[update: I've had a lot of questions about my deep tart molds. I've ordered them, in several sizes, from PastryItems.com]
- I planned to serve the lemon tart to my book group, so I baked a full recipe. I've never used my little 4" tart molds, so I tried them out.
- The dough yielded 5 mini tart cases that were fairly thick, and I think with a bit of effort, it might have made 6 with a thinner crusts.
- I had 1 Meyer lemon knocking around the produce drawer of my fridge, so I used that in its entirety, pith, zest, and juice, along with 1/2 regular lemon with pith removed.
- I whirled the lemon in the blender with sugarand the rest of the ingredients and then gave it a little taste. I was surprised to find that it wasn't very tart. So I added some more zest, pith, and juice, but what I really wish is that I could have taken some sugar out (and maybe used half and half in place of the cream).
- There was lots of lemon mixture left over after filling the 5 mini tart shells.
- I baked the minis for 15 min at 310 degrees then 15 min at 340 degrees.
- The little tarts came out of oven puffy with a little sugar crust across the top. As they cooled they settled down, jelled, and got dense. I popped them in the fridge overnight.
- The next day it was very difficult to unmold the tarts. Not one of the tarts emerged totally unscathed. Either a piece of crust broke off, or the tart collapsed. I managed to put my thumb through one.
- For a topping, I used the rest of my faux mascarpone and made some more cream filling! This was my first attempt at piping cream. I was in a huge hurry, and didn't realize until too late that the cream wasn't in the center of any of the tarts. Very fun, though.
Oops! I guess this one better be mine.
My tarts were quite lemony but not as tart as I expected. The Meyer lemon was too subtle for my taste; next time I will use regular lemons for the entire filling. My tasters all loved the tarts. One, HY, said that the lemon tart is tied with the pear tart as the best Dorie recipe yet (and she's probably tasted more than half the ones I've baked). Another person, AT, thought the cream topping not really necessary -she loved the lemon by itself. Although I thought the cream complemented the lemon nicely I'm not exactly objective about that mascarpone cream!
As an aside, in addition to the lemon tarts I served the 15 Minute Magic torte (from the freezer), frosted with Sweet Melissa's semisweet ganache (also from the freezer). My tasters were blown away by the torte, couldn't believe it had come from the freezer, and liked it even better than the prune torte!
My husband hadn't been at home when I made the tarts, and he drove straight from work to book group, arriving late, and promptly eating two of the tarts. He didn't realize until we got home that I'd made them - in a complimentary way. But the lemon tarts' glory was short-lived. My husband ended up preferring the Lemon Icebox Cake that I served two days later (but I like the tarts better!)
I would have liked to have eaten this as a slice of a full-sized tart (more lemony filling) rather than minis; my husband thought the little ones were great because of the higher proportion of crust.
These lemon tarts made me want MORE lemon tarts! I hope I can bake Delia's recipe before another 10 months passes... Aaaand, I saw that David Lebovitz posted a lemon tart recipe yesterday, using an unconventional French method of making tart crust that involves boiling butter and water! David's has an elegantly slim layer of lemon curd, very different from Delia's lush deep lemon filling. Oh dear, I guess I'd better make both!
You can find the recipe for Dorie's delicious tarts on Babette's post, or on page 336 of Dorie Greenspan's book Baking From My Home to Yours.