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The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart is the first thing I knew I had to make for a dessert buffet I co-hosted in my home for the ladies of my family.

I first made this recipe from Dorie’s Baking cookbook last year. She states in her book that it is a recipe she learned from Pierre Hermé, a renowned pastry chef in France.

You can find the recipe here at Serious Eats where Dorie gives it her highest praise.

I fell in love with it the first time I tried it.

This French Lemon Cream is similar to lemon curd but the butter is added differently here. Instead of cooking the butter with the other ingredients and letting it all thicken, the butter is added after everything else has cooked and slightly cooled. The butter is then added to the cream and mixed for several minutes in a blender. It has a wonderful light texture and a tangy lemon flavor.

While not a difficult recipe, it does take patience and a little muscle. You must whisk the lemon cream as it cooks until it reaches 180 degrees F. This can take as long as ten minutes. That’s a lot of constant whisking. Whisk, whisk, whisk, and then whisk some more!

Some previous TWD bloggers seem to have had trouble getting their cream to this temperature. The consensus seems to be that a metal bowl works best for achieving 180 degrees. The question was posed to Dorie on her blog, who replied that a temp of 165 would be fine as long as your cream had thickened (though French pastry chefs like to push it to 180 degrees). I used a metal bowl and after about 9-10 minutes I did get the cream to 180 degrees F. without any problems.

I made the lemon cream a few days in advance and filled my tart shell the morning of the party. I thought it was a great spring dessert and addition to our dessert buffet. Although I should have spent more time smoothing out the top and making it “pretty” the luscious lemon filling was extraordinary indeed!

Overall, our little Dessert Buffet Party was a success. I will share a few more of the desserts soon!