While I drool over other bloggers' incredible food photography on a daily basis, I don't do much of my own. I like to blame my awful fluorescent kitchen lighting, which, combined with stark white cabinets and white Corian counters, makes everything and everyone look a little peaked. (The previous owners of our home, I surmise, enjoyed cleaning, because every available surface, from bathroom tile to countertops to walls, is white white white.) Oh yes, and I am not generally very good at photography. Now, if I could conscript my friend Keira to come over and shoot my food, everything would look casual and cool, with just a touch of beachy elegance, but she is rather too busy to document my kitchen creations.
Still, I should have taken a moment to capture the Extraordinary Lemon Cream Tart before it was devoured by a bunch of Junior Leaguers. And these ladies, they know their desserts. It was tart, creamy without being overwhelming, and pretty to boot. Yet the whole thing was so simple and - dare I say it? - fun to put together, I felt I couldn't really take much credit. I made the lemon cream in advance, using the rest of my frozen Meyer lemon stash. Although quite a few of the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers had trouble getting their curd up to 180 degrees, after reading their comments I used my instant-read thermometer instead of my candy thermometer, and sure enough it spiked up to 180 within about 8 minutes.
I then spent several days peeking at the lemon cream in my fridge, wishing I could swipe a spoonful. Making the crust was also a snap - I made it the day before I planned to serve the tart, then popped it in the freezer to hold it. A few hours before I dashed to New Haven, I baked off and cooled the tart crust, whisked the cold lemon cream, assembled, and voila. I was glad I had a few hours to let it set up in the fridge, or it would have been too loose to cut.
The best part...I had about a cup of lemon cream left over. Excellent on toast or eaten straight out of the fridge, yes, but it also made a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal almost sinful.
This week, on to marshmallows. At Christmas I made these from a Barefoot Contessa mix and since then I've wanted an excuse to try them from scratch. I survived the last attempt without a boiling syrup incident, so let's see how it goes this time...