For some reason, I find it easier to wake up earlier on weekends than I do during the week. I think I have a lot more energy too, it is sad that weekends past by so fast. Perhaps the lemons have created a motivation an early awakening of sorts.
This post will explain why I went around making the candied lemon slices in my previous post. Visions of lemon tarts have been floating in my head for a while and I thought perhaps a lemon-ginger tart could lay these thoughts to rest. David Lebovitz had an amazing tart au citron recipe that I modified a little to suit my own taste buds. Fresh ginger root extract and a sprinkling of crystallized gingers add a wonderful surprise to this tart. I used a ready-made pastry sheet to save on time rather than make my own crust. Overall, the lemon-ginger tart was a sweet-tarty success. Adding a little cornflour to the lemon curd ensured a good firm setting for the tart. Again as with my previous post on candied lemon slices, be careful to avoid using any reactive utensils or cookware or it will spoil the utensils and the food that it comes in to contact with. For blind baking the empty tart crust with the pastry shell, I use ceramic beads but if you can’t find those dried beans will also work. Do not forget to prick the pastry sheet with a fork to let the air out so the crust does not unevenly rise.
yield: 6-8 slices
1 thawed pastry sheet to cover a 9 inch tart pan
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
grated zest of one lemon
1/4 cup crystallized ginger
1/3 cup fresh ginger root juice
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoon cornflour
1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. Blind bake the pastry shell after lining it in a tart pan till it is halfway cooked using ceramic baking beads or dried beans.
2. In the meantime, heat a medium saucepan and melt the butter, ginger juice, lemon juice, zest and sugar.
3. In another bowl, whisk all the eggs and the yolks. Add about 100-150ml of the melted butter mixture to temper the eggs with constant whisking. Then pour the eggs slowly with constant whisking into the saucepan with the remaining butter solution. Mix the cornflour in the curd mixture. At this stage you must constantly stir the liquid till the lemon-ginger curd thickens. This happens relatively quickly so be careful to avoid burning the curds. Fold the crystallized ginger into the curds. (If you prefer you could strain the curds to remove the zest or any lumps if formed and then add the ginger crystals). Once it is done, pour the lemon-ginger curds into the pie and tap it gently so it sets evenly.
4. Put the tart back in the oven and let it bake for at least 10-15 minutes. This will vary with the oven but the tart will be done when the center is firm and solid. Let the tart cool in the pan at room temperature and then let it chill for at least 2-3 hours overnight. Decorate with the tart with the candied lemon peels.
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