Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Whole Lemon (Tart)

How did your parents react when you used to start crying for a ridiculous reason?

In my case, if I started pouting about My Little Pony or crying when I really really shouldn't have, I often got the same response: "Would you like to bite into an onion to help you cry a little more?"

Barring the occasions when I would actually grab an onion and bite into it to prove that yes, thank you, I did need an onion and I feel much better now, it usually shut me up. The day I have children of my own, I'm thinking of reinventing the phrase…switching things around a little. Eating a raw onion isn't fun, but it sure is possible. Now eating a whole lemon…that's a pretty cool feat. Just imagine biting into the thick skin and tearing into the white pith. Delicious! Or just incredibly bitter. So bitter you just feel like spitting the whole thing out. I've never tried it—for once, I really haven't—but I can guess that unless you put a cup of granulated sugar in your mouth beforehand, it's probably not the most pleasant experience.

What happens when you take that same lemon, give it a whirl in a blender and mix it with other delicious ingredients (namely butter, sugar, eggs), and bake it?

Wait wait—could it even be possible that you would imagine spitting out a baked good? I can't recall the last time I did that. Well, maybe I can, and maybe it involved strange proportions of butter in a cake that ended up being a puddle of warm grease. That was a freak accident however, something akin to 30 foot waves, so you won't see me spitting out dessert anytime soon. And trust me—neither will you. Not with this tart, anyways.

If you're looking for a perfectly smooth, ultra shiny tart that dream storefronts are made of, head elsewhere (and leave more for me). The Whole Lemon Tart looks a little gritty, but like all things a little gritty, it packs some true flavor. Authentic tartness is what you're in for, rendered exquisitely palatable by a bit (quite a bit) of sugar. Perfect for summertime picnics, and especially perfect next time you're told to go eat a whole onion. Choose this instead, and act tough because you're eating a whole lemon.

Only crazy people do that.

Whole Lemon Tart
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
serves 8

1 recipe tart dough (use your favorite)
1 medium-sized untreated lemon, rinse, seeded and cut into thin slices
1 1/4 c. raw cane sugar
scant 1/2 c. butter, cut into pieces
4 medium eggs
2 TB cornstarch
1/2 TS salt

Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Butter a tart pan and press dough into pan. Partially bake with pie weights, approximately 15 minutes, until edges of dough start to become golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a food processor, mix lemon, sugar and butter and process until smooth. Add eggs, cornstarch and salt, and pulse until combined.

Pour into tart shell. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until center jiggles but looks like it's nearly set. The top of the tart should have a nice golden hue by now.

Remove from oven, let cool, and serve. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.

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Jennifurla said...

Wonderful tart, I love the look of it.

Kerstin said...

What a lovely lemon tart! Apolinaras is very weird and actually likes eating lemon slices, rind and all - he cracks me up sometimes!

Barbara said...

I bet that is one tart tart! What a great idea, Lucie.

Mary said...

I really have to try this. It sounds delicious and it really looks wonderful. Kudos. Have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

peachkins said...

what a pretty tart!

grace said...

terrific tart, lucie! i've never heard anyone say that line about an onion, but since raw onion is one of my least favorite flavors EVER, it'd definitely work on me. :)

Umm Mymoonah said...

Wow! I love the top layer of the tart, lovely dessert.

Kris Ngoei said...

Ha ha I would definitely choose to bite a lemon :-)

The texture of your lemon tart just reminded me of how delicious this tangy and fragrant tart, I got to bake one myself!

And Lucie, I would be delighted to be in Paris to bake a cake for your wedding! :-)

Paris Pastry said...

I found a recipe in a book that uses a whole lemon, but I've been too scared to try. I'm afraid that even a lemon-lover like me will think it's too much but perhaps I should try it too.. wish me luck!

Seo Services said...

wonder ful