Monday, 22 August 2016

Lemon Buttermilk Tart

This has always been one of favourite tarts, and sadly, one which I haven't made for a while. I was marinating chicken in the same buttermilk marinade used in the post Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts, and made a mental note to use the rest of the buttermilk.

One thing I want to use it for is a batch of Corn and Zucchini Pancakes. Then I remembered the lemon buttermilk tart, which also allowed me to use up some white chocolate and fresh raspberries. This tart received rave reviews, with everyone having multiple pieces...literally! It is super easy and quick to put together and can be kept in the fridge for up to three days, if it lasts that long!

Start off by making the shortbread press pastry I used to make the Hazelnut Pear Tart . Line a 10" tart shell with a removable bottom, and bake it until it is set and starting to colour slightly, about 11 minutes at 350F. Remove from the oven and cool.

While the shell is baking, use a vegetable peeler to peel curls off a block of white chocolate. This works best if the chocolate is slightly warm.

Set the curls aside until needed.

Finely chop and melt over a double boiler:

3 ounces white chocolate

Spread the melted chocolate over the bottom of the cooled crust, and refrigerate or place in the freezer until the chocolate is set.

While the chocolate is setting, start the filling, by combining the following in a heavy bottomed saucepan:

3 eggs
3 egg yolks
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk in:

3/4 cup buttermilk
2 ounces melted butter
Juice of 1 lemon

Lastly, whisk in:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour

Place the saucepan on a medium low heat, and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture starts to thicken and just comes to a boil.

Remove from the heat and strain to remove any lumps that you may have.

Pour the hot filling into the tart shell, and spread it evenly over the cooled chocolate.

Bake at 350F until the filling is set, but still slightly jiggly when the tart shell is tapped. This took around 16 - 18 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cool before putting it into the refrigerator to chill.

To serve, remove the tart from the tart shell, and garnish with fresh raspberries and the reserved white chocolate curls that you made earlier.

  • The combination of lemon and buttermilk is tart, fresh and clean, and the sweetness of the white chocolate provides a balance.
  • Other citrus such as lime or orange can be used instead of lemon.
  • The filling is smooth and creamy, and is basically a type of cooked custard. It is important that you whisk constantly while cooking it, and keep the heat low to medium low in order to avoid cooking the eggs too quickly and scrambling them instead of emulsifying them with the other ingredients. Straining the cooked custard will also remove any small lumps that may have formed.
  • Blackberries, red or blackcurrants, blueberries or sliced fresh plums or apricots can also be used to top the tart.
  • I used white chocolate for the sweetness, and because I had a piece of it in the cupboard. Dark or milk chocolate can also be used...why not top the tart with some of all three, and use your favourite to line the bottom of the tart shell?
  • The pastry for the shell can be flavoured with zest, spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg, or the addition of ground nuts (substitute 1/4 cup of flour for finely ground nuts).
  • The baked tart does not freeze well, but the tart shell can be lined and frozen, then baked when you are ready to fill it. The baked tart will keep in the fridge for 2 - 3 days.

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