Monday, March 15, 2021

Investigating La tarte au citron


Some say an apple a day bla bla. If you’re not eating a daily mandarin, why not sub a tarte au citron as a shot of vit C. 

                             Photo and tarte by Molly J Wilk

Bonnie said she was taking Molly J. Wilk’s online citron tarte class in Versailles. A lemon 🍋 seed was planted in my head. 

Bonnie’s beautiful tart is like a clean slate. Are you a meringue person?

I am and I picked this one 

to paint from Maison d’Isabelle at Mutualité-Maubert. 

The divine Molly says its the classic dessert the French prefer to all others. 

Did you know its origins are Quaker? Yep, thank Anglican Puritans in the early 1700s. 

What’s more thank Swiss-Italian chef Gasparini in the town of Meiringen for inventing the meringue topping on tartes. More surprising news - pâtissière, Elizabeth Goodwell in 1806 of Philadelphia (my hometown) came up of with the lemon pie recipe we use today! I’ve been noticing the lemon curd fillings by upper crust of haut pâtissier are creamier and buttery as a top note. The less pricy tarts usually at boulangeries are maybe more citrusy with more zesty bits (my fav). 

This grand, messy, unreal concoction in Galerie Maison Gourmand - I’ve been observing it for months. I went yesterday to get it for research purposes but they are closed on Sundays 😭 

The soft ‘Italian’ meringue topping is a lot like yummy marshmallow whip. Versus ‘French’ meringue, similar to hard shell macarons. 

Still thinking lemon 🍋 yellow, pre-Covid days, there is usually a lovely daffodil fete at the Pantheon to raise money for Cancer and l’Institut Curie

Instead if you’re in Paris, pickup daffs for the cure at many florists like I did. Its a win/win. 

This week has been a deep immersion in painting daffs, lemons and lemon tartes. I’m seeing yellow 🍋everywhere. Including the pharmacies, which have at last removed their winter polar bears for yellow bunnies. A good sign Spring is coming non PBers?🍋🐻❤️💋


  1. I remember my mother giving me & my sister a nickel each to walk to the bakery on the square...I would always get a lemon tart. My love affair with lemon (and all things yellow - even bunnies!), continues. Love your post, Carol, your gorgeous watercolors, and envy your “research”. You are spoilt for choice!

    Molly’s recipe for lemon curd is super creamy, buttery, just the correct amount of lemon to not be overwhelming, and you can add the zest from one lemon or two, if you prefer more “zesty bits”. is so easy to make! Bob and I are so glad that we took the tarte au citron class. I see lots of lemon in our future!

  2. Lemon meringue pie was always my birthday ‘cake’. Good enough reason to move to Paris since you can get it year round but especially in Spring. I wish I could but I would not trust myself to make it at home 🍋🍋

  3. Yellow is my favorite color! What a beautiful and uplifting post. Getting more snow today near Chicago. Thank goodness my daffodils have just popped up and no where near ready to bloom. Bonnie’s tart is gorgeous as are your watercolors. I also am a fan of the citrusy tarts. And you say they are win!🍋💛

  4. Sybille2:42 PM

    Soon you’ll be moving on to lily of the valley...fabulous Paris Confisserie Pacques chocolate creations...sigh.

  5. Anonymous3:38 PM

    I really enjoyed this post, since I made this for my birthday which was last week. Great minds! We've been enjoying spectacular spring weather here in the DC area this past.


  6. How beautiful!!!!!! I just shared it on Facebook :)))) Thanks so much for the shoutout!

  7. Wow
    Lemon love.
    Your watercolors are amazing, Carol! Tarte au citron that do not disappear in two bites!

  8. I love looking at the artist's workbench:)
    I noticed the wee pie tin w/ me for minis just brilliant.
    I love your big pans of paint.And all your paintings.

  9. Thank you! I love it..the yellow makes me so happy

  10. That pie tin is not so wee...I wish it was.
    One has stopped counting up the number of lemon tarte eaten in the past week.
    One is turning into a lemon tarte one is :(()

  11. What do you use the little pie tin with punched holes for? Beautiful post that is making me crave something sweet and lemony.

  12. With my love of a good lemon tart, this post was a killer - I wanted them all.
    And the ones you painted definitely look good enough to eat.

  13. Cathwren - that’s what’s left after you bake the Picard frozen tarte citrons. Cute non?

  14. Love it! Typo or bad autocorrect in first picture with daffodils for sale for charity - Pantheon not Parthenon.

  15. Chris,
    None of the above...just a brain with too much tarte on it...though the Greeks do put lemon on everything🍋 I used to live in Astoria NYC for a while...

  16. Delicious! I especially love the workspace still life, Carol!

  17. Thank you Lisa
    My mess! I lose stuff constantly :))

  18. Dee Ann1:07 PM

    I struggle with watercolor so I love seeing what you do. Like the first photo of this edition as it shows your artwork, palette and brushes.

  19. Dee Ann, I’m the same way...the magician’s tools !

  20. Terry G1:37 PM

    This reminds me of the insanely good lemon meringue pies that my grandmother would make every time she visited. The only thing I loved even more was her from scratch chocolate meringue pie.
    By the way, the Galerie Maison Gourmand concoction seems like the perfect proportion of meringue to lemon curd and crust.
    Enjoy au printemps!

  21. You and me Terry are meringue people obviously

  22. Every single daff and lemon image makes my heart go pitty pat! I love lemons more than any other fruit (well, when prepared!) and now think I should go make a tart -- or at least lemon madeleines! Love the daff paintings, which make me smile. Big happy here.

  23. I guess yellow is the new black. xxx

  24. I Love after all the perfect elegant lemon tartes, the massive, messy pile of meringue and curd.
    The excessiveness! So fun.

  25. All these lemon tarts look delicious! I would like any of them with meringue on top! I've never made one, some things you leave to the professionals. Enjoy!


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