Tuesday, 24 April 2012

April Monthly Miette

This month Aimee has given us the freedom to choose a recipe from the tart selections for this months Monthly Miette. I chose the lemon tart because I prefer a fruit filling tart and I have never made a fresh lemon curd before. Allthough I've had lemon curd I have not actually prepared it. I've had my share of tarts working in the kitchen, I prefer the small bite sized ones where you can fit an entire one in your mouth, like a sushi roll, and then keep working. I pretty much chose Lauras tart knowing full well she would like to prepare the chocolate trouffle tart. We have prepared ganache before and have a recipe we like to use which we find very versatile in our business but I was looking forward to how the author Meg Ray likes to prepare her ganache.
And so the day after preparing the tomboy cake I began the long anticipation of how making these tarts would fit into our schedule. But this time with every intention of making the April 25th roundup deadline. April was equally busy as March and brought; property viewings, negotiating and purchasing of a house, mortgage approvals, well and septic inspections and a house inspection. Finding a couple of hours at home for tart making was looking like quite a challenge.
I woke up to my alarm clock; my 3 year old climbing into bed with me and her cold feet pressed up against my back. Its worth while to know she is able to switch on my coffee maker so that by the time I make it downstairs my coffee is made. After my first sip of coffee, I began my morning zesting and squeezing lemons for the lemon curd recipe, which was quite refreshing. I love the flavour of fresh lemon for pie fillings and now curd. Of course my little apprentice Lyra was interested and couldnt help get her hands into the lemons, which I welcomed because she has loved the flavour of lemon since she was just over a year old.
How could I say no?
Lyra understanding the word sour. She quite enjoyed it!
The lemon curd recipe was easy and Meg Ray was right, the incorpopration of butter really made it creamy and stable. The ganache recipe was easy as well. At first planning, I was going to make a half recipe but in my 'morning measuring haze' I measured one recipe. Extra ganache kicking around the fridge is certainly not a bad thing and once Laura woke up she reminded me that she wanted some extra for our second daughter Kayla's first birthday next month. Perfect. The ganache turned out no problem and the consistency was like pudding, which is a little thicker for my liking to coat cakes but great for cake fillings, or in this case tart filling. I wanted the fillings complete so we could bring them to Nanny and Poppy's house so I could make the sweet dough with their kitchenaid mixer and finish the tarts at their house. Remember we are house sitting and no mixer, so this time I planned ahead. On this occasion we were celebrating my wife and her Dad's birthday, and consequently had a feed of lobsters brought in fresh for our late supper that evening.
Chopped Chocolate and Icing Sugar ready for hot whipping cream

Freshly squeezed Lemon and Zest.
Nappe French term referring to consistency for a sauce, in this case the curd.
When you run your finger through the curd  on the back of a spoon and it stands up,
your curd is ready

Cornmeal Stage after addition of butter for the sweet dough

The dough came together well and if I had actually read the recipe before creating it i would've noticed that you can make the dough inside the tarts and freeze them days before. Note taken for scheduling the next monthly Miette-- read recipe beforehand. While working in a bake shop in Calgary, I quite loved the sweet dough we used for fruit flans and tarts. This dough however is a balance of pie crust and sweet dough. The dough was easy to roll and press into the tart shell without breaking. I was excited to use my new 3 inch tart shells I picked up on a whim at a dollar store when I saw them, in case I needed them for a dessert item for my fall and winter menu with Creative Gourmet Inc. After baking I cooled them off quickly so Laura could finish them with our fillings. This was her task because I had to go meet our realtor to walk the peremiter of our property. Once finished I received a photo email from Laura.
Email caption read "Crap!"
I'm not sure why she would take a photo and send it to me while I was in a meeting. On the drive home I considered resigning my Monthly Miette for this month. After hearing the explanation of how they were tetering on the tray cooling in the fridge and fell over the fridge and the floor, I felt bad to say goodbye to my hard earned tarts. But since our lobsters didnt arrive yet and the dough was made, I went ahead and baked off more tarts. Turned out we had enough time to fill and garnish them right before lobster eating time. I wanted to garnish the tart with raspberries, but they were forgotten in our fridge in our rush to get out the door. Luckily some appealing strawberries were found and I sliced them thinly to garnish the top. I garnished Lauras chocolate trouffle tart with a fork. enuf said.

