The weather has been unseasonably warm here the past week and I couldn’t really tell if spring had sprung or summer was in full flower. I only knew that the weather was making me crave something very light and airy which always means citrus to me.
During my earliest forays into the kitchen to experiment with baking, this recipe was a standard in my very limited repertoire. It is utterly simply, always delicious and never fails to please just about everyone.
The crust is a standard short pastry crust made with flour, butter, sugar and egg yolk. It don’t know why but it always seems that Italian pastry always has an egg in it. The crust goes together in a snap, is put into the tart shell and blind baked then set aside to cool while you make the filling.
For the filling, two egg yolks are beaten with 1/4 cup of superfine sugar to temper them, then 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and the grated rind of two lemons is mixed in and the mixture placed over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until it is warm to the touch, pale lemon in color and slightly thickened. Set it aside to cool while you get on with the egg whites and cream.
Beat the egg whites and the cream separately and then fold the cream into the cooled lemon mixture, then fold in the egg whites. Scrape the completed mixture into the cooled pastry shell and chill for several hours. There you have it. Total simplicity and wonderful eating on a warm night or after a heavy meal.
For garnish I used julienned orange peel which I boiled for about 10 minutes to soften them, drained them and then patted them dry in paper towels. A final flourish of whipped cream completes the dessert.