Pierre Herme's Meyer Lemon Tarts
yield: three 101/2-in crusts or four 8-in crusts
300g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature 190g powdered sugar 60g ground almonds 1 vanilla bean, scrapped 2 eggs, room temperature 500g all-purpose flour 1 tsp salt
- Put the butter in a mixer bowl and cream until smooth and creamy using a paddle attachment.
- Add the sugar, ground almonds, and vanilla bean seeds. Mix until combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating the previous one before adding the next one (the dough might look curdled at this point but don't worry, it'll come together once you add the flour)
- Combine the flour and salt. Add to the dough in about three addition. Mix until just it comes together. Do not overwork! Like Pierre said, "it's better to have lumps of butter rather than to have an overworked dough".
- Divide the dough in the portions you need. Form each one into a ball and flatten it into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight (you can also freeze the dough at this point and thaw it in the fridge overnight).
- Remove one disk from the fridge, and roll it either between two sheets of parchment paper, or just well-floured surface. You need to move quickly though. You don't want the dough to be soft and overworked.
- Line your tart pan with the dough and put it back in the fridge for at least 1-2 hrs to rest.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- When you're ready to bake, put a parchment paper on top of the dough and fill the bottom with either rice or beans.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Take the parchment paper and the beans/rice off, then continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes until it's golden brown.
- Let cool in the ring.
4 eggs 175 g fresh Meyer lemon juice 225 g sugar zest from about 3-4 lemons 300 g unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
- Rub the zest with the sugar using your finger until the sugar is moistened with lemon oil.
- On a double boiler, combine the sugar, eggs and juice .
- Whisk/stir constantly until the mixture reaches 85-86 C.
- Strain the mixture and let cool to about 55-60 C and put it in a blender (if you don't have a hand-held blender)
- Add the butter a couple of pieces at a time, to make an emulsion. The mixture will lighten in color. Continue running the blender for a few minutes after all of the butter has been added to ensure the airy and light cream. Make sure stop and run the blender a few times to avoid over-heating.
- Pour the mixture into prepared crust and refrigerate.