Culinary Arts

Desserts: Lemon Tart With Pine Nut Crust

Thomas Keller

Lesson time 21:24 min

Lemon tart is a very special dish to Chef Keller. He demonstrates the exact recipe for his lemon tart that he’s been making since the early 1980s, including how to make a pine nut crust and how to broil the dessert to perfection.

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Thomas Keller
Teaches Cooking Techniques III: Seafood, Sous Vide, and Desserts
Chef Thomas Keller’s third MasterClass is devoted to preparing seafood, sous vide cooking, and making classic desserts.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] - It's hard to say what is my favorite dessert. This lemon tart is very special to me. It's the only recipe that I've included in two of my cookbooks, "The French Laundry" and "Bouchon" because I love it so much. It's a recipe that I've been doing since the early '80s, when I've had one of my first restaurants in New York City, called Rakel, and I've been doing this recipe ever since. There's several reasons I love it, not just because of the texture, the lemon, but also this crust. And this crust is unique in a couple ways. Number 1, it's unique because it doesn't have to be rolled. It's actually going to be pressed into the tart pan, much like a cookie dough. The second thing, of course, are pine nuts, and the pine nuts add that sweetness textural thing to it that is so compelling in this lemon tart. We're starting with raw pine nuts because when we bake the tart, the nuts will become a little bit roasted and give it another flavor and texture. So we begin by putting our nuts in a food processor. And pulse it. And we want to pulse said just about halfway. We don't want to continue pulsing it or it will remove that oil from the nut. Drawing the oil out is not what we want to do. We want to start to break them up, and then we want to add our flour and our sugar. And then we're going to continue to grind it. Now, any oil that's coming out of the nuts is going to be drilled by the flour. Let's look at that. Yeah. So I can just feel the texture of the nut barely in there. That's what we want to be. We have a bench scraper here to help us move our dough around. We're going to go ahead and dump that out on our clean working surface. If you want to, you can use a piece of parchment paper to work on. I'm just going to work right on the marble here. And then I'll make my well, just like I'm making any dough. Add 1 whole egg. Now, this recipe makes enough for three tarts, and primarily because we're using one egg. So it would be hard to do it only for one tart because we'd have to break that egg into a third. So the great thing about it is that you can freeze your dough and have it for later use. You could freeze your dough and, of course, make your lemon tart every week for the next three weeks. So the butter, as you can see, is pretty soft. I'll just start mixing, bringing my flour into it as I'm squeezing. My bench scraper. This will take a few minutes. Just be patient with it. It may seem like it's dry. As you work it more, that butter will go into it. I always like to make these by hand. You can try to do it completely in your food processor. There's something about using my hands that I enjoy very much, especially in making different doughs. Just gently working that butter into the pine nut, in the flour. I have more surface on the heel of my hand, which gives me more ability to mix it together, and I can put more pressure on the heel of my hand as well. You can also just get your children involved...


Elevate your cooking

In his third MasterClass, Chef Thomas Keller focuses on preparing fresh seafood like lobster and salmon, making classic desserts such as apple pie and lemon tart, and showing how sous vide cooking can be done at home to enhance flavor and texture. Whether you’re a beginning or advanced cook, you’ll learn the techniques and principles that will give you the understanding and skills to get the most delicious results.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Always impressive - love the class - hope Mr. Keller continues.

Very good instructor.. interesting desserts...

It keeps building a solid foundation. TK is one of the best instructors.

Chef Keller's techniques enhance the quality of my life by helping me devote all my food preparations towards enhancing and refining flavours.


Comments

Andrey P.

Beautiful and delicious! It was a hit of the night! Thank you Chef Keller for keep inspiring me!

Margaret E.

reading the comments makes me a little concerned. And, my arm got tired just watching him. I am anxious to try it though. I wonder if freezing the tart shell would help it not be so crumbly as some suggested?

Jeremy

A tart for next week... as good as this sounds I think i'm making 3 all at once!

Jack

Help! While creating the sabayon, I used a mixing bowl over a sauce pan with just simmering water. After whisking for a few minutes, I did see that it was starting to thicken, but more as a creamy constancy than a ribbon consistency. I whisked longer, but nothing changed. I probably whisked 8 - 10 minutes, fairly rapidly. So I went ahead and put in the lemon juice in increments of thirds, and whisked 3 minutes after each addition. The result was still creamy, but far from the ribbon stage. I threw it in the broiler and it browned nicely, but.....you have to serve this in bowls. Does anyone have a suggestion?

Albert

I’ve made it twice already but both times the pastry was way too crumbly thus not enjoyable to eat. How can I avoid this problem for the next time?