Lemons don’t grow here in Calgary but, happily for me, as soon as the first lemons of the season are picked in late January in California, bags of them start flowing into our local grocery stores. To me, lemons are like a taste of sunshine, and no more so than when I get my hands on that first fresh bag of lemons in mid-winter, as the bracing winds are still swirling the snow around—it’s a promise of the coming of spring. Isn’t it something that we have such easy access to something as amazing as a fresh lemon?
Making and enjoying a homemade Lemon Cream Tart is the perfect way to brighten up any day. Because the pastry loses some of it’s crispness after a day, this tart is best on the day you make it (not that that’s stopped anyone around here from devouring any meager leftovers). Sweet, lemony and creamy, this tart is definitely a crowd-pleaser.
This dessert is arguably right up there in my all-time top five favourite desserts. It’s a spin on the classic French tarte Tatin I made from a recipe by David Lebovitz. The poaching liquid is ambrosial—the beautiful fresh Bosc pears are poached in an entire bottle of a fruity organic Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon blend, a cinnamon stick, several fresh slices of lemon, a few Tellicherry black peppercorns, honey and a quarter cup of my tantalizing homemade raspberry sauce. You’ll have to stop yourself from drinking the poaching liquid after you’ve poached your pears. And the poaching liquid only hints at the incredibly complex flavours of the finished reduction sauce. Sound incredibly delicious? It is.