lundi 16 novembre 2009

Just a grey November afternoon

Just a grey November day: here are two simple treats to try to cope with the weather (a rich and silky lemon custard tartlet and a sweet, ô so sweet pecan tartlet).
The sweet tart crust is made after a recipe found in Pierre Hermé's "Larousse des Desserts". This pâte sucrée has become my favorite because it is simple, sweet, delicate and yet quite crisp. Moreover the use of almond flour and of a vanilla pod really makes the difference.
For the lemon custard, I use a recipe given by a Japanese friend which comes from Antoine Santos's pastry book called "Comprendre en comparant"(except for its title, it is all in Japanese). This book is great (for what I can understand) and describes step by step, with pictures, the different recipes (thank God, the ingredients and the proportions are in French) but it cannot be easily found in Paris (still one can try the Japanese bookstores near Opéra ). Therefore I will be nice and will divulgate its lemon curd recipe. This curd has a very high proportion of eggs, which lends it an intense flavor and a smooth consistency. The lemons' acidity is more pronounced on the day after.

List of ingredients needed for a dozen prepared and baked tartlet shells:
250g lemon juice+ the zests of one lemon
180g egg yolks
200g eggs
200g sugar
190g butter at room temperature
In a large pan, heat the lemon juice and the zests until the mixture boils. Pour a small proportion of the juice on the yolks, the eggs, and the sugar previously blend together and whisk this mixture back into the pan. Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly until thick and smooth. Set this curd aside to cool. When the temperature goes down to 40°c, mix in the butter at room temperature. Store the curd in the refrigerator. When it is quite cool, spread it in the tartlets shells with a small spatula and, just for a little shine, use neutral glaze.

Pecan tartlets:
These tartlets are very tasty but are also very, very sweet. So they are wonderful with an expresso, herb tea or any unsweetened hot drink you like.
I will remain silent on the subject of the origins of the pecan filling (it would too long and I believe quite uninteresting). I will just give straight out the recipe for a dozen and slightly prebaked tartlet shells. This recipe is very easy; just mix together the ingredients in the following order :
180g eggs
240g sugar
a pinch of salt
a teaspoon of vanila extract
36g flour
300g maple syrup
72g butter( melted)
210g choped pecans
Fill the tart shells with this batter and bake at 150°C until the filling colours, rises, and becomes slightly cracked. Take out of the oven and wait until it cools entirely.
Voilà, voilà c'est aussi simple que ça !


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