Tag Archives: Lemon

Doing Spring Day to taste – Lemon tart with berries

We might not have terribly cold winters here in Pretoria, but that doesn’t stop us celebrating Spring any more than any where else in the world. Picnics in the parks, outdoor concerts, and desserts that don’t use chocolate. Wait, seriously? If Spring means chocolate free puddings, maybe Winter isn’t so bad after all. Or maybe it just takes a really special dessert to convince me that not everything needs chocolate in it to be called a dessert.

So for Spring day the LiveInBaker decided to go for something a little bit lemony, a little bit tart, and all together pretty damn good:

Lemon Tart with fresh berries:

Ingredients:

For the pastry shell:

  • 150g cake flour;
  • 25g corn flour;
  • 40g icing sugar;
  • 90g butter;
  • 5ml vanilla essence;
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten.

For the filling:

  • 250g cream cheese;
  • Enough plain yogurt to thin cream cheese to desired consistency, around a quarter of a cup;
  • quarter to half a cup of lemon curd (done to your taste);
  • The grated rind and juice of one lemon (to taste);
  • 300 – 350g of mixed berries;
  • 1 table-spoon of icing sugar.

Sift the flour, corn flour and icing sugar together, then rub in the butter (don’t worry, I also don’t know what this means) until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Combine the vanilla and egg yolks, and then mix this into the crumbs to make a firm dough (you might need to add cold water if the mixture isn’t forming a firm dough).

The cling film stops the dough from sticking to the rolling-pin and counter top

Roll the dough out and line a 23cm round flan tin with it, pressing the dough up the sides. Prick the base with a fork (cover the entire base) and place in a fridge for 30 minutes.

Finishing lining the pastry tin

Preparing the tart shell for baking

Line the flan with baking paper and baking beans (or dried chickpeas for us). Place the tin on a baking sheet, and bake in a 200C oven for 20 minutes (turns out that blind baking is not in actual fact, baking while trying to keep both eyes on the rugby game), removing the paper and the beans for the last 5 minutes. Allow the pastry shell to cool completely before you start filling it.

Blind baking

Completed pastry shell

For the filling, cream the cream cheese, yogurt, lemon curd, lemon rind and lemon juice to your desired consistency and taste. We kept our quite tart.

Prepare your berries by washing and slicing the strawberries, and mixing it with 1 table-spoon of icing sugar. When you are ready to serve, fill the pastry case with your cream cheese mixture, and top with the sweet berries.

Decorating the tart with berries

You can either do the final preparation right before you serve, but you can also do this a couple of hours before. If you fill the pastry shell immediately before serving, the shell will remain very crisp and crumbly, and if you fill it a couple of hours before it will soften the shell a bit, but it won’t lose it biscuit like quality.

The completed tart, giving chocolate a run for its money

Drinking with this recipe:

We were drinking white and  rosé wine with this recipe, which, based on how the morning after felt, is not something I would like to remember.

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If you’re going to drink out of a bottle, you might as well eat out of a glass

When it comes to certain types of food, I think I am really old school. For example fruit is not something that I think should be in a dessert, but rather something to be eaten only when trying to avoid a doctor. I also don’t really classify anything as dessert unless there is some sort of chocolate involved, even if it means me running down to the petrol station to buy said chocolate. But as they say, change is as good as a holiday, and so sometimes even I need to take a break from my usual chocolate-centered pudding.

The last time this happened, the LIB was ready with a recipe. Though I think it was more her addiction to cheese cake that led her to this recipe, and not my latest chocolate detox. The dessert we made, while not originally being described as a cheesecake, does definitely have a hint of cheesecake flavour, with a nice bite of lemon to go with it:

Layered Lemon (cheese)cake Cups:

Ingredients:

  • Madeira Cake – 1 loaf is enough to serve 4 people
  • Lemon Curd – we used a ready prepared one from Pick ‘n Pay
  • Lemon Sugar Syrup (detail below)
  • Icing (detail below)

Lemon Syrup

  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • Half a cup of sugar
  • Half a cup of water

Icing:

  • 62.5g of softened butter
  • Half a cup of icing sugar, sifted
  • 230g of plain cream cheese
  • 10ml fresh lemon juice

Do these qualify as rejects?

For the lemon syrup: heat the water, sugar, lemon juice and zest together until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

The icing is loaded and ready to go

For the icing: Cream (which has been explained to me as “just blend them well to make an even, homogeneous texture without lumps and blots” – thanks Google) the butter and sugar together. Then lightly whisk in the cream cheese, or if you’re impatient just mix it in using a spatula. Just be careful not to over mix. Mix in the lemon juice, again you can use the spatula. Chill in a fridge to thicken while preparing the rest of the pudding.

This might be the most awesome icing machine ever!

For the cakes, cut the cake into 1.5 cm thick slices length wise. The LIB uses a rather fancy cake slicer to do this (looks like a giant cheese slicer). Use whichever container you’ll be using to cut out the correct size and shape of cake. We used glass tumblers for this. Don’t worry about any excess cake, as someone is bound to walk past and eat them (most likely me). Then start assembling the cake, in the following pattern: place 1 round of the cake into the bottom of your tumbler, add a drizzle of the syrup, and pipe a layer of the cream cheese icing on top. Add 10mls of lemon curd and then repeat the entire pattern. You can do as many levels as you like, just make sure you end the cycle with a cream cheese icing layer.

Can I have mine yet?

Don’t waste your time garnishing, just bang them into a fridge to stay cool, and serve them either cool or at room temperature.

And if you can control yourself, these do taste a whole lot better the next day, once the flavours have had a chance to combine properly.

The LIB said that if she would change anything about this recipe, it’s that she wouldn’t cut the cake into smaller container shaped pieces, and would instead assemble as one large loaf. And because this pudding tastes so damn good, I’m more than happy for her to try again.

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