Four years ago this week the bakers of Tuesdays With Dorie had a choice of recipes: either Dorie Greenspan's Most Extraordinary Lemon Cream Tart or her Orange Cream Tart. I'm still working away at making every recipe in the book, so I made both! The lemon tart was pretty much by the book, but in my kitchen the orange cream tart transformed into a grapefruit version with a chocolate crust. In both cases, I froze most of the cream for future use and assembled mini tarts for tasting purposes.
- Dorie herself shared the lemon recipe on Serious Eats, under the headline "lemon, lemon, lemon cream," here. Additionally, in May of 2008 Dorie revisited the recipe for her lemon cream tart and shared tips in this post on her blog.
- I made a gluten-free crust for my lemon tart, using Alice Medrich's shortbread base found in her cookie book, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies. (I highly recommend this book, by the way!)
- The recipe for the orange cream tart can be found on Michelle's original blog, here. (Michelle now blogs at the Brown Eyed Baker)
- I've been in a serious grapefruit phase, so I decided to adapt the recipe from orange to grapefruit. I used an especially wonderful, juicy, dark red grapefruit for the recipe. Here's how I adapted the recipe: I used some lemon juice, but maybe not the full amount, finishing up a lemon that I'd already cut. I cut the sugar to about 3/4 the amount specified by the recipe. I used about 4T rather than 5.5 T butter. I got a bit mixed up in my steps, and added the gelatin just after I started to put in butter.
- The grapefruit cream wasn't as tart/flavorful as I would have liked, so next time I'd use more lemon juice and perhaps reduce the grapefruit juice by boiling it down a bit to concentrate the flavor.
- The grapefruit cream "set", probably because of the gelatin in it, and it didn't stir up smooth. Although the filling looked a bit bumpy it wasn't really lumpy at all.
- I put the filling into a mini chocolate tart shell, and topped the tart with whipped cream and chopped pistachios.
The lemon filling was nothing short of amazing: silky, creamy, and very tangy. I mellowed it a bit by a dab of whipped cream on top of the tart. Alice Medrich's gluten free crust baked beautifully into a sturdy shortbread cookie, the sweetness a perfect complement to the filling. This is a great recipe to have in the gluten-free arsenal and can be used as a base for any bar cookie or tart.
The grapefruit cream was subtle and the tiniest bit bitter on its own. But it was perfect paired with the chocolate tart shell, which smoothed out the rough edges of the cream, while the cream contributed a subtle note of citrus to the chocolate.