TWD: The Most Extraodinary French Non-Lemon Cream Tart



For the first time pretty well ever, there is no picture to show what I made. I took a few. I won't show them though. Bad is an understatement.

I have to start out by saying this: Dorie, I still love ya! I'm still very open to being adopted by you, or at least being one of your nieces, who gets to visit alot! And this recipe had me frustrated and scratching my head in confusion. It can't have been you, I must have either done something wrong or my large eggs were very different from your large eggs.

Yes, I had problems. Several problems.

First, I can't read, so my plan to make it Saturday for friends coming over for dinner did not work. Forgot to include the 4 hours of chilling time in my calculations. That was the minor problem.

My next problem was the cream. I started the cream yesterday morning, all my ingredients out and at temperature, my thermometer, my blender, my strainer at the ready. Even the plastic wrap for chilling was ready. Dorie's instructions said about 10 minutes or so until the cream reaches 180F and will begin to thicken. I had decided to go with a blood orange cream instead of a lemon one, so had this beautiful dark red juice ready to go in with my eggs and sugar, then to be whisked over a double boiler. Forty minutes later, whisking the entire time, I still had not reached 180F, and that cream was not thickening!


Another 10 minutes, with me still not dressed, needing to have been out the door 15 minutes before hand, I gave up and walked away. Threw on some clean clothes so I was not driving the husband to work in my pjs and got ready to leave.

At the last second I decided to check the temperature of the cream and, a miracle! It finally reached 180F! Though it didn't seem that thick to me, I strained it into the blender and left it to cool while I drove. Came home and blended in the butter, not really liking the color anymore. That bright, vivid red? Not so much. More like bleh, light brown, not appealing looking at all!

However, it was alot of work to get it to where it was, so I set it into the fridge for an over night chilling and went about my day. Today I tackled the tart shell, which I had my doubts about as I was trying to press it into my tart pan (which is not a removable bottom, had never been used before, and may not get used again!) The tart, though, came out golden and beautiful!

One of my last problems was trust. I did not trust myself, as I looked at the cream in the fridge and thought, "I should just put it into wine glasses and top it somehow with the tart crust. Make cookie spoons, or crumble the tart into it and make a parfait." No, I ignored those thoughts and instead poured a very loose cream onto my tart shell. No smoothing needed at all, it ran all the way out to the edge of the crust! And ran right down into the pan when I attempted to cut a piece for serving!

Like I said, I love Dorie, I'm sure it was me. Though I do hear there were others who had problems as well - those aren't my fault though.

My husband just nodded his head when I told him that now that I've tried and failed, he knows I will try it again until I get it right.

No blood oranges next time though - not only did they not look good at all in the cream, I did not like the flavor. The crust was great, nice and crisp, with a buttery crumb, but the cream was just not right for me. It was good for my husband, who had three slopping helpings of it, despite the appearance.

Next week's recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie was announced earlier, and I'm so much more looking forward to this one than I was the lemon cream. Hey, maybe next time I'll actually make lemon cream!

Don't forget to go see our hostess for this weeks recipe, Mary of Starting From Scratch. I bet she has pretty pictures to look at!

21 comments:

CB said...

aawww bummer about all the probs but I admire your persistence! I am sure your pictures weren't as bad as you think. Personally I love seeing the fugly pictures. Makes me feel better that I am not the only one that can't take perfect pictures :)
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Dolores said...

Awww... I would have thought blood oranges would make a stunning presentation too. I'm sorry this one didn't work out for you. But I agree with you, the marshmallows will be fun!

Peabody said...

The blood oranges look like a masscure. :)
Next one looks good.

Engineer Baker said...

So sad! I had similar problems the last time I tried to make blood orange curd, maybe something is different for it? Better luck next time!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Hi Jenny, I'm not sure whether you followed the recipe for the lemon cream tart of the orange cream tart, but that could be the problem. I believe that may be the problem. I think oranges have less pectin, and therefore you must add gelatin to the curd in order for it to set properly. Chelle over at
Sugar & Spice
made an orange cream tart, and I see that the recipe listed gelatin as an ingredient. Sorry it didn't turn out for you, but hope that you'll try again.

Piggy said...

I tried to make blood orange curd recently and I had the same problem with the color, it looked more like light brown instead of red. Sorry that your tart didn't turn out right.

April said...

Sorry you had trouble with this tart. The blood oranges sound delicious!

Di said...

I'm sorry that your tart didn't turn out well. I run into the timing problem all the time... I'm forever forgetting to read all the way through a recipe to calculate the total time involved. Argh.

LyB said...

I'm sorta sad you didn't like the blood oranges, that's what I used and I loved the results! Granted the color was a lot lighter than I had expected, I think it's all that butter, but still delicious. I really hope next week goes better for you!

Carrie said...

I think perhaps you issues with the cream stemmed from simply replacing the lemon with orange. The Orange Cream tart requires gelatin.... I guess there's a reason for that.
Sorry it didn't turn out!
Better luck next week! :)

BC said...

Sorry it didn't work but I had fun having coffee with you!

slush said...

Aww, I am so sorry it didnt set for you. I agree with the commenter above who said it may depend on which recipe you followed. I know that I tried to make orange curd a while back using a lemon curd recipe and it plain flat does not work.

You are a trooper!

Baking Soda said...

Aww sorry it didn't work out Jenny, it could have been sooo good! I made a blood orange curd using Dories recipe as well but substituted 1 lemon juice for an equal amount of blood orange juice (and added a drop of food colouring *blush*) Maybe the pectin in the lemon makes for extra stiffness like in jam making?
(oops I see that brighter minds already mentioned this...sorry!)

Tartelette said...

Sorry it did not work out like you wanted. Yeah, blood oranges are great in syrup and sauces and then when mixed with cream they turn an ugly brown-grey color...I bet it tasted good though!

Cara said...

Sorry your tart didn't work out. We all have those kinds of days. Looking forward to seeing your marshmallows next week!

creampuff said...

Good try on the tart!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Those are really blood red! Wow! Too bad the final product didn't photograph well. I would loved to have seen it.

lemontartlet said...

Good try though! You really should put up the pics, the failures are as interesting as the ones that work! That's what they tell me when they see my poor disasters, lol.

Natalie said...

Aw man, great idea with the wine glasses and topped with the tart somehow. I so should have thought of that when my meyer lemon cream came out as soup!

It would have been perfect! (Hmmm... I still have some left - have to see how that looks :)

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

I admire your honest post, but I would have liked to see pictures. I am guilty of not posting bad pictures, but I figure that we all have a kitchen disaster. Bummer this one didn't work out for you. I bet you'll have success with next week's marshmallows.

Jaime said...

sorry it didn't work out for you. give the lemon a try!