Tarte au Citron à la Niçoise
This lemon tart comes from Nick Malgieri's A Baker's Tour and is his adaptation of a lemon tart from the restaurant Chez René, in Nice. Chez René is evidently famous for their socca, Nice's traditional chickpea pancake, but this tart is no slouch. Malgieri is considered a preeminent baker/teacher, and was once the pastry chef at Windows on the World in the Waldorf-Astoria. He has taught classes all over New York City, it seems. You can even watch a clip of him during his appearance on Baking with Julia.
In A Baker's Tour, Malgieri has compiled his own American adaptations of recipes from countries throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, India, even Jamaica among others. I thought this lemon tart was a straightforward, simple dessert. The pastry was really very easy to work with, which is nice for a pastry novice like myself.
Tarte au Citron à la Niçoise
Makes one 10-inch round tart
Sweet Pastry Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour (scooped in and leveled off)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in to ten pieces, cold
2 large eggs
For the dough, combine the first 4 ingredients in the bowl of your food processor, which should have the medal blade attached. Pulse the ingredients to mix them, then add the butter and pulse around 10 more times. Add the eggs and pulse again until the dough starts to form a ball. At this point, turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and work it into a disk gently with your hands. Wrap it and refrigerate so the butter can re-harden, as you make the filling. The dough can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated.
When you're ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350-degrees, and set the rack in the lower 1/3rd of the oven.
For the filling:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
8 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup strained lemon juice (I used the juice of 4 quite large lemons)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and the flour and stir together with a whisk. Whisk in the eggs, two at a time, whisking until the mixture is smooth between eat addition. Finish with the lemon zest and juice, and finally whisk in the cream.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Kneed for a moment until the dough softens and can be rolled. Roll the dough into a circle a few inches larger than your tart pan. Use whatever method you prefer for getting your dough into the pan and press the dough into the sides and bottom of the pan. Trim away the excess dough and then either chill the crust again if you have time or pour the filling into the crust now. Bake until the filling is set and the crust is golden, about 50-60 minutes (it took me 45). Cool the tart on a rack, then chill it.