If you saw my Instagram Stories episode last week, you might have seen this tart. While it is well documented that I can eat lemon curd at any time of the year, I particularly it on a hot day for its cooling qualities, the idea behind this particular tart arose from a need to get rid of a few things in my refrigerator.Read More
Irvin Lin needs no introduction, he writes Eat the Love , one of the first baking blogs that I started to read many years ago, even before I started mine. And now Irvin has a gorgeous new book on baking that is reflective of the work on his blog; he creates the unexpected dessert that's not only a visual treat but also one for the tastebuds. This book reinvents baking through interesting flavors and ideas and Irvin executes every recipe in the book with perfection. For example, I've struggled with making apple roses for a long time. Most recipes require you to pour boiling water or keep popping them into the microwave while they sit in a lemon juice-water bath. But Irvin's technique is much simpler and actually works with ease, you'll still need one apple to play with. But with a few pulse in the microwave, I got my apple roses without any fuss and you don't need a water bath.
With Christmas around the corner, I figured I'd redesign this tart to resemble a wreath and be extra festive. I used the left over pastry to make the bow and simply cut out strips of pastry that I shaped into the bow and placed that on tart. I actually ended up using 2 large apples versus the ones listed in Irvin's original recipe from the book below but if you want to fill up the entire tart and skip the wreath, stick to his amounts.
I think this is a book you definitely want to add to your Christmas list this year! There's something in it for everyone, a sweet treat for every day and every occasion! You'll be cooking your way through Irvin's book just like I am.
irvin's spiced brown butter apple rose tart (from Marbled, Layered and Swirled - Irvin Lin - HMH - 2016)
yields: one 10 inch tart
1 1⁄4 cups (175 g) all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup (75 g) whole-wheat flour
1⁄4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
3⁄4 cup (170 g or 1 1⁄2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks
1⁄4 cup dark rum
browned butter filling
1⁄2 cup (115 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
3 green cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 large vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs
1⁄2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup (35 g) all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1⁄2 pounds (about 5 medium) red-skinned firm apples, such as Braeburn, Gala, or Jonagold
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1⁄4 cup (55 g) packed dark brown sugar
1⁄3 cup (50 g) all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
make the crust
Combine both flours, the sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into 1⁄2-inch cubes and sprinkle over the dry ingredients. Toss the butter cubes with your hands to coat, then squeeze until they flatten out, squeezing and tossing until the dough starts to resemble crumbly cornmeal with bits of butter still in flattened chunks. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with the rum, then drizzle the liquid over the flour-butter mixture and fold together. As the dry ingredients become moister, work the ingredients together with your hands until they come together and form a dough. If the dough seems too sticky, sprinkle a little more flour into it. If the dough seems too dry, add a little more rum or cold water. The dough should be soft. Flatten the dough into a disk about 1 inch thick, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle, but don’t worry if isn’t perfect. This dough is really forgiving. Fit the dough into a 10-inch round tart pan with are movable bottom. This recipe makes a little more dough than necessary, so if you need to, use the extra dough to patch up any holes or tears. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork all over, then line with a piece of parchment paper and fill with dried beans, uncooked rice, or pie weights. Freeze the lined pan for about15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Set the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until very lightly golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Let the crust cool on a wire rack, and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
make the browned butter filling
Combine the butter, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and star anise in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pan then add the vanilla pod as well. Add the nutmeg and orange zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter melts and starts to brown and turn fragrant. Once the butter starts to brown, turn the heat off and let the residual heat bring the butter to the right point. You don’t want to burn the butter fat, you just want it golden brown. Discard the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and vanilla pod. Let cool to room temperature.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the butter, scraping the brown bits at the bottom of the pan into the bowl. Pour the filling into the crust.
make the apple roses
Cut the apples by placing the apple on its bottom and slicing down near the core but not close enough to get any seeds. Rotate the apple 90 degrees and slice down again. Repeat two more times until you have a rectangular core, which you can discard, and 4 apple chunks with skin on them. Place the apple chunks flat side down on the cutting board and cut thin lengthwise slices with a sharp knife (or use a mandoline). Each slice should have one flat edge and one rounded edge with a thin piece of red skin. Place the apple slices in a large microwave-safe bowl with the lemon juice. Toss to coat to prevent the apple slices from turning brown. Slice all the apples, continuing to toss the apple slices with the lemon juice as you go. Add the sugar and butter and toss to coat.
Microwave the apple mixture for 1 minute. You don’t want to completely cook the apples, just soften them enough to make them pliable. If they are still too crisp and break when you bend them, cook in additional 15-second increments, testing until they are bendable. The amount of time will depend on how thick you cut the apples and how powerful your microwave is.
Starting with the thinnest, smallest piece you can find, curl the apple slice, with the skin side at the top, into a spiral, forming a rose-like shape. Wrap another, larger slice around the first slice. Build a rose with as many slices as you can. Use a spatula (or the side of a large chef ’s knife) to move the apple rose to the filled tart crust. The filling should help hold the apple roses together. Repeat with the rest of the apple slices, until you have tightly filled the entire surface of the tart. Any gaps in the tart where the roses don’t quite fit can be filled with extra apple slices and smaller roses.
make the crumble topping
Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and stir together with a fork. Drizzle the butter over the dry ingredients and toss until crumbs start to form and stick together. Sprinkle the crumble in a ring, about 1 inch wide, around the edge of the tart on top of the apples.
