Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lemon Raspberry Tart - Yum!

This is a not-to-sweet lemon tart. It’s perfect for a fine dining experience and is now one of my hubby’s top ten favorites. The crust is from Paula Deen’s Peach tart recipe because it doesn’t have eggs. The filling is from Anna Olson on the Food Network Website. The filling does have eggs, but I just wanted to cut down on cholesterol a bit. Still.....
servings:Makes 8 - 10
cook time: 45 minutes 


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 to 2 pints of washed and dried Raspberries whole for topping the tart.
Raspberry Sauce
  • 2 pints fresh raspberries washed
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup honey or more to taste


To make the crust:
  • Place the flour, butter, and sour cream in a food processor and pulse to combine. When the dough forms a ball remove from processor and place in an ungreased (remember all that butter?) tart pan with a removable bottom that has been placed on a cookie sheet (This protects the bottom from coming up while transporting to the oven).
  • With lightly floured hands press evenly around the tart pan and up the sides. This takes a bit of time to get even but it is worth it so don’t speed through it.
  • Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes until it just starts to get lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and pour filling in warm tart.
To make the filling:
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees after baking crust.
  • Whisk together lemon juice, sugar, eggs, cream and zest and pour into tart shell.
  • Carefully move tart to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until tart stops jiggling when you tap it. Tart filling should not soufflĂ© at all. Allow tart to cool at room temperature for a bit, then chill for 2 hours before finishing.
Raspberry Sauce
  • Place berries in a sauce pan with water and honey. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally until the berries are broken down and the juices are bubbly. (don’t walk away from this. Before you know it they could burn.) Let reduce a bit till syrup is slightly thick.
  • Pour hot syrup through a strainer to get out the seeds. Let cool completely.
  • Note: be sure to taste the syrup to make sure it is sweet enough to your liking.
Assembling the Tart
  • Carefully lift the bottom up of the tart pan out of the rim and place the tart with the bottom on a flat serving dish. I use a pedestal serving plate.
  • Pour a thin layer of syrup over the top of the tart. You may not want to use all the syrup. The tart won’t cut well if you have too much. It depends on your tastes.
  • Start on the outer edge of the tart and form a line of raspberries around the perimeter. Then do a second row and so on until you reach the center. Dust with powdered sugar just before displaying.


This tart can be made a day ahead and then anytime up to six hours before serving finish with the fresh raspberries. I would dust with the powdered sugar just before serving. This dessert should be cut in small wedges. It is light but rich.

Friday, January 17, 2014

My First Real Wedding Cake

Today I have the honor of delivering my first wedding cake. It is a Western theme with Teal and Black as the colors.  I have made wedding cakes before but not one for hire.  I can now understand why they are so expensive, much more than birthday or other occasions.
First, you want it to be perfect.  It's the cake that will be seen for years to come.  Though Birthday cakes are in pictures it's more about the person and new pictures and cakes will be taken next year.  But a wedding cake is supposed to be a once in a life time event (not sure if that really goes much anymore, but one would hope!). So the pressure to get it right so it photographs well and to taste good is enormous.  If it doesn't look good than the pictures are messed up.  If it doesn't taste good than you don't get referrals!

I made gum paste flowers with stamens in the middle.  These turned out rather well and were pretty sturdy.  I used a black ribbon around the cake.  Normally I would have used fondant ribbon, but the client wanted real ribbon and it does have cleaner lines.  Was easy to put on too.

They provided the wedding cake topper, a rope with boots and hats and a heart studded with crystals.  Pretty.

The hardest parts of this cake was getting the texture right and rolling fondant.  It was a dense French vanilla with raspberry filling.  I'm still not sure about the texture but the flavor was really good and it will cut well.  I am still searching for the right recipe and there are so many.  Altitude has everything to do with cake baking and it is tough to get one that doesn't dry out or crumble to pieces when you cut it.

As you know I make my own fondant.  It think it tastes better than commercial.  I also don't have the sheeter to roll it so I have to do it by hand.  The top cake I rolled five times before getting it reasonably decent.  The bottom I rolled once....practice makes better.  My arms and wrists were aching so bad I had a hard time sleeping last night and believe me, standing on your feet for two hours straight without a break and rolling fondant and another three hours putting the cake together is no picnic.  I need equipment!!!

All in all though I think this turned out as professional as any cake out there.  I was very pleased and I think the Bride and Groom will be too.  Now off to make the delivery!