Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The one that almost took down the kitchen

I'm finishing up my weekend cooking report with the one, as I said above, that almost took down the kitchen.  Unfortunately I'm getting a reputation around the house for creating fire hazards.  It started a month or so ago while trying to exercise good visual hygiene.  I dropped my contact lens case into a pan of boiling water.  The intention was to leave it for just a minute or two then remove and let dry ... voila! ... a perfectly sanitized case.  The plan went awry when I promptly became engrossed in a box of photographs.  25, 30, maybe 35 minutes later we noticed a strange smell kind of like burnt plastic.  Yes, not only was my lens case perfectly sanitized it was a melted lump in the bottom of a now ruined saucepan.

That was then, this is now.  On the schedule ... Lemon Tart.  But first, let me offer an important tip - whenever baking in a tart pan with a removable bottom, it would be wise to place it on a baking sheet.  Otherwise, things may drip out of that removable bottom onto the bottom of the oven and soon you will have smoke billowing out of the oven.  Not that this actually happened, mind you, I'm just saying it could.

Back to my Lemon Tart.  This is a nice and easy dessert that is perfect for a hot summer day, and it can also be made a little lighter which is what I did.

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine and press evenly into a 9-inch tart pan with, you guessed it, a removable bottom.  Gingersnap cookies seem to be a bit hard, so it would be best to use a food processor to crush.  Since it was getting late and I didn't want to clean up the food processor I chose to flail the daylights out of the cookies using my weapon of choice as shown.  It didn't work out exactly as I had hoped but again, since it was getting late I settled for a crust of less than perfectly crushed cookies.  (It still tasted wonderful.)

For the filling:
11 oz fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (or a mixture of fresh lemon and lime juice)
1 tablespoon lemon zest

In a medium bowl, combine milk and eggs, mixing until smooth.  Stir in juice and zest.  Pour into prepared crust and place in a 350 degree oven.

No pan and no comment.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until filling is set.  Cool completely.  This is best served chilled and you could add a topping of whipped cream. 

The finished tart .... after the smoke settled.

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