Every year for my birthday my husband makes a special dessert for me. I get to choose the dessert. It’s something that I’ve come to really look forward to. It means so much to me that he is willing to do something a bit out of the ordinary (the kitchen is really my area), that he is will to learn new things, and that he is willing to give his time to make me some complicated dessert (and, I always seem to choose something complicated). He says that he really enjoys doing it too. So, it works out for both of us – he gets new cooking skills, and I get a super tasty dessert.
This year I wanted something that wasn’t chocolate. And, I’m on a bit of a citrus kick lately. Thus, Lemon Cloud Tart with Salted Caramel Sauce.
I really can’t express how good this was, but, here’s my attempt, and I’ll take it part by part. The crust is nutty without being overpowering; it’s just the right foil to the cloud inside – crunchy and crisp next to light and airy. The cloud is made by swirling lemon curd and whipped cream (my mouth is watering now just thinking about it!). This lemon curd could be made on its own, and served with shortbread cookies; it’s tangy, tart, and smooth. The creaminess and lightness of the whipped cream helps to offset the tartness of the lemon curd. Next, comes the Salted Caramel Sauce. Yum. Just yum. (oh, there goes my mouth, watering again). If you haven’t tried salted caramels, I totally recommend them. In fact, try this sauce, you will love it. The salt in the caramel helps it not be so cloyingly sweet. This recipe makes more than enough for the tart, and I plan on using some to top some vanilla ice cream.
I’d have to say that the Lemon Cloud Tart with Salted Caramel Sauce was probably the best birthday treat to date. And, well worth the time to make it (well, all I did was sit around reading magazines while it was being made, but it seems worth it to me). Enjoy! And, thanks so much, Dan!
Take a look below the recipe cards for detailed pictures
If you like what you see, please click the yum button: Yum
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts toasted
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon packed finely grated lemon peel
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ½ cups chilled heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
- ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
- Whisk yolks and eggs in a medium bowl to blend. Combine lemon juice, butter, and sugar in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water; whisk until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk 1/3 of hot butter mixture into eggs, whisk mixture back into bowl with remaining butter mixture set over simmering water. Whisk constantly until custard thickens and thermometer inserted into mixture registers 180°F, about 5 minutes (do not boil). (If you don’t have a candy thermometer, wait until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.) Pour lemon curd through strainer set over medium bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of lemon curd; chill overnight. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
- Finely grind hazelnuts in processor. Using beat butter, powdered sugar, and lemon peel in a medium bowl until well blended. Add yolk and beat until smooth. Beat in hazelnuts, then flour, and salt. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Press crust onto bottom and up sides of a 9-inch-diameter tart pan or spring-form pan with removable bottom. Chill 20 minutes. Bake crust until golden brown and cooked through, pressing with fork if crust bubbles, about 25 minutes. Cool crust in pan on rack. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.)
- Using electric mixer, beat whipping cream, sugar, lemon peel, and lemon extract in large bowl until stiff peaks form.
- Spoon half of lemon curd and half of lemon cream into another large bowl. Using small rubber spatula, gently fold curd and lemon cream together, creating marble effect and being careful not to over mix to retain marbling. Spoon marbled mixture in dollops into cooled crust. Using tip of knife or small rubber spatula, swirl and pull mixture upwards in peaks. Repeat with remaining curd and lemon cream mixture. Refrigerate tart at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Remove pan sides. Place tart on platter. Serve with salted caramel sauce.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Fleur de Sel
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil over high heat until a deep amber caramel forms, swirling often, about 6-12 minutes (be careful, as it will darken rapidly once it reaches that stage). Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream, butter and salt. Let the caramel cool to room temperature. The salted caramel sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Rewarm before serving.
And, if you’re interested in making this, but would like to do less from scratch, take a look at my cheater version.