We’re now on to our new international cooking destination. Mike is at the helm this time and has selected our neighbor to the north, Canada. Canada is the second largest country in the world, next to Russia, so we’re breaking it into regions and starting with Ontario.
On our epic road trip, we spent about a week in Ontario between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Toronto. One of our favorite days kicked off with a carriage ride through the downtown area of Niagara-on-the-Lake for Miss A, who was turning three the next day. You should have seen her little smile getting to ride in a princess carriage. :)
After our ride, the guide recommended a little place, Balzac’s coffee, for coffee, lemonade and in her words, “an amazing lemon tart.” Sold! Miss A and I both decided that we needed lemon tarts. So while dad and Mr. N enjoyed their beverages, Miss A and I gushed over our tarts. I don’t know if it was because I was hungry, that it was vacation or that this was just really that good; but this was the most delicious lemon tart I ever tasted. Even Miss A finished off her entire tart, and that’s saying something.
So for our first Ontario recipe, we’re making, what else?! A lemon tart! We started with my favorite part, the pastry crust. We mixed the flour, sugar and salt together in a large mixing bowl and then added the zest of one lemon. Next we cut in the butter and some fat free cream cheese.
While the dough refrigerated for 30 minutes, we began to slice and mince the peel of one lemon for the tart filling. By mincing, rather than zesting, the lemon peel it provides little surprising bites of deliciousness in the tart filling.
We then whisked together the minced lemon peel from earlier, sugar, eggs and lemon juice in a small sauce pan. Next we cut in the butter and let the mixture cook over medium heat until simmering and the butter melted. Make sure that it doesn’t boil. Once the butter melted, we brought the heat down to a simmer and stirred it constantly for 7 minutes.
I almost couldn’t wait until the next morning to try these, but they were worth the wait. The crust was perfect – with an ever so subtle sweetness – and the lemon filling was rich and full of lip puckering goodness. I like my tarts more sour than sweet and these hit the mark.
These little plates of sunshine easily got my 4 spoon vote. They weren’t quite like Balzac’s, but if I can say so myself, they were better! Dad also gave these 4 spoons, as did Mr. N and Miss A. Looks like we have another winner on our hands!
Print this recipe: Lemon Tarts