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Lemony Custard Tart + Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry lemonade all grown up and dressed up and fancied. Looks can be deceiving, though, because this dessert is so simple to put together. More or less a one-bowl dessert, the ingredients do all the work for you. While baking, a light and airy sponge cake forms on the bottom and a creamy, luscious custard sets up on top. TA DA! This delicate custard cake literally melts in your mouth and every bite is bursting with lemons and sweet strawberries. This is my riff on The Joy of Cooking's Lemon Sponge Custard.


Bowl #1

175 grams granulated sugar

32 grams butter, softened

3 egg yolks

3 teaspoons lemon zest

55 grams lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

Bowl #2

25 grams all-purpose flour

Bowl #3

240 grams whole milk

Bowl #4

4 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar



Preheat the oven to 325. Lightly butter a 9-inch cake pan. Set aside.


In the fourth bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks. Set aside.


In the first bowl, beat together all the ingredients for a minute or so.


Add in the scant amount of flour and beat to combine.


Add in the milk and mix to combine.


Working in thirds, fold the egg whites into the rest of the batter. Ensure that all the egg whites are fully incorporated but be careful not to over mix. Does anyone else think beaten egg whites are so pretty? No? Yeah, me neither.


Ladle the batter into the prepared pan. We need to bake this custard in a water bath so place the cake pan inside a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with an inch or so of water. Put the roasting pan with the cake pan inside into the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. If you insert a cake tester into the middle, it should come out clean. Let cool.


Once cooled, run a thin knife along the edges of the pan. Place a large plate on top and flip the custard cake to unfold it. Serve with the fresh strawberry sauce.


Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Bowl #1

One pint fresh strawberries, hulled

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice


Throw all ingredients into the food processor and let run for one minutes. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

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