Bake until the apples are a rich golden brown and the filling has set and looks puffy and slightly golden, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least
30 minutes before releasing the tart from the sides of the pan.
There are several things about winter that make it interesting after Christmas and the holiday season has passed. Citrus is a big one! From blood oranges to big, bright and yellow Meyer lemons, there are a lot of interesting colors to spot in what might otherwise be a pretty drab and cold season. So every winter, I make myself some sort of lemon or orange curd. A jar or two! 95% of the time it ends up in tart or a bar because that's one of my favorite ways to eat it.
In many ways this filling is an ode to Indian tea, one specific version that is my favorite and includes freshly grated ginger root. It's perfect on a cold wintry day and it goes beautifully, in this lemon tart. I infused the lemon curd with freshly grated ginger root and black darjeeling tea in an odd way. The tea is made up in a concentrate (which is not your normal way to make tea) but it helps to control the water volume in the final ratios when you prepare the lemon curd. The strands of shredded ginger give this filling a nice little kick in every bit but you can strain it out, if you prefer a smooth and even texture.
I had some issues baking a complete nut crust solely made with sugar, butter and nut flour. The longer you bake the higher the risk for the fat to melt out and drip. The water in the lemon curd starts to get absorbed by the nut and the end crust becomes soggy. To be honest, I'm not completely satisfied with this crust either, it tastes good but the issues I experienced testing different versions made me a little curious. My goal was to make an only nut flour based tart crust but my final version of this recipe ended up with oat flour to act as a binding agent. There's something to be said for the texture and taste of sweet toasted coarsely ground walnuts with lemon curd, it's delicious. The texture of this crust still needs a lot of work and perhaps, I can get some suggestions and help from you. I added oat flour to absorb some of the oils and liquid but waterproofing the tart base with melted white chocolate is one trick I use often with pies and tarts. A thin layer will work well in this tart without compromising the taste of the lemon curd. My other issue with the only-walnut tart crust, was trying to release it from my tart pan after I chilled it. It's easier to release the tart from the pan while it is at room temperature rather than when it's chilled.
So far, my experience with nut based crusts has been OKAY! Taste wise excellent but in terms of how it releases from the tart pan or how it absorbs liquid, has me curious. For those of you that bake with nut crusts, do you have any suggestions or tips or even a favorite recipe you like to use. Leave a comment below and I will check it out! I'm going to revisit this crust recipe in the near future because there has to be a way to make it work perfectly!
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this dessert;
- Use fresh ginger root. If you don't care for the texture of fresh ginger, strain the lemon curd once it is cooked and use the strained curd for the filling.
- This is not a normal method to prepare tea but I prefer to use this method to get a concentrated form of the flavor and in a small volume.
- You can use any tart crust you want. I add the oat flour to bind any liquid that might be present in the walnut dough while the sugar not only sweetens but also helps bind the crust together.
tea and ginger infused lemon tart
yields: one 9 inch tart
for the lemon curd
1/4 cup boiling water
4 darjeeling tea bags
1 tablespoon cornstarch, powder
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I used the meyer variety), squeezed
4 large eggs
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, fresh
1 teaspoon grated ginger root, fresh
1/2 stick butter, chopped and softened to room temperature
for the crust (or you can use your favorite/preferred tart crust)
14 ounces whole walnuts
1/4 cup oat flour
4 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature + a little extra for greasing
4 tablespoons fine sugar
a little confectioners sugar to dust (optional)
1. Pour the boiling water over the darjeeling tea bags in a cup and let it steep for 10 minutes. Squeeze the bags and discard. Place the extracted tea liquid in a small saucepan and reduced the volume to 2 tablespoons. It will be very dark and concentrated. Cool completely. Once the liquid is cooled, whisk in the cornstarch to form a slurry and keep aside.
2. Prepare a pot of boiling water. Place a large glass bowl over the pot, the level of the boiling water must be an inch below the base of the glass bowl. This allows the steam to heat the eggs evenly. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl and using a hand whisk or handheld electric whisk, whisk at high speed for about 5 minutes until the eggs become pale yellow and light and fluffy. Whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, ginger, butter, and tea-cornstarch slurry. Whisk continuously, until the mixture transforms into a thick custard. Remove from heat and transfer to container. Keep aside until ready to use. The lemon curd can be prepared a day ahead in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
3. To prepare the tart crust, place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 325F. Pulse for a few seconds to grind the walnuts along with the sugar in a food processor to form a coarse powder. Remove the ground walnuts and transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Fold in the oat flour and butter and mix using your hands to form a dough. Lightly grease a 9" fluted tart pan with a little butter. Line the base of the pan with parchment paper cut to size. Place the dough in the center of the pan and spread it out to cover the pan and the edges in an even layer, using your fingers. Place the prepared tart pan in a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, remove and bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the lemon curd into the tart shell. Level the filling using a small offset spatula. Return the tart to the oven and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges of the filling start to get firm while the center of the filling jiggles slightly when shaken gently. Remove the tart pan from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature before releasing it carefully from the tart pan. Refrigerate to chill the tart for at least 3 to 4 hours before serving. Dust with a little confectioner's sugar if desired.