March 18, 2013

Lemon Tart

March 18, 2013
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Pure accidents by Lakshmi. That’s what the blog should’ve been called. By the strike of fortune I am, time and again, able to turn disasters into edible – sometimes even delicious – dishes. Today’s lemon tart isn’t an exception.
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I went astray by mixing too much butter with flour for the dough of lavanga latika, fried Bengali pastries shaped like tiny envelopes and sealed with cloves. A larger amount of butter made sense because I intended to bake them in the oven, instead of deep-frying. But, even before adding liquid, it was inevitable the consistency would not have worked. In a split second, I changed plans. There is never too much butter in a pie crust, is there?
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This tart is a combination of the softness of butter and milk-based custard, and the sharpness of lemons. Opposites compliment each others. They allow enough space for both to shine and, simultaneously, cover each others’ weaknesses. You get the sparkling freshness of lemons without grumpiness and the richness of butter without fattiness. It’s a good principle to apply in relationships, too, instead of seeing differences as ostracizing.
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The amount of lemon juice and zest is a matter of preference. Take into consideration how sour the lemons are. Sometimes they are surprisingly sweet. This quantity of butter calls for a tang!
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I visualize the tart being decorated with white chocolate or some kind of a simple sugar creation. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do either. Luckily, it didn’t diminish the taste.
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Thank you.

34 comments:

  1. that look De-li-cious :)
    xoxo

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  2. Lemon tarts are totally my favorite dessert. Lemon anything, actually. This one looks so light and luscious!

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    1. Looks are deceiving! Once on the lips, forever on the hips :-)

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  3. My favorite dessert ! Your pics are so wonderful ! Love that !!
    And it looks so yummy ... hum ^^

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  4. This is so pretty! And looks awesome :)

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  5. This lemon tart looks absolutely exquisite!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. I guess the document of the recipe is locked. Its asking for permission.

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    1. Sorry, my mistake. Thanks for letting me know. It's corrected now. Please inform me if it doesn't work.

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  7. The texture looks amazing... so beautiful and creamy!

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  8. Simple pleasures of life....so satisfying and yum....looks fantastic.....

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  9. I am not a great fan on lemons or limes in desserts but this creamy velvety tart is making my mouth water.

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    1. That's so interesting! It has never occured to me someone may not like lemons in desserts. Sugar, lemon and fat get along so well and create an illusion of health food :-).

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  10. Love it. So beautiful. I imagine your tart tastes like summer time!

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  11. It looks divine! Creamy and buttery yumm!

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  12. I'm in love with your pictures!
    Really nice dessert I like-it so much :)
    I'll keep your recipe in my book.
    Thank you, xx

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  13. Your photography and writing are absolutely beautiful! As are your recipes.

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  14. Creamy, dreamy, delicious..that's what comes to mind looking at your tart, Lakshmi.

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  15. lovely. I could eat that lemon custard all day :) beautiful shots

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  16. As I have told you already, your accidents are beautiful :) you are beautiful. I have to and must try this custard. I dislike working with raw eggs in desserts esp. and never made custards for the fear of it. This is the recipe I had been looking for. Love anything citrus. I feel I can just touch the creaminess.

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  17. Lakshmi, what a wonderful recipe. I made it using Mexican saffron and left the little bits in the custard, it's not as strong (or expensive) but it gives nice color and makes for a very flowery, spring look. Thank you, Korana

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    1. So nice to hear, Korana! Thanks for letting us know.

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  18. Thankfully, I've found that accidents often lead to serendipitous discoveries (I certainly make my share in the kitchen!). Lemons are in-season in the States right now - plentiful, plump, and irresistibly inexpensive (excited to have a fresh batch of zest and juice in the freezer for the summer). I can't get enough of them right now, so thank you for this. :)

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  19. I love successful kitchen accidents! This lemon tart is the perfect celebration into Spring/Summer :)

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  20. The recipe doesn't open(((

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    1. It should open, it's a public document. Sometimes there is a problem on Google, please try again. Let me know if you still can't read it. Thanks.

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  21. It's SO creamy! It looks perfect. Absolutely perfect. And I'm happy that your accident ended well. I feel the same pretty often as I have more failures than successes. But I suppose that's a part of baking.

    Love the pictures, as always! Your photography always cheers up my day and makes me smile. Thank you. :)

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  22. Hi, what a lovely tart...I can smell the lemon zest through your photos!!!
    Just a question: may I substitute corn starch with arrow root? what would be the ratio?
    Thanks a lot

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    1. Roberta, I've never used arrow root. Unfortunately I'm not able to help you. A quick search on Internet says you can use either for a pudding. It seems to me the amount is about the same.

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  23. Finally a wonderful eggless-gelatin-free vegetarian recipe. Wow! That tart was simply divine! It was soooo yum. And that idea of using saffron to infuse colour to the custard was ingenious.
    But my custard seemed too loose after adding the lemon juice, could you please tell me what I must have done wrong? Could it be that it took it off the heat before time or did I just put too much lemon juice in or the fat content in my milk was higher?
    (P.S. I'm so happy to see our Indian culture being appreciated abroad.)

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    1. Dear Ronak, I'm glad you liked the taste but sorry to hear the custard didn't settle. There are many possibilities for it: the strach may have been different and, therefore, the amount wasn't adequate; too much lemon juice... Also, the custard further thickens and the butter hardens in the refrigerator. Maybe it wasn't cold enough? It's awhile ago I made the tart but, if my memory serves, it got a bit runny at room temperature. In other words, it should be very cold when served.

      Yes, I love your Indian culture! I wish the Indians themselves would understand the treasure they have!

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  24. Dear Lakshami, thank you so much. I guess I added a higher quantity of lemon juice, I just like things more sour than others. I did put it in the deep freezer and it set beautifully. I had some extra custard, and that was like an amazing limoncello that we all loved. :D Can't wait to try some of your other recipes.

    Haha, ya. You're absolutely right. Most of the Indians are too busy trying to ape others and thereby underestimate their own heritage. Hope that changes soon.

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    1. Glad to hear the recipe worked out! A strong lemon taste is also one of my favorites. It's the freshness. It almost makes you forget the amount of sugar and butter that comes along :-).

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