I wish someone would have told me about Lemon Cream earlier in life. It is a bit like lemon curd but silky and smooth. You can use it in a variety of ways. Since I have been into tarts lately, I made a lemon cream tart. However, you could use it in between layers in cake or use it in a pie. With a little imagination, I am sure you could find plenty of uses for this delicious sweet. If you are a fan of lemon, you need to try this recipe.
The recipe is actually a little easier than it sounds, but you need to have about 30 solid minutes where you won’t be interrupted to make the cream. It is a bit temperamental and you need a thermometer, a double boiler, a fine strainer, and either a blender or a food processor. I almost did not make it yesterday because I thought it seemed like too much trouble, but I am glad that I did it. It is worth the work.
I cup sugar
Zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
2 sticks, plus 5 tablespoons butter (I know that is a lot of butter), cut into tablespoon sized pieces
Have all your equipment ready: food processor, strainer, thermometer.
Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a sauce pan. Get a heatproof bowl that fits into the top of the pan. This will make the double boiler. Do not put the bowl on the heat yet. Put the sugar and the zest into the bowl. Using your fingers, rub the zest and the sugar together until fragrant. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.
Now set the bowl over the saucepan. Attach the instant thermometer.
My thermometer didn’t attach to the side, so I tried to tape it. That really didn’t work very well. I will do something different next time. It kept falling off. This is the part that is a little tough because you need to stir until the mixture reaches 180 degrees. As it gets closer to 180 degrees it will thicken. Once you hit that mark, take if off the heat and strain it into the food processor/blender.
The cream is thick at this point so it take a little work go get it through the strainer, but you want to get the zest out of it. I used a spatula to push it through the strainer. Now once the cream has cooled to 140 degrees, which for me was very quick, turn on the processor and add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. This is the step that actually makes the cream creamy.
Let it blend for three minutes after the butter has all been added. Remove the cream from the processor and put it in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to set it.
For the tart, I made the same shell as I did when I made the Tarte Noire (see a few posts ago). Make the shell and let it cool completely. The cream recipe makes enough to fill two tart shells. It would be enough to fill one pie crust, pre-baked and cooled.