If I had a list of top ten desserts, the classic French tarte au citron would be one of them. It is simply a buttery pastry shell filled with a rich and tart lemon curd. The contrast of crumbly and silky textures, and sweet and tart flavours are just irresistible. How can I make something so classic different? I had another idea for this recipe until I saw guava at a local supermarket. The increasing Asian population in Vancouver is constantly calling for more variety of Asian groceries. Now I can even get fresh exotic fruits like mangosteen and jackfruit. Guava reminds me of the countless childhood summers I spent in Hong Kong. Their intense aroma travels so far, I could smell them from miles away from the fruit stall. I’ve never really enjoyed this fruit because of its texture and how seedy it is. I wanted to enjoy its wonderful flavour without its texture. What to me is the perfect solution: Guava Lemon Tart.
- 170g / 6 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- 115g / 1 cup icing sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 60 g / 1 large egg + 1-2 tbsp whole egg, slightly beaten
- 355g / 2-3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
- 3/4 sheet gelatin
- 2 large eggs
- 105 g / 1/2 cup + 2 tsp sugar
- 105 g / 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 140 g / 5 oz unsalted butter, softened, and cut into small chunks
- 80 g / 2 small guavas, cut into small chunks
- white chocolate, melted
- edible flowers, if desired
- In mixer bowl, place in butter, salt, and icing sugar. Beat with a paddle attachment on medium speed until it is well mixed, becoming pale in colour.
- Add in vanilla extract, and eggs in 3 additions, make sure it is well incorporated before adding more eggs. Scrape down the sides bowl after each addition to ensure even distribution.
- On low speed, add in flour, mix until just incorporated, don't over mix otherwise tart will be tough.
- Shape dough into a round disk, wrap and chill in refrigerator overnight.
- Before rolling, let dough sit out for about 10 minutes to soften. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 3-4mm thick, turning the dough after each roll to prevent sticking, flour as needed.
- Measure the size of your tart pan/ring, cut out a 11 inch round shape.
- If the dough is too warm, place it back in the fridge to chill, otherwise you can start lining the pan/ring. When lining, be sure to get into the edges on the bottom, flush the dough right up to the top of the pan, trim off excess.
- Chill lined pan/ring. Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork before baking, or blind bake them (yields nicer looking shells - optional). Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Blind baking: Line chilled tart pan/rings with parchment, fill with beans or rice, up to the top. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes until the shells sets, take out and remove paper, beans and take out from the pans/rings, return to oven to bake fore 10-15 more minutes until it is golden throughout. Cool until ready to use.
- Soak gelatine sheet in cold water and set aside until ready to use.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together eggs and lemon juice until incorporated, whisk in lemon juice. Place over medium heat with guava. Heat while stirring with a wooden spoon for 3-5 minutes, until mixture starts to curd. Remove from heat, squeeze out excess water from the gelatin sheet and whisk into the hot lemon curd.
- Strain lemon curd into a clean bowl with a fine mesh strainer. Crush guavas to get out all the juice. With a immersion blender or a blender, blend in 2-3 pieces of butter at a time until incorporated, it will look pale and start to thicken up. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to set.
- Brush the inside of the tart shell with melted white chocolate to prevent it from getting soggy quick, if desired.
- Lightly whisk lemon curd to get make the texture creamy. Fill cooled tart shell. Level off with a palette knife. Decorate the top with edible flowers and guavas if desired. *It is best to chill the tart for an hour or two before serving for the lemon curd to set.
I love how refreshing lemon curd is and the floral notes of guava adds so much character its flavour profile. The secret to the curd’s creaminess is emulsifying the butter with a blender. The texture becomes almost like a mayonnaise, with the acidity of lemon, and the richness of butter.
It is amazing what how creative you can be with ingredients, what seemed to be unrelated can be a perfect match.
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