Black lemons are just dried lemons. In the Middle East, they use lime to dried in chutneys, stews, and even soups. In Iran and India, they are ground into flour, and they flavoured with rice pilaf and bread. The powder made from black lemons has a unique sweet taste.
I started making black lemons without knowing the tradition of India and Iran and even China that has been using them for infusions and medical purposes for over 3000 years as it contains a concentrated number of minerals and vitamins.
My personal tradition began 12 years ago when I burned a chicken stuffed of whole lemons. Chicken and lemons had been modified to charcoal, but nevertheless, I wanted to try the taste. I found great interest in the charred lemon on which a lot of salt had accumulated, and with the acid and tart taste, they formed a unique flavour.
I started baking and drying all the familiar citrus fruits at different temperatures, and I came to the conclusion that for me the most interesting is the dried lemon in 45C degrees. Between 45C to 75C degrees, I discover that not only dries but also develop fermented flavour which makes the most profound and more complex the final result. I use it for flavouring in various preparations, but one use still has the most enormous repercussion the Black Lemon tart.
Lemon tart is an emblematic desert in French gastronomy Although it is historically believed that the lemon custard was created by the Quakers in the 18th century in England, and the lemon pie by Elizabeth Goodwell, an American cook in Philadelphia the 19th century, the French confectioners combined it with the tart which is of Italian origin from the medieval crostata the French public loved it and I had the idea to change it a little bit after two centuries of history.
300g unsalted butter room temperature
150g powdered sugar
90g ground almonds
5g earl grey tea powder
1 tsp salt
Place the butter in a mixer bowl and cream until smooth.
Add the sugar, almonds, earl grey tea and mix until combined well.
Add the eggs fully incorporating one by one
Combine the flour and salt slowly, mix well but do not overwork.
Flatten the dough it into a disk. Wrap the disk with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight
Remove disk from the fridge, and roll it either between two well-floured sheets of parchment paper. You don't want the dough to be soft
Line your tart pan with the dough and put it back in the fridge for at least 1-2 hrs to rest.
Preheat the oven to 160C.
When you're ready to bake, put a parchment paper on top of the dough, then put some weight like rice or beans.
Bake for 20 minutes. Take the parchment paper and the beans/rice off, and continue to bake until it's golden brown.
Let cool in the ring.
Black Lemon Cream
50g black lemon powder
175 g fresh Meyer lemon juice
225 g sugar
300 g unsalted butter, room temperature
Mix the black lemon powder with the sugar
use a double boiler, combine the sugar, eggs and lemon juice.
Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 85C.
Strain the mixture in a blender and let cool to about 55C
Emulsion the butter slowly into the mixture.
Pour the mixture into prepared tart and refrigerate.
Dust the tart with black lemon powder add some fresh lemon zest and fresh basil or Shiso.