Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lemon Tartlets in a Small Kitchen

Isn't it pretty? I used the recipe (both the filling and the crust) from the Smitten Kitchen recipe.  With...well...subtle changes.

I decreased the butter in the filling by one tablespoon, mainly because I had one stick short of a tablespoon in the fridge and decided that would have to be enough (don't think that I'm stingy on butter.  I'm not.  This recipe is not short of butter!).

Also, I don't exactly quite have a food processor.  I have a food processing attachment that goes with our immersion blender, which works great, but only ever holds about a cup or so of anything.  So I processed in smaller portions, mixed, processed some more, at least with the filling.  I did the crust by hand.  I realized that my pastry cutter (among many other things) is in storage, and cutting the butter in with knives wasn't floating my boat, so I rubbed the butter in with my (clean) fingers.  Mary Englebreit got me onto that, and sometimes it's quite handy.

Discovered (belatedly) that it would have been easier to simply press the chilled dough into the tartlet pans, rather than try to roll it out using my can of Baker's Joy.  I was afraid of overworking the dough, but as a result of not whaling on it, the crust was thicker than I intended.

But it tasted good.

The tartlet shells did shrink up just the tiniest but, but it actually made it easier to remove from the pan.

As for the lemon filling, it set up without any problems.  However, I actually think I'll use a regular lemon next time with the zest of a second lemon (as opposed to one Meyer Lemon).  Or maybe one Meyer Lemon and the zest of a regular lemon.

Anyway, not as sit up, hold the phone lemony as I wanted it to  be, so I'll tweak that for next time.  And don't get me wrong - there's definitely going to be a next time!

Cooking in a tiny hotel kitchen-let is not for the faint of heart (or specifically for the faint of heart, the kind who order take out all the time.  It can go either way).  With two burners (and one saucepan), it really forces me to streamline the prep process for anything I'm making.  But its been a good exercise in using things creatively.  Rather than sauté veggies every time, I may roast them in the mini-convection oven (which has proved its worth, btw) so I can use that second burner for something else.  If I'm making a brown-butter sage sauce, I skip the browning and melt the butter with the sage in the microwave.  Is it purist cooking? No, but it works.

Though sometimes, it's easier to order Thai.

1 comment:

  1. Hilary, wow, that looks great! I would have a hard time cooking that way. Good for you!


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