Friday, 21 October 2016

Araxi Lemon Tart - another Alpha Baker paean to mixing bowls

I really should look up paean to check it means what I think it means. Whatever, we did use an awful lot of mixing bowls again. Despite all the washing up, this tart was pretty straightforward and pretty delicious too.

At first I couldn't remember whether I'd already made the pastry or not. And it wasn't because my dementia was playing up again. It's because Rose's pastry methods don't vary much (weigh butter, cut up and refrigerate; weigh flour and whisk with salt...etc) and I was remembering the biscuit dough I made last week. No matter, because it was no bother to make except for zesting the lemons (which I find a bit annoying). And it was really delicious dough - a definite 10 on the raw dough scale.

Since this bake-through is coming to an end very soon I've been thinking about the things I've learnt through the experience. Patching together my holey pastry case calmly and serenely I realised that I haven't learnt to stop making the same mistakes over and over; or to miraculously change personality and become more painstaking. In fact I've learnt to perfect those mistakes - so I know just how to deal with them and am confident that the finished product will turn out to a standard I will be happy with - most of the time.

This time I perfectly botched filling the pastry case and had to patch it together...again.

I don't like wasting perfectly good food to blind bake pastry but I'd cleaned out the pantry recently and cavalierly thrown out my 'blind baking chickpeas'. Now I have 'blind baking rice and chickpeas'. I really should get some pastry weights.

The tart filling is also easy-peasy to make although requiring multiple bowls and, yes, a sieve as well. It's only eggs, sugar and lemon juice mixed with whipped cream. You're meant to leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes to separate. I put mine in the fridge and five minutes later this is what the mixture looked like. That was separated enough for me and my impatience.

My experience of baking is that a lot of time is spent preventing mixtures from separating, not encouraging them to do so. So my question is, was this recipe a mistake, in a good way, like the story of tarte tatin, which burnt on the stove but actually turned out to be a great success? 

Next week the Alpha Bakers are making Brandy Snap Cannolis. Oh dear, I suspect this might turn out to be a humidity-led fail.



  1. With that perfect-looking tart, no one is going to believe you're not a painstaking baker. I have serious crust envy.

  2. Gosh Catherine it looks perfect! I am so with you on the zesting lemons and anything else that calls for zesting.

  3. Your post is good. I am so confused to buy mixing bowls. I have already read posts about mixing bowls . After reading your post I get some useful idea. Thank you for sharing your post