Oh How I Love Thee

Ever since we moved to a new place that comes with our own dining room, we have been entertaining friends regularly. No matter what the cuisine is, we pretty much stick to the french way of dining. Aperitif, appetizers, main dish, cheese and finally tea & coffee and some “digestif”. (Ahem.. Cognac, whisky etc are considered as digestif, aren’t they?)

When it’s just pretty much boys + me, I stick to it as much as possible. But when we’re entertaining friends with smaller tummy capacity, we pare it down to appetizers, main dish, dessert and coffee/ tea. The downside is that we end up with tons of plates and glasses to wash afterwards, but I remember the old Chinese adage: never let the food run out.

So the other day, H helped me tackling one of the course. He made this wonderful Lemon Tart! 🙂

(from Les Foodies)

1 basic tart dough (use your favorite or see recipe below)
5 medium eggs
5 lemons
1/4 tsp salt
200 gr sugar
100 gr butter

  • Preheat oven to 200 C. Prepare the pastry dough, poke with knife, lay out the dried beans and bake the tart shell for 10 mins. Remove the beans and bake for additional 10 mins. Set aside to cool down.
  • Zest the lemons and set aside. Then squeeze the juices into a pot and boil it.
  • In a big bowl, whisk the eggs, salt, sugar and the lemon zest.
  • Without stopping, whisk in the boiled lemon juice by pouring it little by little. Do not wash the pot.
  • Once the lemon juice has been incorporated, transfer back the mixture into pot and cook it over small fire. Continue stirring it with wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and cover the back of your wooden spoon.
  • Transfer the mixture into a bowl and slowly stir in the butter until well incorporated.
  • Pour into the pre-baked tart shells. Leave on room temperature to cool down before putting it into the fridge. Let it chill for 2 hours in the fridge before serving.

(from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook)
makes one 10-inch/ 25.5 cm crust

250 gr pastry flour (I used all purpose flour)
125 gr butter
1 egg
125 gr sugar
few drops of vanilla extract

  • Sift the flour into a big bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter on medium speed.
  • Transfer the butter into the flour bowl and quickly mix the two ingredients using wooden spoon.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the egg, sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Roll into a ball, wrap it with plastic and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • On a floured work surface, lay the ball and flatten it using rolling pin to the desired thickness. Voila.

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