Because I had been living under a rock it seemed, I didn’t realise that Heston Blumenthal’s latest series How to Cook Like Heston was showing on SBS until I stumble across the second episode, “Eggs”, one Thursday night.
I was especially interested in his technique for cooking poached eggs, as it is something I have difficulty with, but then came the recipe for the lemon tart which obviously I HAD to cook as soon as possible.
As it was Easter the weekend after the show aired, and I was making dessert for Easter lunch at my parents house, I quickly changed my mind to make not only the lemon tart, but I tracked down the recipe for the “Exploding Chocolate Gateau” which would be on the next episode.
So on Saturday morning I went shopping early to buy all the ingredients, as well as Heston’s book Heston Blumenthal at Home. It is a beautiful book and there are many things we will be attempting from it.
Onto the tart (recipe is here). First things first was to make the pastry. Now I have not made a lot of pastry in my time as it has always been somewhat scary to me, but I have had a few attempts and I am getting better. This pastry was easy enough and I took care not to work it too much as I didn’t want it to become tough.
Obviously one should read a recipe properly and when it came to rolling the pastry with the next step being to put back in the freezer, I didn’t quite get that right as I lined the tin before putting in the freezer. It is probably much of a muchness but it did explain why the pastry kept breaking apart while lining the tin. Next time, I will be putting it back in the freezer first.
Once it was back out of the freezer, I loaded the tart with my baking beads and baked for just over 20 minutes, removed the tart and painted with the liquid pastry and then returned it for another 10 minutes.
Next it was time for the filling. This certainly was easy. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl, place over a pot of simmering water and heat until it reaches 60ºC. Last year, the hubby and I went on a bit of a splurge buying some things from America, and one of the new toys I bought was a digital thermometer and it was the best investment ever! It tells the temperature straight away to 0.1ºC and I have used it for many a sweet treat.
Once the temperature was reached, the filling was put through a sieve into a large jug to remove any of the egg that may have cooked etc. We both attempted to remove the bubbles from the surface as the recipe calls for but I got a bit annoyed with it and decided to move on.
The tart case was put back in the oven before adding the filling. Once again, the trusty thermometer came in handy as the tart was to be removed when the filling reached 70ºC.
It sat on the bench to cool completely, and then was put in my cake carrier and stored in the fridge overnight.
The version of the recipe in the cook book adds the step of sprinkling the top with sugar and setting a blow torch onto it to caramelise for a nice crunch. I did attempt this, but failed miserably as the sugar simply wouldn’t caramelise.
Even without that extra touch, it was quite nice, rather tart in taste but it was served with whipped cream (and a slice of the exploding chocolate gateau).