Lemon Sabayon Tart
I’ve been on a lemon kick of late, especially since I discovered the deliciousness that is lemon curd. I made it at home to see how it was done, and then tried the one from Trader Joe’s and it was equally delicious, although more expensive overall.
In the summer, I often crave something fruity and even slightly sour or tangy. Limes always hit the spot for me, more than lemons, but ever since this lemon curd, I’d been craving lemon tarts of some sort. Lemon meringue pies are the popular choice but I wanted to make it a little fancier and more interesting than that.
I chose a recipe from Thomas Keller’s famous Bouchon bakery for a lemon sabayon tart, and used the classic tart base from my favorite French cookbook, Laduree.
The sabayon method is when eggs are cooked with the lemon juice and sugar over hot water, while gradually adding butter. This simple method results in a delectable lemon curd or custard. It’s creamy, tangy, and melts in your mouth with each bite.
The site where I found the sabayon recipe recommended a pine nut based tart but I went with my favorite classic French tart base instead. It is not too sweet and gives just the right amount of bite to go with something so smooth and velvety-like lemon curd.
This tart is definitely one of my favorite desserts of the summer thus far. It can be made in tartelettes or in one big tart (I made it in one 8in tart pan). The combination of the crunchy tart base with the smoothness of lemon curd bursting in your mouth is quickly addictive.
Pate Brisee (Basic tart dough)
Makes dough for 1 tart for 8 people
Makes dough for 1 tart for 8 people
2 cups (250g) cake flour
9 TBS (125g) cold butter
pinch of salt
4 TBS water
2 egg yolks
Sift the flour into a large bowl.
Cut the chilled butter into small pieces, along with the pinch of salt. Use the palm of your hands to work the butter into the flour until it resembles small grains or sand.
Add the water and the egg yolks and mix just until the dough is homogenous and hold together; don't overwork the dough.
Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before using.
Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.
Roll out onto a tart pan.
Prick it with a fork to prevent puffing up during baking.
Cover the pan with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or beans or almonds to prevent rising.
Bake for about 20 minutes, till it's golden.
2 large eggs, cold
2 large egg yolks, cold
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
Bring 1.5 inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan.
In a metal bowl, whisk the eggs, yolk, and sugar for about 1 minute or until mixture is smooth.
Set the bowl over the pot of simmering water and whip the mixture while turning the bowl for even heating.
After the eggs are foamy and have thickened, add one-third of the lemon juice.
Whisk until the mixture thickens again and then add in the remaining lemon juice.
Continue whisking vigorously until the mixture turns light in color and the whisk leaves a trail in the bottom of the bowl (about 8-10 minutes).
Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the water.
Whisk in the butter a piece at a time. The sabayon may slightly loosen but it will thicken and set as it cools.
Pour the sabayon into the tart and place the pan on a baking sheet.
Preheat the broiler. While the sabayon is still warm, place the tart under the broiler.
Leaving the door open, brown the top of the sabayon, rotating the pan for even color, for about 30 seconds.
Remove the tart from the broiler and let it sit for at least 1 hour before serving.
Serve at room temperature or cold.*If you own a blowtorch, you may use it in place of the broiler.