On my husband and my first trip to Paris together, we stayed in the Montmartre area of the city – mainly due to my love for the film Amelie. Being Paris, it was a very romantic weekend spent traipsing through the Louvre, sipping coffee in cafés, ascending the Eiffel tower and soaking up all things French. (This was obviously in the early days of our romance before our son arrived.)
As you do in Paris, we queued at a pâtisserie for some fabulous French desserts to enjoy in a nearby park. I chose a Tarte au Citron – a heavenly creamy sweet and tangy mouthful of French pastry perfection. While we were sitting on the park bench enjoying our desserts, a little French girl saw us, ran over and climbed up beside me with her mouth open ready to take a bite out of my tart until her mother started reprimanding her in French and she took off. It only goes to show that French desserts are so fabulous, little French kids are willing to rob them off tourists.
With that in mind, I thought a Tarte au Citron would be the perfect dessert to make for a romantic Valentine’s day. Seeing as any future trips to Paris will involve a toddler and most likely a little less romance than one’s in the past, we might as well enjoy some French pastry and reminisce on what is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year.
This recipe is a timeless French classic that uses lemons, eggs, cream and sugar. I’m not including the recipe as it is nothing original to share, so you will have to enjoy the words and photos instead. It’s a simple dessert to make but being typically French there is a little bit of fuss in the making (a lot of mixing with a hand blender to make the filling). I used Rachel Allen’s recipe for a Lemon Tart found in my well used ‘Rachel’s Food For Living’ cookbook. I also made the pastry from scratch – the little extra effort is definitely worth it.
In addition to baking a Tarte au Citron for Valentine’s day, I also baked some decadent red velvet cupcakes with buttercream icing during the week for my two sweethearts. And my son and I made a couple of hand-made Valentines for the occasion. Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you are all enjoying the loves in your lives.