julia child once said “i think every woman should have a blowtorch.”

lucky for me, i got my first blow torch for my 12th birthday as a gift from my sister. she apparently took the idea that a girl becomes a woman on her bat mitzvah a bit too literally. i will be honest, it did not get much use. mothers typically don’t like their young children playing with blowtorches out of their supervision.

but on mother’s day of 2008 this blow torch (along with my caramelized lemon tart) joined me on a journey:

starting off at my 160 square foot apartment in manhattan, the tart joined me on a walk to a friend’s apartment for brunch, where i had to navigate over a pile of dog-doo on the front stoop; up and down three flights of steps; back over the dog-doo; on the subway; on the train to long island; in a car; and finally into the house, where it then fell face down onto the floor.

we ate it anyway.

*note: photo above is not of the fallen tart.

recipe: caramelized lemon tart with blueberries. (adapted from : caramelized lemon tart)


1 cup plus 2 tbs all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
7 tbs chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 egg yolk
1 tbs ice water


4 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tbs sugar
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/4 cup fresh blueberries, washed & dried.

powdered sugar.

for crust:

1. combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. add butter; cut in using on/off turns until mixture forms coarse crumbs.
2. mix yolk and ice water in small bowl. add to crumb mixture; process until dough begins to clump together.
3. press over bottom and up sides of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. trim edges. pierce crust all over with fork. chill 30 minutes.
4. preheat oven to 350°f. line crust with foil. fill with dried beans or pie weights (sharoni note: i use rice). bake until crust is set, about 20 minutes. remove foil and beans. continue baking until pale golden, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes longer. transfer crust to rack. maintain oven temperature.

for filling:

1.whisk eggs, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, cream and lemon juice in large bowl. scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; whisk to blend well.
2. sprinkle blueberries over tart crust. pour filling into tart shell.
3. bake tart until filling is set, about 40 minutes. transfer tart to rack and cool. refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours or overnight.
4. sift powdered sugar over tart and brulee (either under broiler for 1 minute, watching closely) or using your very own special blowtorch. *if caramelized under broiler, refrigerate tart for an extra 15 minutes prior to serving. (sharoni note: the tart should be well chilled prior to caramelizing the top, for maximum hardness)

5. eat and enjoy!