Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rosie Makes Daughter Hawthorne's Birthday Cake.

August is birthday month for the Hawthornes.
Youngest Hawthorne kicks off the celebrations
 August 7.

This is the cake he requested:

 By the way, YH, this was an excellent choice.
For the recipe,

The next August birthday
is XKT's on the 9th.
Stay tuned for her cheesecake.

August 11 is Daughter Hawthorne's birthday
and Mr. Hawthorne celebrates his on August 31.
For birthday cakes,
I let the celebrant choose whatever cake, pie, tart, etc.
they desire.

 Now, Daughter Hawthorne likes lemons.
(Wonder where she got that from.)

She requested a lemon tart for her birthday cake,
so I'm making her a French Lemon Cream Tart
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's
If you go to that link,
do NOT compare that cover picture
to Youngest Hawthorne's cake pictures above.

First, let's make the crust.
This is an all-purpose, versatile recipe for pie crust.
It's a flaky, flavorful, easy-to-roll dough
for pies, galettes, tarts, and turnovers.
For this tart, it's important to have a
fully baked pie crust
A well-baked golden-brown crust
is much more flavorful than an under-baked one.
It also has a better texture.
More texture gives you more contrast
with the soft, creamy filling.

Ingredients for the crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 cup sugar
10 TB butter, very cold (Frozen is fine.)
2 TB shortening, very cold
scant teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ice water (possibly a little more)

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in processor
and pulse just to combine ingredients.
Add in butter and shortening.
Pulse until butter and shortening just cut into the flour.
Do not over-mix.
You want pieces ranging in size 
from barley to peas.
Pulsing, add in the water a tablespoon at a time
until you get a dough that stays together when pinched.
Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate at least an hour before rolling.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface.
Refrigerate about 30 minutes.
Fit the dough in a 9-inch pie plate.
Trim excess dough to 1/8 - 1/4-inch overhang.
 Refrigerate dough while oven is heating to 400 degrees.

Hang on to this excess dough.
I've got a pie twofer for you.

This pie dough must be fully baked
before adding the lemon cream filling.

Butter the shiny side of a sheet of foil
and fit the foil tightly against the crust,
buttered-side down.
Fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights.
Put pie pan on baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Carefully remove foil and weights.

For a partially baked crust,
return to oven and bake an additional 8 - 10 minutes,
until crust is lightly colored.

For a fully baked crust,
bake an additional 11-13 minutes,
or until golden brown.

Cool completely on rack before filling.

Process flour, salt and sugar.

Add in cold butter and shortening.

Process until you have pieces of dough
ranging in size from barley to peas.

Drizzle in ice water
about a tablespoon at a time,
pulsing on and off.

Dough is ready when you can pinch it together
and it holds its shape.

Scrape dough onto work area.

Form into cohesive ball.

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the dough was chilling,
I started on my lemon cream filling.

Ingredients for lemon cream filling:

1 cup sugar
grated zest of three lemons
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 sticks + 5 TB butter
4 eggs

At first glance,
you might think I'm making lemon curd -
the ingredients are the same.
The difference is in how the ingredients are handled
and it makes a difference in taste and texture.
In a curd,
the eggs, butter, lemon juice, and sugar
are cooked together until they thicken,
resulting in a silky, lemony, rich, and buttery product.

In lemon cream,
The eggs, lemon juice, and sugar
- but not the butter -
are cooked until they thicken, as in curd.
The mixture is then poured into a blender
and allowed to cool for a few minutes.
Then the butter is added, by tablespoons,
and the cream is whipped in the blender.
Instead of the butter melting,
as it does in curd,
the butter emulsifies
(just as oil does in mayonnaise).
The resulting texture is velvety and light

I do believe I neglected to add in 5 more tablespoons of butter
as called for in the recipe.
I did not miss it.

To make this you will need an instant-read thermometer,
a strainer, and a blender.

Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a sauce pan.
In a heatproof bowl,
rub sugar and zest together until well mixed
and the sugar is moist, grainy, and very aromatic.
Whisk in the eggs, then the lemon juice.

Place bowl over simmering water
and constantly stir with whisk,
to keep eggs from scrambling.
Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180 degrees.
The cream will start out light and foamy,
then the bubbles will get bigger.
As it gets closer to 180,
the cream will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks.
Tracks mean the cream is almost ready.
Do not stop whisking or checking the temperature.
Depending on how much heat you're giving the cream,
it can take about 10 minutes to get to 180.

When the cream mixture reaches 180,
remove from heat and strain it
into the blender container.
Let cream stand, stirring occasionally,
until it cools to 140 degrees.
At 140 degrees,
turn the blender on high,
and with the machine running,
add in the butter,
a few pieces at a time.
Scrape down sides as needed 
as you incorporate the butter.
Once the butter is all in,
keep the machine running
so you will end up with a perfect light airy texture.
Continue to blend about 3 more minutes.
Pour cream into a container,
press plastic wrap against the surface
to create an air-tight seal.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

When you're ready to assemble the tart,
whisk the cream a bit to loosen it
and spoon it into the tart shell.

Mix sugar and lemon zest.
Oh, this does smell good.

Add in eggs one at a time,
whisking after each addition.

It's hard to shoot an egg just right.

Whisk away.

Whisk in lemon juice.

I set the bowl of lemon cream
over, but not touching, simmering water.

Whisk constantly.
You don't want scrambled eggs.

Starting to thicken now.

And it's ready.

Remove from heat immediately ...

...  and pour through a strainer.

I'm using the chinois that Mr. Hawthorne got me.

It comes with a wooden masher.

 After the mixture cooled to 140
I turned on the blender
and dropped in a few pieces of butter at a time.
Blend another 3 minutes.

Velvety-smooth lemon cream.

Press plastic wrap against cream to make an air-tight seal.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

Remember way back when
when I was making pie dough?
Well, here it is after chilling in the fridge for a while.

Roll dough out about 1/8 inch thick.

Carefully roll up on rolling pin.

Carefully unroll on baking sheet
and refrigerate.

Unroll dough over buttered pie dish.

Trim to about 1/4-inch overhang.

Crimp the edges.
Yes, I am well aware that I suck at crimping,
fluting, pinching, forking, or otherwise making pretty-pie.

Butter the shiny side of the foil.

Place foil buttered-side down
and fill with pie weights.
I've used this same batch of kidney beans for years.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes,
then carefully remove foil and beans.

Return to oven and bake until golden brown.
Maybe 12 more minutes.
Keep an eye on the crust.
Let cool on rack.

Whisk refrigerated lemon cream
before spooning into the cooled pie crust.

This is fine just as is
but I need to do some prettifying.

First, I'm making a simple lemon syrup
and candied lemon peel.
I peeled 2 lemons,
being careful not to include
the bitter white part, or pith.

I brought 1 cup water to a boil
and dropped in the lemon peel.
Boil 5 minutes.

 Remove peels from water,
and stir in 1 cup sugar.

Return to a boil, add peels,
and boil until transparent.

Drain and allow to dry.

Liquid may be reserved, refrigerated,
and used as a simple lemon syrup.

I'm making chocolate leaves.

Melt some bittersweet and semi sweet chocolate chips,
with a little bit of shortening.

Melt chocolate
and coat a sturdy leaf with the melted chocolate.
I used bay leaves.

Let cool on wax paper.
I put these in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

When cool,
carefully peal off chocolate leaves.
You need to work quickly.

Take a skewer and wrap the candied lemon peel around it.

Take some strawberries
and drop their bottoms in 
the leftover melted chocolate.

Glue strawberries to the custard with the chocolate.

Add lemon peels and chocolate leaves.

Make a wish, Daughter Hawthorne.
May all your wishes and dreams come true.
That said, be careful what you wish for.

Now that's a Lemon Cream Tart.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

It looks like heaven on a plate.