It’s been a pretty busy October. Along with working full time, I am now also taking night classes twice a week to become an Irish qualified Montessori Directress. I am not sure when this will lead to working in a Montessori, but the course itself is absolutely fascinating! I do have to find some place to work experience, which I know will also be fascinating.
On top of that, I have done a few bits of baking. A while bake I made a delicious lemon tart. The recipe was titled Heavenly Lemon Bars with Almond Shortbread Crust. I made it gluten free and in a tart pan rather than in bars. The inspiration came from my mother-in-law having left over egg yolks from her pavlova.
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup Gluten Free flour (I am using Tesco White Bread Gluten Free Flour. It’s a mix of rice, tapioca, and potato flour with xanthum gum)
3/4 cup almond meal
4 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
zest and juice from 5-6 lemons
bit of salt
(8 tablespoons softened and cubed butter)
For the crust I took eight tablespoons of unsalted butter. In Ireland, unsalted butter is nigh on impossible to find, so I just use their delicious salted butter and don’t add any additional salt. I haven’t yet had a problem doing that. Anyway, I was supposed to use softened butter and beat it with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until creamy. Me, not really paying attention mixed all of the dry ingredients together and then added the butter, cold. Don’t do that, that takes a lot more time. Instead cream the butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Then add 1 cup of Gluten Free Flour. Then add 3/4 cup almond flour. Beat until it’s all mixed together. It will be fairly crumbly.
The recipe called for a 9×9 glass pan lined with baking paper. I took a 9″ tart pan and greased it with butter. Then I pressed the dough into the baking dish. Compact it as much as possible, but beware because the dough might get sticky and stick to your hands when your trying to compress it. Prick with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F (175C).
During this time, make the filling! The lemon curd whisked 4 large eggs, 4 large egg yolks and 1 cup granulated sugar in a saucepan. Once that was all whisked together I added zest form 5-6 lemons and the juice from these same 5-6 lemons (thank you husband for squeezing lemons!). I placed the saucepan over medium heat and stirred constantly until the mixture thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. The recipe suggests 8-10 minutes, it took me closer to twenty minutes. If it starts to coagulate, remove from heat and stir! I never thought it was going to thicken and then it suddenly was thick and nearing goop, so be careful at the point!
Once the lemon curd is nice and thick, pour it into the prepared crust. Bake another 10-15 minutes. Now, while looking at this recipe again, it is saying that I should have melted another 8 tablespoons of butter into the lemon curd before pouring into the crust….I don’t think I did that and the tart was still totally delicious. But then again, maybe I did and don’t remember, it just doesn’t seem familiar to me.
Anyway, once the curd is set (pumpkin pie like) let it cool for at least 4 hours! If you want, sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Yum!