Thankfully, I have frozen pâté sucrée in my freezer, and a lemon in the fridge. 😅 This is definitely one of my personal favourites, and, well, I think it does not rank too badly in the presentation department either.
Makes 4 x 8cm tarts
For the pâté sucrée beurrée
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
95g icing sugar, sifted
30g ground almond
250g plain flour
2g fleur de sel de Guérande
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
50g egg, beaten (roughly 1 medium)
1) In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the blade, beat the butter, icing sugar, ground almond, plain flour and salt until the mixture looks like crumbs.
2) Add the egg and vanilla paste and process until the dough forms a ball.
3) Scrap out the tart dough and wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
4) Remove about a quarter of the dough and roll it out to 2mm thickness between 2 large pieces of parchment.
5) Line 4 x 8cm tart rings and allow to freeze until required. There will be plenty of leftover dough which can be frozen and use at a later time.
6) Preheat oven to 170C fan and blind bake the tarts for 15 mins.
7) Remove tarts and the coverings and bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes until tart shell has browned.
For the cream cheese mousse
60g cream cheese
7g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
60g heavy cream, whipped
1) Heat cream cheese and sugar over Bain Marie until sugar is melted and mixture is smooth.
2) Cool mixture to room temperature then fold in vanilla extract and whipped cream.
3) Fill each tart shell with 30g of cream cheese and place the tarts into the freezer.
For the lemon cream
55g caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
50g eggs (roughly 1)
40ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1) Place the sugar and lemon zest into a bowl. Using your hands, rub the zest with the sugar until the mixture is moist and grainy.
2) Add eggs and lemon juice and mix well.
3) Heat the lemon mixture in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisking continuously, until it reaches a temperature of 83C.
4) Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to 60C, before adding pieces of the butter.
5) Blend the mixture using a handheld immersion blender on high speed to burst the fat molecules.
6) Divide the lemon filling evenly into the tart shells, approximately 37g each, covering the cream cheese mousse. There should be enough lemon cream for another 1 or 2 tartlets.
7) Set aside in the freezer while preparing the Italian meringue.
For the Italian meringue
60g egg whites
40g still water
120g caster sugar
1) Put the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
2) Heat the still water and caster sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Start whisking the egg whites to soft peaks when the syrup reaches 115C.
3) When syrup reaches 121C, remove from heat. Turn the stand mixer to low and pour the syrup in a thin stream into the egg whites, avoiding the whisk.
4) Increase the speed of the stand mixer and allow to whisk until meringue has cooled to room temperature.
5) Transfer meringue into a piping bag, fitted with a St. Honore piping tip.
1) Remove tarts from freezer and pipe meringue around the edge of the tartlets, covering part of the lemon filling.
2) Lightly torched the meringue.
3) Dilute a teaspoon of neutral glaze with a teaspoon of water and add the yellow colouring.
4) Spoon a bit of coloured glaze into the center of each tart for decoration.
5) Zest some yellow onto the tart if desired.