I warmed the ganache a little too much, my stirring is cooling it down.

Fast slicing for garnishing my lemon tart
The tart shell was baked golden brown and was a nice combination of a flaky sweet dough, which I quite admired. The freshly squeezed lemon curd tart gave me a clean balance of sweet refreshing tartness. Lauras trouffle tart was quite rich and coated your mouth enough to leave a satisfying consideration for a second. This Monthly Miette seemed like an undertaking to accomplish, but once done and tasted this Masterpiece was worth the effort.
Aprils Masterpiece, with Lobster feed in the background.

Of course Lyra is getting into the tarts while shooting.


  1. Oh, I do love a lemon tart...and lemon, most anything! This looks so good....maybe I will try, with assistance, one day! Thanks for the play-by-play and tips, Lyle and laura, my mouth is watering....lucky Lyra!

  2. (here goes another attempt to try and post this)

    I panicked for a moment when I read the lemon part and thought perhaps you were making the Lemon Debutante cake (I made it 2 weeks ago), but then calmed down when I read you were making the tarts. Isn't that lemon curd delicious??! We ate the remaining bit straight out of the bowl - that's totally something I would consider making a large batch of and canning!! The simple syrup was good too, but makes WAY more than you actually need, and I had a hard time trying to think of what else I could use it on/in.

    I'm making the Strawberry Charlotte cake for this evening. Did up the ladyfingers last nite and they turned out really well - I'm quite impressed with myself! The mousse is setting in the fridge, the final layer of cake is in the oven, and now it's rest time, I suppose! :o)

    1. Thank you for your attempts at posting. Yes the lemon curd was really good and quite enjoyed it on top of buttermilk pancakes I made the following day off sprinkled with blackberries. You should post a photo of your strawberry charlotte for us all to see!

  3. Think I managed to change my profile so i have a name and a picture...all the better to be recognized when i show up at the door looking for "taste treats"!

    1. Yes, taste testers are always welcome considering I feel like we are just warming up with this recipe making and blog posting. Trade with babysitting and tasting?

  4. This is my second attempt to comment on your wonderful recipes.

  5. Oh my goodness... what a commotion! Haha. I'm so glad you persevered through the challenges! The perfect ending to a spring lobster dinner.

    I laughed out loud (at work, no less!) at the fact that Lyra can turn on your coffee maker. Her lemon face is priceless. And I'd say that was the perfect garnish for Laura's tart!

    It's always great to hear your reviews and thoughts on the recipes, and seeing how they compare to others you've made! Thanks for joining me again this month!

    1. Yes a commotion. I can tell you, considering quitting was an option, but didnt want to be the odd man out with your round up this month. Yes, Lyra is really growing into quite the apprentice, next will be pouring milk in her own bowl of cereal, switching on my coffee and turning on the tv. So that Laura and I can sleep in. not sure how Kayla will fit in being 1 year old in May. Looking forward to creating May's Miette Masterpiece!

  6. Wow - sounds like quite an adventure with the tarts! Glad you persevered and were able to post with us this month :) I opted for the Lime Meringue Tarts which were incredible tasting. LOVE this monthly challenge (thank you Aimee!)

    1. Yes, an adventure just the same as yours. Glad you perservered through your challenges. I may consider baking in the evening so that I can 'take to a bottle of wine' when my next mishap occurs. I was going to do the Lime tart as well but went with the lemon cause I haven't made curd before. But since reading your post, I may want to concur the graham cracker, another item I have never made. Your photos are wonderful as well!

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