100 recipes: Tarte au citron

Best recipe
Tarte au citron – Roux Brothers

The most talked about lemon tart recipe (above) is the one by The Roux Brothers, Albert and Michel.

There are two differing end results depending upon your palate. You’ll need to decide whether you like your tart as lemon curd or creamy custard. The two other recipes that are popular are by Pierre Hermé and Thomas Keller – although both heavy on the butter.

The aim is to get the balance right between the sweetness of the sugar and the tartness of the lemon. The crust should be rich and buttery to complement the filling.

“At first glance, you would think that the lemon cream is just another version of lemon curd—the ingredients are almost identical. What’s different is how they are treated, and it makes an enormous difference in the taste and texture.

In a curd, the eggs, lemon juice, sugar and butter are cooked together until they thicken. The result is silky, lemony and, above all, unmistakably rich and buttery. In Pierre’s lemon cream, the eggs, lemon juice and sugar—but not the butter—are cooked together until they thicken, just like curd. The mixture is then poured into a blender and allowed to cool for a few minutes. Then the butter is added, in pieces, and the cream is whipped around for a few minutes. Here’s the genius—instead of melting as it does in curd, the butter emulsifies (just as oil does in mayonnaise), so that the resulting texture is velvety and deceptively light. It is a stroke of culinary magic.”
– Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours

Neil Perry sings the praises of passionfruit tart and claims it should be the Australian version of lemon tart.


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