The results are in…and I disagree

Winner:          White Chocolate Lemon Tart
2nd place:       Cardamom Ginger Crust
3rd place:        Lemon Tart Brulee
4th place:        Ginger-Crystalized Ginger Crust
Loser:              Vanilla Lemon Tart

I’ve been testing lemon tarts with ginger snap crust today – using my co-workers as guinea pigs.  These were their results.  The white chocolate lemon tart is good, but it’s not lemony enough.  The Cardamom Ginger Crust was just odd – the cardamom overwhelmed the lemon and the ginger.  For me, it’s O-U-T.  The brulee was the most classic – and, oddly, as many people loved it as hated it. 

For the next permutation, I’m going to continue with the White Chocolate lemon tart theme but add additional lemon zest to bring up the lemon flavor.  Filling is decided.

The crusts, on the other hand, were a disaster and I almost didn’t have any tarts to taste.  My first issue was the pans.  They were inexpensive $1.50 numbers from Sur la Table with ill-fitting removable bottoms.  “Sur la Table” and “inexpensive” are dichotomies – that should have been my first clue.  The crust was a combination of ginger snap crumbs, sugar and butter.  I’ve used this crust for cheesecake with great results.  Lesson #1 – what’s good for a springform isn’t good for a removable bottom tart pan.  The butter oozed and the sugar crumb crust imbedded around the bottom.  Once cooled, I could barely pry tart from pans and I needed a pairing and filet knife to do so.  One tart died this morning during the process.  By the time I brought the tarts to work, the bottoms were soggy and disintegrating. 

So, Step 2 (most likely taking up my Saturday) is to try a graham cracker crust with ginger (and line the pans with foil or parchment).  I’m also going to try a pressed shortbread ginger crust (lemon bar style) as well as a Phyllo dough crust (sprinkled with ginger sugar).  The last option will be to pour a layer of white chocolate between the filling and crust in an attempt to thwart a soggy bottom. 

And I wanted to play with a lemon curd cheesecake, too?  No time, no time.


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