Lemon Tart

A simple delicious lemon tart. A classic recipe that’s pretty easy to make. You could buy pastry but you will benefit from making your own sweet shortcrust pastry. And, you can feel a bit sanctimonious when your guests ask….
The pastry uses egg rather than water. This means the pastry shrinks less when baked blind.
You will need a tart dish, with a removable base, and about 22-24cm in diameter.

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar to sweeten the pastry
  • 100g chilled butter in cubes
  • 1 beaten egg

Lemon Tart Filling

  • 3 eggs
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, which you can later juice below
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 3 medium lemons, juice only
  • 1 medium orange, juice only, For juicy larger oranges just add half the orange juice.

Pastry Method

  1. Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl
  2. Cube the butter into 1cm cubes and add to the flour
  3. Either use a food processor or a Kitchenaid, or your fingers, to rub the butter into the flour till it is like sand.
  4. Gradually add the beaten egg till the pastry just begins to come together, you don’t want to make it too wet.
  5. Work it briefly with your hands into a ball, wrap it in cling film, squash it flat, and then refrigerate to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to about 170C fan.
  7. Remove from the fridge and roll to a thin sheet between two pieces of cling film. When it is big enough to cover the tart dish use the cling film to guide the pastry into the dish.
  8. Ease the pastry into the corners by lifting the edges and feeding down into the dish, Don’t stretch the base as it will tear or later shrink. Trim around the top of the tart dish. Keep the trimmings in the fridge in case you need to patch holes later.
  9. Put some baking paper in the dish and fill with baking beans or rice to keep the base flat.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes before removing the baking paper and beans. Leave it cooking for another 5 minutes to cook the base properly. Watch it’s not getting too dark, and turn down or remove if it is.
  11. While the case is cooking make the filling.

Filling Method

  1. Adjust your oven to 150C fan
  2. Add the eggs, sugar and lemon zest to a bowl. Whisk them for a minute till well mixed.
  3. Add the cream and juice and stir to mix
  4. If the mix is frothy you can skim off the bubbles to make it look cleaner.
  5. Place the cooked case in the oven (still in its dish), pulling the tray forward so you can fill it.
  6. Pour the filling into the case taking care not to spill over.
  7. Bake until the filling just has a gentle wobble, which should take about 20-30 minutes. Check it from 20 minutes. It continues “cooking” when you take it out, so a soft wobble will firm up.
  8. Take it out to cool.
You can dust lemon tart with icing sugar when cooled. I think it’s best served at room temperature. Serve with whatever you fancy like vanilla ice cream, lightly whipped cream, or some creme fraiche.

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