic and more flavorful.
At café collage we will be serving this dessert for the next few weeks.
MEYER LEMON CURD TART
4 oz. unsalted butter cut into half inch pieces
One-fourth cup organic sugar
One and half cup all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
One pinch of kosher salt
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees
Combine together the flour, sugar, egg yolks and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture begins to get consistent. Gradually add the cream and the water. Pulse 2 or 3 times until the dough is firm. Add more water if needed or flour if dough is too moist.
Once you are pleased with the dough consistency, roll it gently and flatten it into a disk form and wrap it in plastic before refrigerating for 45 minutes.
Roll the dough into one-fourth inch thickness. Lay the dough in the tart shell. Gently and gradually, spread the dough evenly, pushing into the sides. Cover the dough with aluminum foil and fill it with dried beans. Make sure the sides are well covered with the beans weight.
Bake the tart for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and take the beans and aluminum away. Poke lightly the bottom of the dough with a fork and bake for another 8 minutes or until the tart is light golden brown.
Let it cool before pouring the curd.
5 fresh farm eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 Meyer lemon zest
1 1/2 cups Meyer lemon juice
1 cup organic sugar
4 oz. unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon gelatin (unflavored)
In a stainless bowl, combine the lemon juice, vanilla extract, zest, sugar, eggs and salt and whisk well together.
Heat 3 inches of water (the hot water bath works to cook the curd) in a medium size pot (that fits the bottom of the stainless bowl) over low heat and maintain the same temperature throughout (keep adding hot water as it evaporates). Set the bowl over the hot water bath and whisk the mixture continuously until smooth and thick. It might take 15 to 20 minutes to get the desired silky consistency.
Remove the bowl from the hot water bath and set aside. Add the gelatin and melted butter. Place the bowl over cold water and keep whisking until the mixture cools.
Pour the Meyer lemon curd into the baked tart shell. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Ideally vanilla whipped cream or ice cream would be a good match for this tart.
The next culinary odyssey column will be published the first week of April.