Marianne's famous Lemon Tart recipe, translated.

Due to popular demand (not in the comments section, I grant you – note to all the non-commenters out there, I wouldn't draw attention to myself if I were you. Let it pass!) we are now offering an English translation of Marianne's lemon tart recipe. We are working on the Japanese translation and it should come any time soon now.

250g flour
125g butter
2 eggs
30g sugar

Translator's note: you'd probably worked that one out. It's the grammes vs ounces thing that bothers you. Or the grammes vs cups if you're American. Well you'll just have to work that one out. Basically you take some flour, some butter a bit of sugar and a couple of eggs and you mix it all up. I'd leave the eggs out if I were you – do you know how much harder it is to make pastry with eggs? It's really hard to spread it afterwards. I think M. is trying to trip you here. Author's note : I am so not. If you don't add the eggs, it won't be as good.

The lemony thing on top.
2 lemons
2 eggs
75 g butter
20 g corn flour
230g sugar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
(TN: the tablespoons aren't American measures. They're just tablespoons.)

1-Take off your rings.
(TN: unless you're baking a cake for a Prince Charming and hoping he'll find the ring and want to marry you).
Mix all the ingredients for the pastry into a ball. Hit the damn thing! Get it before it gets you! Cover it with cling film, or gladwrap depending on which hemisphere you're cooking from, and bang it in the fridge for a while.
(TN: some freedom of interpretation here, but I think I got the general spirit. AN : She did).

2 - Pre-heat the oven at 180C, but you cannot go and have a coffee while it's heating as there is plenty more to do.
(TN: 180C = X F. You work it out. It's also gas mark something, again you work it out. If your oven is like mine and only has on and off settings, it doesn't matter much anyway. Also, if you're not French you may not be wanting to go out and buy a coffee, you may think you have time to nip down the pub for a quick pint, or to the mall for a latte – you don't. And also if you're cooking in the morning the pub might not be open).

3 -Grate the skin of the lemon (mind your fingers: you could hurt yourself badly, and also, it's a lemon tart, not a finger tart), and squeeze the fruit. It's best to use a juicer for that. Or ask someone who didn't just cut their fingers with the grate.
(TN: you can ask your children, they like squeezing lemons. Or even better, ask them to grate the lemon for you, that way you don't hurt your fingers).

4 - Beat the eggs and the sugar until fluffy; add the melted butter, the corn flour, and the lemon juice, and beat them all together. (TN: that should be pretty straightforward!)

5 - Roll out the pastry, and pierce it with a fork.
(TN: Ah, that's where you realise it's just not going to work because it's so damn hard to roll out egg pastry! I would love to know how many a cook has committed suicide because they could not roll out their egg pastry. Or gone out to buy the ready rolled out frozen kind, or a cake from the patisserie – just leave out the eggs I tell you! AN : Do not buy ready rolled pastry. Just do as I say for Christ's sake and ignore the translator!!)

6 - And the cherry on top (no, there is no cherry, it's just figure of speech!): the meringue. Once the tart is cooked, beat 3 egg whites very firmly together and add 50g of very fine sugar, while beating. Cover the tart with it, and draw a pretty picture with a knife, and put it in a very hot oven for 5 minutes. You can have your coffee, now, but drink it IN FRONT of the oven.
(TN: So M. didn't actually say we had to cook the tart did she? I don't think it's a trick, as it would be a bit gooey raw. So I'd bang it in the oven for half hour or so. AN : Oh my! I forgot!! Cook it for 40 minutes!!Or until it smells cooked – which is what it smells like just before it starts smelling burnt. If you've got one of these ovens with a proper seal on the door you might not be able to smell it. In that case, better be scientific about it and ask Marianne how long it takes. Also, the advice re:coffee only works if it's an expresso. You won't have time to drink anything bigger and then it will get cold.)

7 - Leave the tart to cool now ( you can go out for your coffee/ nip down the pub for a quick one / go to the mall and buy a latte) and bang it in the fridge.

So now you know exactly how much work is involved – how good does it look? A bit scary? Or are you the kind of person who thinks very little of beating egg whites and rolling out egg pastry? Let us know!

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