As many of you will already know I really enjoy anything that has a lemon flavour. So this Lemon Tart, or Tarte au Citron is a surefire winner for me.
The tart has a lovely crisp biscuit-like tart shell and is then filled with a thick lemon custard that sets up well in the fridge to deliver a really nice tart which slices well and tastes fantastic.
Although the recipe takes a while, as I like to thoroughly chill the pastry dough, it is actually quite simple to make. It does require attention all the while though, when making the lemon custard, as it has to be whisked constantly to ensure that the eggs don’t scramble as they are cooked.
But having made the tart shell and the custard it only remains to pour the the filling into the shell and then to allow it to set up, in the fridge before serving.
The time taken is well worth the wait as my lemon tart tasted so good, sharp but sweet and with a lovely crunch to the pastry.
Pies and Tarts are a favourite of mine I particularly like Fresh Fruit & Mascarpone Tart.
for the pastry:
- 250g(1 2/3 cups) plain flour, or cake/pastry flour
- 100g(3/4 cups) icing sugar
- 125(1 sticks + 1 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 medium egg(large in USA) also cold
- 1/4 tsp salt.
for the filling:
- 160g(2/3 cups) lemon juice
- 200g(1 cup) caster sugar, granulated is fine
- 270(2 sticks + 3 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 medium eggs(large in USA)
- zest from 2 lemons
- Put the flour, icing sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor(you can do this by hand in a large bowl)
- Add the butter and pulse(or rub between your fingers) until the mixture has become like fine sand or breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and process(mix together) until the mixture begins to clump together.
- Tip out onto some plastic wrap and use your hands to pull the mixture into a dough, it should easily press into a large ball.
- Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Chill in the fridge for two hours.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a diameter of about 12 inches.
- Place the rolled dough into a 9 inch/23 cm tart tin and press onto the base and around the fluted edge.
- Cut off the excess dough.
- Prick all over the base of the dough with a fork
- Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Take the tart tin from the fridge and line the inside of the base with parchment paper, and then fill with baking beans.
- Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes.
- Remove the baking beans and parchment paper and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Place the sugar and lemon zest into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the eggs and whisk to combine.
- Add the lemon juice and whisk to combine.
- Place the bowl onto a pan of simmering water, ensuring that the water doesn’t reach the base of the bowl.
- Heat the mixture, whisking all the time, until it thickens nicely. The temperature will be about 81C/177F when the mixture is thick enough.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to another bowl.
- Allow the mixture to cool until it is about 60C/140F.
- Add the butter, a little at a time and whisk each time until fully incorporated.
- When all the butter has been fully whisked in pour the mixture into the tart shell.
- Shake the tart gently to level off the lemon custard.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and then place in the fridge to set up.