I am recovering from a “long” weekend of stuffing my face. Yes, seriously! 4 days of consecutively eating, with friends, with family, and with visitors.
You are probably wonder what I had. Here you go. 1 turkey, 1 turducken, lamb skewers, seafood rigatoni, numerous bowls of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, brussels sprouts with crispy bacon, chili cheese dip, shaken beef, lotus shoot salad with pork, ad hoc fried chicken poppers, roasted beets and acorn squash, pan-fried scallops, fried hens, garlic French fries, slices of pies and cakes, and glass after glass of wines. It was a great Thanksgiving week, again. And I am grateful to be able to have a healthy appetite to taste all these dishes.
Four dishes I brought to the Thanksgiving gatherings became big hits (phew..so glad because I was nervous wondering whether people will like them or not). Stir-fried Brussels sprouts with bacon, crispy and crispy. Mashed potatoes (same recipe used for the Shepherd’s Pie) that was smooth and creamy. Give Thanks Salad with Honey Roasted Walnut (which I will share in later post). And tangy Lemon Tartlettes.
I have to share these lemon tartlettes with you because I know you will love them too. They make perfect afternoon tea snack. They are tangy, lemony and full of prettiness. I can’t get myself to stop making them because of the many requests. I baked 3 rounds (that would be 45 minutes of continuous vigorously whisking). And there was still not enough to go around.
Make one for yourself and you will know. Bon appétite!
Tartlette Au Citron (Lemon Tartlette) adapted from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon via Epicurious
Serving: 3 tarlettes (4″ diameter)
Pine Nut Crust
2 cups pine nuts
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
2 large egg yolks, cold
5/8 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
strawberries, mints and lemon zests as garnishes (optional)
For the crust:
Place the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the sugar and flour and continue to pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Add the butter, egg, and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate all the ingredients (the dough can be mixed by hand, using a cutter, or in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Divide the dough into three equal parts. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before using. The extra dough can be frozen, wrapped well, for up to 1 month. Use within 3 days if refrigerated.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour 3 tartlette pans with a removable bottom and refrigerate it while the oven preheats. Remove the pans from the refrigerator. Use your fingertips to press the chilled pine nut dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough.
Place the pans on a baking sheet. Bake the crust for 10 to 15 minutes, then rotate it and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool while you make the filling. (There may be some cracks in the crust; they will not affect the finished tart.)
For the sabayon:
Bring about 1 1/2 inches of water to a boil in a pot that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl you will be using for the sabayon. Meanwhile, in a large metal bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is smooth.
Set the bowl over the pot and, using a large whisk, whip the mixture while you turn the bowl (for even heating). After about 2 minutes, when the eggs are foamy and have thickened, add 1/3 of the lemon juice. Continue to whisk vigorously and, when the mixture thickens again, add another one-third of the lemon juice. Whisk until the mixture thickens again, then add the remaining lemon juice. Continue whisking vigorously, still turning the bowl, until the mixture is thickened and light in color and the whisk leaves a trail in the bottom of the bowl. The total cooking time should be 10 – 12 minutes (It takes literally at least 10 minutes. Warm up those wrists).
Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the water. Whisk in the butter a piece at a time. The sabayon may loosen slightly, but it will thicken and set as it cools. Pour the warm sabayon into the tart crusts.
Preheat the broiler. While the sabayon is still warm, place the tartlettes under the broiler. Brown the top of the sabayon, rotating the tart if necessary for even color. This will take only a few seconds, so do not leave the oven. Remove the tartlettes from the broiler and let sit for at least 1 hour before serving.
Serve at room temperature or cold with garnishes.