Week one of my unemployment is done and I gotta say - this is way better than I thought it would be. I've made and shot 4 recipes (this being one of them!), went to pottery 3 times, cleaned the whole apartment, watched a movie, went out for lunch, went out for dinner, and still managed to get 8 or 9 hours of sleep every night. I never knew there was so much time in the day to do things! It's just delightful.
The best part about it has definitely been having the time to make and shoot recipes without rushing around like a crazy person. When you only have two days (sometimes less because of errands and spending time with actual people), it's really tough. If something needs to chill for 4 hours, you won't have enough daylight to shoot it before and after. So, you make things the night before, but you don't get shots of it. If something goes wrong or it turns out differently than you expected, you gotta make it work or you scrap the whole thing. Not to mention spending your whole weekend making, shooting, editing, and writing. It's a hassle when you only have a little bit of time. I'm sure every other blogger that also has a full-time job can totally relate here. It's like having two jobs!
Now, I have more time that I can devote to my blog. More photos, more time to prep, maybe a few more elements that I usually wouldn't include. While this tart is pretty simple, I probably wouldn't have made it if I was still working because it's too easy. If I can only make and shoot one thing per week, I want to make it special. As a pastry cook, I feel like I have to present things here that you guys wouldn't see on other blogs, it has to be a step up, you know? I have to push myself a bit.
Seeing as I have more time, I decided to add a couple elements to an otherwise easy tart to kick it up a notch. The raspberry fluid gel and buttermilk chantilly are both super, super easy but they add a really nice colour and flavour contrast. The whole tart is pretty tangy - lemon, buttermilk, and raspberry are all acidic, but the creaminess of the earl grey tea and the heavy cream balance it out so it's not mouth-puckering sour. It would be perfect for a bright, crisp spring day but also works great to brighten up a dreary winters day, too.
Lemon & Earl Grey Tart with Buttermilk Chantilly and Raspberry Fluid Gel
150 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
112 g icing sugar
1 g salt
50 g eggs
250 g all-purpose flour
20 g cornstarch
Recipe adapted from The Food of France
185 g heavy cream
5 g loose leaf earl grey tea
200 g eggs
40 g egg yolks
285 g granulated sugar
250 g fresh lemon juice
3 lemons, zested
Raspberry Fluid Gel
100 g raspberry purée
50 g simple syrup
10 g lemon juice
1.6 g agar agar
200 g heavy cream
20 g icing sugar
1 lemon, zested
100 g buttermilk
Start the paté sucrée. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and cream together. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl and add the salt, and egg. Mix until combined.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cornstarch. Slowly add to the butter mixture until just incorporated.
Remove from the mixer, shape into a flat circle, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
Take out your disk of dough and let it warm up slightly so it is easier to roll out. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to about 3mm and line your 9 inch tart tin. Refrigerate the dough until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Crumple up a piece of parchment paper and then smooth it back out again. Place it in your tart tin and fill it with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Make sure to press it into the corners of the tart.
Blind bake the tart shell for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, remove the parchment and beans/rice/weights, and bake for a further 8 to 9 minutes, until the pastry is a golden brown colour.
Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Turn the oven down to 250 F.
For the lemon filling, place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to just a boil. Remove from the heat, add the tea, and let it steep for 15 minutes. Strain the cream and reweigh it - you will need to add more to make sure you have a final weight of 185 g cream. Set aside.
Combine the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a bowl. Whisk until combined, then slowly add the cream, whisking constantly. Add the lemon juice and zest, whisking constantly. Use an immersion blender to make sure your mixture is smooth and velvety. Pour the mixture into a pitcher.
Place the tart in the oven and pull the rack out slightly. Pour in the lemon filling until it almost reaches the top of the tart, then carefully slide the rack back. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the center of the tart no longer jiggles when moved.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the raspberry fluid gel, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 10 seconds, remove from the heat, and pour into a container. Let the gel chill in the fridge until set, about 1 hour.
Once the gel has fully set, use an immersion blender to create a smooth gel. Transfer to a squeeze bottle.
For the buttermilk chantilly, combine the heavy cream and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks form. Add the lemon zest and slowly stream in the buttermilk while the mixer is on medium-low speed. Whip until medium peaks.
When ready to serve, spoon some buttermilk chantilly onto the tart and use the back of a spoon to create a swoosh. Add dots of raspberry fluid gel and zest a lemon over top.