On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

French Lemon Cream

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I’ve looked at this recipe for a while. Dorie Greenspan is a bit of an idol amongst cooks/bakers worldwide.

I wasn’t really intimidated about making this until I read through the countless comments.

Boy, people were having some real problems with this recipe. It seemed a bit hit and miss though. For some it worked out fine first round, but others just couldn’t get this French Lemon Cream to the right temperature required to make this “set”.

Because of so many failings I bought a candy thermometer. I’d been after one for a while. So many recipes I’ve eyed up need the temperature of ingredients to be an exact figure.

Now I’m sorted.

I approached this recipe with a bit of trepidation. I was only making it for us so it’s not like there was additional pressure to have it right to serve guests, or take as a dessert somewhere. If it all went belly up then it would be disappointing but I’d recover.

I had to dig around in the garage for my double boiler. Something I’d banished to the garage when I couldn’t find room in my cupboards for all the new things I’d bought.


The recipe requires few ingredients, and there’s little skill required. It all hinges on getting the lemon curd to the right temperature before whisking it off the heat and letting it sit around before blending in the butter.

The recipe suggested it could take up to 10 minutes for the curd to reach the necessary temperature. Following along with the visual signs I was reaching for the thermometer much sooner than I expected. Yikes, I was already there. I was at 175deg. It had taken about 2 minutes.

BeforeAfter (2)

I poured the curd into the kitchen whiz and waited out the 10 minutes ready to chop in the butter. I was a little sceptical that it would blend in. But it did, easily.

So there I was, my first proper Lemon curd. Now it was a case of waiting the 4 hours for it to chill before using it for pudding.

What didn’t work for me was a glaze. I didn’t have quince or lemon marmalade like Dorie had suggested using. Instead I looked up how to make a fruit glaze. It was thick and glugy but I still tried to make it work. It wouldn’t. And because I couldn’t be bothered going to the supermarket to get something suitable, I didn’t put any glaze on at all. The photo on Dorie’s blog shows how beautiful this tart looks if you finish off the recipe as instructed. And yes it almost pains me to see my tarts not looking nearly as good as they would had I followed all of the instructions.

But what it doesn’t have in looks, it makes up for in taste.

I’ve also frozen half of this curd. I’m looking forward to another wonderful lemony dessert soon. And hopefully by them I’ll have sorted out the glaze dilemma.



At the same time as making the curd, I’d made a pastry. It didn’t come together anything like Delia Smith and Gordon Ramsey had suggested. I felt I was doomed. But I persevered and it squished together. It didn’t have the elasticity that I read and saw from a YouTube video, however I rolled it out and it seemed fine. But I should have rolled it thinner. The pastry cooked OK but it was just too thick for individual tarts. I wasn’t happy. So back to the books (Internet) to read up more about making pastry.The pastry I ended up making can be read in this post. I can tell you it was a wonderful experience and called up bits and pieces of information I’d learnt from reading many blogs and cook books. But I’m happy, very happy with the end result. And yes this photo is using that pastry.



One thought on “French Lemon Cream

  1. Pingback: Finding the perfect Sweet Shortcrust Pastry « On to the plate

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