milk&honey cafe

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And..... we're back.

"You just gotta start somewhere!" That's what I kept telling myself every time I sat in front of the computer to write a blog entry. So much stuff has gone on that I don't even know where to start! It's just like when I approach any kind of written assignment. It's too overwhelming, I don't know where to start. But like the good advice that my sister gives me each time, "Just start writing!", here it goes.

Lemon Cream Tart

1. The big stuff. Guess what guys. This is big. I quit my job. But before you start thinking that I'm crazy for leaving a perfect job at a fantastic design agency, just understand that it didn't come easy. It wasn't about the job — I'm changing careers. It was a huge decision, but I've made it and now I'm committed to it. I've decided that I want to pursue my aspirations of becoming a TEACHER! And now I'm back in school so that I can apply for teacher's college.

My Oxygen Desk
My beloved desk at my studio. I'll miss you!!

2. The cheesy stuff. Just in case you were wondering, Andrew and I are doing very well. We're very much growing and enjoying our lives together. It's been an amazing year and a half and we're both really excited to see where tomorrow will take us!

Look where Andrew took me for my birthday!! We went on a private horse trail riding!! He surprised me for my birthday and I had SUCH a great time. :) On a side note: Do you like our dinky little helmets? Ha!!

3. The cute stuff. My little niece, Chloe is honestly, the cutest, most lovable thing on EARTH. It's so beautiful and incredible to see new life. Really, the most amazing thing to experience all these "firsts" with a new baby. Each time she laughs, it's like the whole place lights up and in truth, it seems like she's playing with us rather than us playing with her. I'm so grateful for her and her parents. I miss her everyday!!

my love, Chloe Lee

my love, Chloe Lee

my love, Chloe Lee

4. The grateful stuff. Honestly, everyone. I'm so grateful for your patience and encouragement over the few months. I'm sorry I've been so MIA but I'm amazed at how you still look forward to my blog entries!! It's really unbelieveable how warm and kind you all are. Thank you thank you thank you. You inspire me and motivate me!

Lemon Cream Tart
Grateful for this tart pan! My friend gave me a williams-sonoma certificate for my birthday. You girls know exactly what I need/want. Hehe.

5. The delicious stuff. Yes yes it's the moment you've been all waiting for. Sometimes I feel bad when I write too much on my life etc., because I know you're thinking, "Okay.. now on with the food please!!!" Like I promised and you've proposed, I made the delicious French Lemon Cream Tart, courtesy of Dorie Greenspan. It was a recipe you really need to invest your time and heart in, but very much worth it.

Lemon Cream Tart

Lemon Cream Tart

The cream is truly extraordinary. It's marvelously smooth and velvety, with the perfect amount of sweet and tart. But to be honest, it was a challenging recipe for me this time. I was soo surprised and a bit disappointed to see how rusty I got. Man! Not baking and photographing for months really takes a toll on ya! Not going to lie, I'm not totally happy with the execution and the photography this time. I hope you can forgive me! Hopefully I'll get back on track soon.

Lemon Cream Tart

Lemon Cream Tart

But it was still really delicious and dorie's recipe was 100% fantastic. Unfortunately, I decided that I wouldn't post up recipes from books because it violates copyright. I know I've done it before but I now decided not to. But I wouldn't be surprised if you could find it easily on the internet. Also, I strongly encourage you to make that investment in her Cookbook "From my home to yours" as it's a staple for any baker filled with some of the best recipes you'll ever find.

UPDATED: Okay okay okay. I'll post up the recipe! It wasn't like me anyway. Haha. So instead, I have paraphrased her recipe! Hope it's not too choppy, or I haven't gotten too chatty. Nevertheless, still look at investing in her cookbook. It's really an amazing book!

Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

recipe from "Baking: From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan


1 cup sugar
grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 tbsp (10 1/2oz) unsalted butter, cut into tbsp-size pieces, at room temp
1 9-inch tart shell made with sweet tart dough (I used an allrecipes recipe because Dorie's recipe only asks for a super pulsing food processor, which I don't have. You can just use your favourite sweet tart dough!)


1. You need an instant-read thermometer, strainer, and a blender ready. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

2. Before setting over the simmering water, in a large heatproof bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.

3. Now set the bowl over the pan and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels lukewarm to touch. You'll need to slowly cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180F. It's important that you whisk constantly to prevent scrambled eggs.

As you keep whisking, the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger. Watching carefully as the temperature rises closer to 180F, it will become thicker and the whisk will leave tracks. You're ALMOST there! Don't stop whisking or checking the temperature but most importantly, be patient! Depending on how much heat you're giving the cream, getting it to 180F might take as long as 10 minutes (or 15 for me!)

4. As soon as it reaches 180F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the blender; discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140F, about 10 minutes.

