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Hi all! I am excited to tell you that I was invited to be a guest blogger on my friend, Luisa Ormonde’s blog– Tales of Three Bakers. It is my very first guest blog and I feel very honorable. The recipe I chose was chocolate hazelnut tart. I am only posting the pictures here, for recipe please visit her website 🙂

I met Luisa through the Nishihiras, close friends of our family. She is a very good cook, and runs a gourmet food catering business. We are always drooling over the pictures of delicious food that she made. If you have catering needs for any occasions, check out her catering website. I am sure you won’t be disappointed!

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

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My neighbor gave me some lemons, and I just happened to have a little sour cream leftover, so I decided to make a lemon tart. This is by far one of my best tart crust recipe (actually it’s same ingredients as in my Tarte aux Noix II). The crust has a much flakier/crumbly crunchy texture (even eaten the next day) than traditional pastry recipes that call for cold butter and cold water. Tips: don’t fork the dough too hard, or the filling will leak through the crust and the tart will stick to the pan. Also, always place a baking tray under the tart while baking to prevent leaked filling dripping down to the bottom of the oven.

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart Recipe (makes one 9.5 inch tart)

Ingredients:

for Crust:
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter– softened
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp beaten egg
1/2 cup toasted ground almond
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

for Filling:
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp sour cream
4 eggs– beaten

powder sugar for dusting

Method:

Prepare crust:

  1. Whisk butter with a hand whisk until smooth and creamy, add sugar and continue whisking until fluffy. Add beaten eggs, one tbsp at a time, and mix well. Sift in 1/3 of combined dry ingredients (flour, ground almond and salt). Use a spatula to gently mix to combine. Sift in remaining dry ingredients in 2 batches, but use the spatula to gently stir and press down so the dough will stick together to form a dough.
  2. Transfer dough onto a work surface cover with large sheet of plastic wrap. Pat dough into a disc of 1 inch thick, then place another large sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough (this is to keep work surface cleaner, see picture 1). Use a rolling pin, roll out the dough large enough to cover the bottom of tart pan, plus extra 1.5 inch extra around the bottom tart pan for the side of tart shell (place the removable tart pan bottom on top of roll out dough– plastic wrap will keep the pan clean).
  3. Remove the top plastic wrap and carefully flip the dough into greased tart pan (at this point the bottom plastic wrap will end up on the top, see picture 2). Peel away the remaining plastic wrap and tuck in/trim the over hang dough (picture 3 & 4).
  4. Prick the bottom with a fork. Blind bake in preheated 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden, piercing with fork if crust bubbles. Cool crust on rack for 15 minutes before adding filling.

Prepare filling:

  1. Add lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in sour cream. Slowly pour in beaten eggs and whisk to blend well. Strain the mixture into the cooled crust.
  2. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes until the filling is set. Cover the crust edge with foil if it browns too quickly. Cool tart completely in the pan on a rack then chill in the fridge. Dust with powder sugar before serving.

Regina’s Note:

  • For the pastry, make the side of the tart slightly taller than the rim since it will shrink after baking.
  • To prevent lemon tart from sticking to the tart pan, always grease the tart pan, and don’t prick the dough too hard, or the filling will leak through the crust.
  • Always place a baking tray under the tart pan while baking, this will help transporting the tart and also to prevent leaked filling dripping down onto the oven racks.
Making almond tart shell-- picture 1.

Making almond tart shell-- picture 1

Making almond tart shell-- picture 2

Making almond tart shell-- picture 2

Making almond tart shell-- picture 3

Making almond tart shell-- picture 3

Making almond tart shell-- picture 4

Making almond tart shell-- picture 4

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French Apple Tart

French Apple Tart

French Apple Tart: recipe by Barefoot Contessa

I was watching Barefoot Contessa on Foodnetwork and Alexander suddenly grabbed a pencil and piece of paper and started writing down the recipe as we watched along (with many pauses of course). He said he was writing down the recipe so I could make it:). I originally wasn’t into it , but for the hard work that Alexander put in to write the ingredients and steps of making it, I decided to give it a try.

Some recipes calls for round tart with apple slices fanned out and formed a flower at the center. But this version of Ina Garten is a rectangular tart with apple slices fanned out diagnoc pattern. I made some changes to the tart pastry by adding some ground almond, and I just rolled it out to be roughly rectangular without any trimming. Apple slices certainly made beautiful presentation. However, I think the oven temperature stated in the recipe is too high. My tart pastry was pretty much burnt except for a few spots:( The apples didn’t taste as good as they look, kind of plain in my opinion… I still prefer apples in Tart Tatin. Sorry Ina, but hey at least I tried…

I suddenly got an idea: There are some yellow peaches on the trees in the backyard, maybe I’ll make a peach with almond cream tart, using similar design…

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