Hi guys! It’s Gab from Artful Desperado with a new recipe that’s perfect for picnic season (or “I’m gonna stay in and watch Netflix” season, too). A few weeks ago I was in Paris tasting all sorts of pastries A: because it’s Paris and B: because I’m always interested in the old-meets-new treats that are popping everywhere it seems (especially around the cool neighbourhoods, or as Parisians call them the “bobo” area).
One of my favourites was the fondants au citron (also saw it called gateau au citron fondant?) which are this merge between a cake, a madeleine, and a custard. Yep, they’re soft, even a bit gooey, and they have this delicious intense lemon flavour (like a lemon square, but better and less sweet).
Oh Paris, you and your baked goods.
I decided to make a few here at home and boy, am I hooked. I am currently testing the dairy-free version (which is being a bit stubborn and keeps splitting) but I’ve done the classic butter-full version a few times and it’s great! For this recipe I added a little twist with some torched meringue for that “lemon meringue pie” feeling – two summer classics combined into one. Perf!
I highly recommend using good quality butter and lemons with a thick skin; since we are using little ingredients you want the stars to shine and show their full flavour. Oh and please, PLUH-EASE, do not use lemon scent or lemon essence; that shiz tastes super nasty and will make your baked goods smell like a candle. Ok? Ok!
Grab some ramekins, a few lemons, and let’s get bakin’ !
One thing that I like about this recipe is the super tart lemon curd I used in addition to the fondant batter. You can buy any curd you like, but I find store bought lemon curd is usually way too sweet. If you want a simple and easy recipe to make a basic curd, check out this post on Food52. I used 1/4 cup of sugar instead though, that way you’ll get a super citrusy product.
- 160g unsalted butter + more to grease ramekins
- 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 160g granulated sugar + for sprinkling ramekins
- 160g all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 and 1/4 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- Lemon curd (you'll need about 5-6 tablespoons)
- 3 eggs whites
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Grease the ramekins with some butter, sprinkle with sugar, dust off any excess and set aside
- Melt the butter and pour in a large bowl, then zest the lemons and add zest to butter along with juice. Mix in vanilla and sugar and whisk until it turns pale.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to the butter mix and gently combine until smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time and incorporate.
- Divide the batter in half. Use one half to fill the ramekins, then add about 1 tablespoon of lemon curd per ramekin. Top them with the other half of the batter and bake for 15 to 20 min until tops crack and look set and slightly golden. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Now make the meringue: whisk the egg whites on high speed until they form soft peaks. Slowly start adding sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Place a generous dollop of meringue on the baked fondants and torch them or use your broiler to brown the meringue, just keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
- You can top with additional lemon zest if you like it super lemony.
And that’s it. I don’t lie when I say these tangy treats are going to be a summer hit. I even took them to the office the other day and a guy that hates lemon baked goods said “whoa, this is awesome” so there, they can even convert non-lemon believers 🙂
Until next time!