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Friday, May 21, 2010

Lemon Tart Friday

Today I have another thing I can cross of my Living in France to-do list:  Make an award-winning lemon tart which will shock & amaze the French with the conviction that not only can Americans make pastries, but they also have a surprising talent with meringue.

Well, that was actually taken from my Fantasy Life in France to-do list which also has me living in Paris & sipping Champagne in feathery pumps by September, so I think I fared comparatively well today by making a Tarte au Citron Meringuée that was actually edible.

I've been wanting to make cette tarte since we were out & about (used car hunting) my second or third weekend in France & made a quick pit stop at a roadside boulangerie.  I'm not sure how other people cope with moving to a foreign country, but I know what I prefer doing....eating...& lots of it.  There's something very comforting about those first quichespain au chocolates, and of course, lemon tarts. You may not speak the language very well, completely understand the culture, or grasp how men can fit into those skinny jeans, but biting into a good French dessert makes you feel that you've somehow made the right choice.  That's how I felt that day sinking into my first official lemon tart and I wondered if indeed all my problems could be solved by a steady stream of flaky pastries.  And, I can plumply report, it's working out pretty well so far.

Thus my desire to throw my hat into the Tarte au Citron-making ring.  This isn't a food blog by any means, so I can't promise pretty pictures or incredible preparation techniques (although I did make some impressive peaks during my meringue whipping), but I wanted to encourage everyone to try to make this dessert as it is quite simple and really, who doesn't love lemon? So, I recommend tossing Tarte au Citron into your French Idea Box if you're looking for a quick pick-me-up or just an easy way to get your guests saying ooh la la...

It's just about 3-4 lemons, their zest, & heating up some eggs & sugar (don't worry, a few real recipes follow).

I loved whipping the egg whites into meringue, but it's definitely an art-form as mine weren't nearly as pliable as the ones you see at French patisseries.  

And voilà, the final product. I don't think it will win any awards, but my boyfriend ate it and although he's not totally unbiased, he is French; thus giving him a free pass to critique food at will. While I'm working out my meringue technique for the next tarte, I'll also be adding a new target to the (fantasy) French to-do list: awesomely thin crepes.

Tarte au Citron recipes: 

(in French; good step-by-step photos) 


  1. Hmmmm, this lemon tart looks delicious... I will try it out. I have to agree with other comments in this blog as well, your photos are really very beautiful!

  2. Thanks Susanne...France is so pretty that I think it's hard to take a bad photo! I would love to make a lemon tart together when you visit..& of course there are all the other yummy pastries to try..I hope I'm trying to tempt you to visit soon! xx

  3. Eating must be one of the best coping mechanisms existing from generation to generation. I celebrate your triunfo Tuula! :) Although it sounds simple, I rather be sitting at your table, tasting it from your now French touch. :)

  4. I am quite convinced that a tart that looks so good must be delicious. Of course, if you want to continue seeking perfection, I will be happy for you to try again and again when I come to visit you. The fact that you made your first lemon tart on my birthday (and I didn't get a birthday cake here) makes me feel as though you were sending me a "Bon anniversaire" that floated all the way to Rome on clouds of fluffy meringue. Merci! :)

  5. I'm ready to make lemon tarts for days for Jenny & Kenya...& I think my waste line can attest to just how good a "coping mechanism" French food really is!