5. With the blender on HIGH, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down sides and make sure the butter is incorporated. (Mine just sat there on top of the cream if I didn't do this). Once the butter is mixed, keep the machine going. This will be the heavenly path to divine lightness, airy texture of "lemon-cream dreams" (that's her word). Continue to blend the cream for another 3 minutes, working in intervals if your blender gets overheated.

6. Before you pour the cream into a container, take a scoop with a new spoon and eat it. And savour it. And relish it. (This is my own line).

7. Now pour the cream into a container, pressing a piece of plastic wrap right against the surface of the cream. This creates a super airtight seal. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Wow! FOUR+ hours to wait. See, aren't you glad you followed instruction #6?). The cream will keep in the fridge for 4 days or, tightly sealed, up to 2 months in the freezer. You'll just have to thaw it overnight in the fridge.

7. When you are ready to assemble the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it in the tart shell. Serve the tart, or refrigerate until needed.

Lemon Cream Tart


  1. We miss you! Your desk is not the same without you. I had a nice little laugh at that picture – Suresh's note is taped to your monitor! I love that this post is full of photos of delicious things. My favourites? The French Lemon Cream Tart and Chloe's feet!

  2. The lemon cream was divine! I'm so lucky I get to taste your creations! Maybe Chloe will become a baker as well...

  3. I missed you, Sarah! Good luck on the new chapter of your life. Can't wait to hear where everything takes you <3 LOTS OF LOVE!

  4. Hi, I know I've never written before but I have always loved your blog and I am so glad you're back! it is so so pretty and it inspires me greatly to write my own! Thank you! the tart looks delicious!


  5. All the best of luck with your new career!

  6. I can smell the tart from here. Haha.
    All the best in your change!

  7. Best wishes! What a great career choice. (I'm not just saying that cause I'm a teacher either ~ and my hub, and my sisters, and my bros-in-law. LOL)

  8. We need more good teachers in the world! Good luck with your new direction! The tart looks yummy.

  9. Oh also regarding copyright concerns, I often feel a little guilty too posting recipes, but this is how I try to honor copyright: copyright protects the wording and the way the author expresses the work, right? It isn't about the list of ingredients or the process of making a cake or cookie. So when I post recipes, I make sure to very clearly indicate the original author/inspiration of the recipe, but I try to rewrite the instructions as much as possible to represent my own voice and add in my own tips. That way, you're not violating copyright in the sense of distributing other people's original work without their permission, but also you can feel better about sharing cool recipes to your friends and family to try themselves! Dorie herself seems to be very welcoming of the Tuesdays with Dorie gals collectively making and sharing her recipes from the Baking book. Anyways, my two cents =) Do whatever you feel comfortable with! (Sorry I would have e-mailed this to you rather than take up so much space but I couldn't find your email)

  10. Beautiful. Seriously beautiful. All of it.

    And PS I just read your about page and love love love the way you like "milk and honey" because it refers to God's promise for His people's promised land. There's actually a cafe here in Chicago named Milk + Honey. I hope you have yours someday, too. :)

  11. welcome back! this is the first blog entry I've read of yours, but apparently I came in at the right time :)

  12. Hi! I've been reading your blog for a while now, i love it and can't wait for the next entry everytime... you are so sweet! The thing is... i was really looking forward for this recipe.. and.. oh=( i didn't get it! =( I totally understand you not been comfortable with the copyright violation.. the thing is... i'm from argentina, so there's almost no way i'm gonna find dorie's book here... (nor do i know who she is =S )is there any other way i could get this recipe? Oh well... if there isn't, i'll just have to manage to make something similar =P is the cream anything like the lemon pie curd?

    love your blog, your entries and your pics. And i dream about your recipes. I love the whole package. =))

  13. i'm so glad you're back! you're tart looks so lovely and i love the color :)

    good luck with teaching, i'm sure you'll do well

  14. I've seen so many recipes lately for lemon desserts! So far, I think yours must be the best! The other one I really like is Ina Garten's Lemon Yogurt Cake. What do you think? Thanks again for sharing this delicious lemon recipe!

  15. Hi Sarah!

    I just wanted to let you know that your blog is amazing! Beautiful photography and amazing recipes.
    If you ever feel like sharing your posts or recipes on Redpath Sugar's Facebook wall, please do! I know that our fans would *love* to read these posts.

    I just thought I'd let you know about a contest that Redpath is running as well. Simply post a recipe that uses Redpath sugar and an unusual ingredient on Redpath's Facebook wall for your chance to bake your recipe alongside The Happy Baker, Erin Bolger, on Redpath Sugar's YouTube Channel!

    Here are the details:

    Have a great day and Happy Baking! :)

  16. Love this post! So glad you're back!!

  17. Hi Sarah, you're so cute on the last part (debating whether to put the recipe in). ;) Been following your blog sometime back and I'm glad you're back!

    It's good to pursue your passion! And i salute you the more for giving up your job. Hope one day, I shall be able to do the same. :)

    from the sunny tiny island, Singapore