Baking has become a bit of an obsession with me. I’ve always enjoyed doing it but since I’ve started blogging, I feel an intense urge to do it, all the time. Quite frankly, this is the direct result of dissatisfaction I feel in other areas of my life (and just to be clear, that is NOT a dig at the Husband). I’m using baking as a mental escape from parts of my life that just aren’t that great. Baking is soothing and comforting – an activity that I can focus my tired, weary brain on, that takes time and care, that involves me using my hands to create something beautiful and hopefully delicious.
I love clearing my cluttered countertops to make useable space, reaching down into my cupboard to grab my set of mixing bowls and placing them on the counter, selecting the different ingredients my recipe calls for and setting it all up. It’s calming to fluff flour inside my bin, incorporating air so that when I measure it into my measuring cup and level off the top, I know that my measurement is as accurate as it can be without a kitchen scale (which is on my loooong list of kitchen items to buy). My mind slows down as I take butter, cold from the fridge, and cut it into cubes so that it’ll soften quicker. It’s relaxing to turn my mixer on or to whip/mix/stir by hand until I have a beautiful batter or dough. And the smells that emerge from my oven as it’s baking up my treat, quite simply, make me very very happy.
I don’t have much spare time to indulge myself with baking. I work a 9 hour day, plus an hour’s commute. I’m lucky that the Husband shares dinner-making duties so that I’m not the only one slogging it in the kitchen every evening. I’ve stopped working out in the past month for several reasons (the top being my sheer laziness) but my mind is just so exhausted at the end of the work day that I CANNOT get myself motivated. I find myself forcing the time to bake into my days and feel like I’m neglecting the Husband, which makes me feel super guilty. Does anyone else experience this? Like you’re caught in an endless cycle between not being able to juggle what you SHOULD be doing and what you WANT to do? That you’re trying desperately to cling to something that feels good, adds value, and provides enjoyment in the face of what’s an otherwise lackluster existence?
Yikes, this is starting to sound depressing and needlessly heavy. A lot of the desserts I’ve been making lately have been heavy, reflecting my dour mood.
Let’s lighten it up.
I made an amazing lemon tart to bring to a friend’s house for dinner this past weekend and the recipe is definitely a keeper. I got it from Nicole over at Baking Bites. This is actually the first baking blog I started to follow, years and years ago. I’ve made countless recipes from her blog and I don’t think I’ve ever had a baking disaster or epic fail from any of her recipes. She is just THAT good.
I didn’t change a thing so if you want to bake up a perfect, no fail lemon tart, see the recipe for Baking Bites’s Fool-Proof Lemon Tart here.
The temperature called for in the recipe was a tad high, in my opinion (425 degree F), so the crust was a bit too dark around the edges for my taste. The next time I might turn it down to about 385 degree F and see the difference.
This tart was everything I hoped it would be. Our friends served us an incredibly delicious, decadent French meal so this was a nice, light, fresh end to the meal. I was worried about the crust but it turned out beautifully. The crust was fully cooked, it was strong enough on the bottom to stand up to the filling without imparting much of a taste, and it was crispy and buttery along the edges. The filling is the true star – it was smooth and creamy with a bright, intense lemon flavour that was neither too tart nor too sweet.
It truly lives up to it’s name of being fool-proof.