Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bouchon's Tarte au Citron

Tarte au Citron

We are finally getting rain in the bay area. In fact it’s been raining everyday for over a week now and some places are getting too much. I don’t really enjoy rain especially when it rains so many days in a row, but considering the view of Napa valley after the rain, inconvenience is a cheap price to pay.

Napa

Rain feeds weeds on the ground, turning the whole valley into beautiful greens. In some areas, wild mustard plants are growing inside the vineyards, painting acres of field into bright yellows. When the clouds hold back, I drive through the fog in the morning to go to work and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It makes my commute enjoyable.

Napa Vineyard

Napa Vineyard

Since the rain started to let up a bit over the weekend, I took the opportunity to capture the beautiful scenery of Napa. I saw a couple of huge rainbows while I was driving, too. On the way back, I stopped at the famous Bouchon Bakery in Yountville. This place is always busy. The line goes out to the door on any given day, which means that I don’t need to go into detail telling you how good they are. I’ve had their breads, croissants and sandwiches before, so this time I chose a dessert, Tarte au Citron (a lemon tart). And not only did I enjoy eating it, I made my own after I got home.

Napa Vineyard

Napa Vineyard

Just in time for needing some good lemons, my friend gave me some home-grown Meyer lemons, which are perfect for making desserts. Thank you, N! I’ll save a bite, just for you. Due to lack of baking tools, mine aren’t an exact replica of Bouchon’s tart, but tasted pretty close. The recipe was actually fairly easy. If you can’t make it to Bouchon bakeries, you can still try making this at home.

Recipe of the Day - Tarte au Citron (Courtesy of Epicurious & Bouchon)


Tarte au Citron

Ingredients (makes 8 servings):
Butter and flour for the tart pan
1/3 recipe Pine Nut Crust

Lemon Sabayon:
2 large eggs, cold
2 large egg yolks, cold
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and refrigerate it while the oven preheats.
Remove the tart pan 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.

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 one-third 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 8 to 10 minutes.

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 crust and place the pan on a baking sheet.
Preheat the broiler. While the sabayon is still warm, place the tart under the broiler. Leaving the door open, 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 tart from the broiler and let it sit for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Bouchon Bakery

24 comments:

  1. Those are beautiful little tarte au citron. One of my favorite desserts. There's a Bouchon in NY as well but i never been. Maybe now i should. :)

    And I love the photos of the vineyards after the rain. Beautiful! You live in a very special place.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Its rainy, dreary and cold in SF, your rainy pictures cheered me up they are so beautiful. Its hard to be too grumpy about it as we desperately need the moisture. I've got some extra myers lemons and this tart sounds like the perfect way to use them. thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Em! We have a lot in common - both RDs who love food and photography! I love Napa Valley and Northern CA. Are you in private practice there?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love your photography, just beautiful. Tarte au citron and a glass of dessert wine,life is beautiful too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ah, Napa in the Spring is so beautiful. Acutally, Napa anytime is beautiful! :-)

    So are your tarts. Since you are using homegrown ingredients, would you like to enter this post in our Grow Your Own roundup this month? Full Details at

    http://chezannies.blogspot.com/2010/01/rambutans-plus-grow-your-own.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Aw.. such beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What lovely photos! Wow. The tarte looks delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post and beautiful photography! Wish I was in Yountville right now. I've had that lemon tart from Bouchon's and it's sooo good. Looking forward to trying your recipe. =)

    ReplyDelete
  9. beautiful photos and that tarte au citron has gotta be the best french pastry i love! :) i understand about the rain. I live in grey, wet England so i can sympathise!

    ReplyDelete
  10. beautiful recipe and absolutely beautiful view!
    Rain. Downunder needs rain as well.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Not a dessert person but Bouchon's is undeniably good. Nearly too perfect. I like your rustic approach.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wonderful photos.... the colors are magical and the tart looks divine... great post!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love Bouchon!! their desserts are always so innovative..

    Love your tarts! they are stunning!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, that's such a lovely tart. AND a pine nut crust. *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, I love Bouchon but these look amazing. The pictures make me miss Napa...it's so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm off to spend a couple of months in Sicily , the land of lemons and pine nuts, in a couple of weeks and this will be a perfect dessert to make.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  17. PINE NUT CRUST! And the photo Foodbuzz chose wasn't even the most beautiful one. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Also love the vineyard pics. Makes me want to be in CA!
    These tarts seem pretty simple but they look a million bucks.
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your photos are amazingly beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Napa is such a beautiful place. I'm jealous that Georgia doesn't have scenery like that.

    Can I mention again how lucky you are to live like 20 minutes away from Bouchon bakery? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Absolutely gorgeous! A beautiful post & recipe M!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh those Napa photos - they are as mouthwatering as the tart. I shall now bemoan my lack of a Bouchon Bakery in Minnesota and feel sorry for myself for an hour or two. Or - I shall bake this delectable and get some sunshine into my kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
  23. These pictures are stunning Em! You've captured Napa so beautifully!

    ReplyDelete