I discovered “Tiare Tahiti.” It was the poem that made Fitzgerald change the name of his first novel from “The Development of the Personage” to This Side of Paradise. When I read this poem, I got chills. It’s real, it’s yearning, it’s melancholy, it’s passionate. Il est crudité raffinée. And the last two lines? Well, I’ll let you read them yourself.
(I apologize for the shortness of this post–I promise that my next one is longer!)
TARTE AU CITRON ET AUX AMANDES
- 1 recipe pâte sablée, baked
- 3 lemons
- 175 milliliters / 2/3 cup water
- 440 grams / 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 110 grams / 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 115 grams / 3/4 cup pulverized almonds*
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- juice of 1 1/2 lemons
- zest of 1 1/2 lemons
Remove the lemons’ yellow parts by peeling with a vegetable peeler. Julienne the lemon pieces into about 1/16 inch strips that are about 2 1/2 inches long. Place into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 12 minutes. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, combine the water and 440 grams of sugar. Bring to a boil and heat until it reaches the soft thread stage, 230 degrees F. Add in the vanilla and the cooked lemon peel. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
Beat the eggs and the 110 grams of sugar in a bowl with a whisk until the mixture is a thick, pale yellow and falls back on itself in a slowly dissolving ribbon. This will take 4-5 minutes. Alternatively, you can beat it in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment until it reaches the above criteria.
Beat in the almonds, almond extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pour this mixture into the prebaked shell placed on a baking sheet. Place in the middle layer of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. The cream will be slightly puffed and golden and a needle inserted near the center will come out clean. Slide the tart onto a rack to cool.
Drain the strips of lemon peel and artfully strew them across the top of the tart. Boil the lemon syrup down until it is a glaze, about 228 degrees F. Spoon a thing coating over the top of the tart. This tart is generally served cold, but may be eaten warm if you wish.
*To make pulverized almonds, toss almonds into a food processor with a couple of spoonfuls of sugar until fine and crumbly.