Week 208: Lemon cheesecake tartlets

Back in the kitchen and all caught up with the latest episodes of gbbo which I missed for the last 2 weeks. Despite the horrible jet lag, where I had to keep myself up the whole of yesterday (touched down in Singapore at 5:30 am) and ended up sleeping a whooping 14 hours straight, waking at 3 pm today, I somehow managed to finish making these little tartlets.

Funny story about the lemons I used. A friend of mine was in Catania a few weeks ago. However, I only found out about his trip on the last day before he flew off to France. I asked him to get me some Sicilian lemons. He said he was not sure if he can find any. And a week later, he passed me a bag of Argentinian lemons instead.

Oh well, when your friend gives you lemons, you make lemon tarts! Anyway, I have been craving for these during that 2 weeks of dessert drought in Germany, so it was a much welcome break. Also I need something sweet while I watch the Great British Bake Off finales later this week.

Makes 4 tartlets

For the cheesecake mousse

130g cream cheese

30g granulated sugar

20g milk

1 gelatine leaf

42g mascarpone

100g whipped cream

4 x baked 8cm round pâté sucrée beurrée tart shell

1) Bloom gelatin sheets in ice cold water.

2) Warm milk and melt the gelatin sheets in it.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar using the paddle attachment until smooth.

4) Add mascarpone then the milk and gelatine mixture and beat until homogeneous.

5) Fold in the soft whipped cream.

6) Fill each tart shell with 28g cheesecake mousse. There is a lot of mousse remaining.

For the lemon cream

44g caster sugar

Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

40g eggs

32ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

60g 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 83°C.

4) Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to 60°C, 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 33g each, covering the cream cheese mousse. There should be about 30g lemon cream left.

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.

6) Assembly instructions here.

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