I was once told by a restaurateur that there are two types of women; the ones that will always order the chocolate fondant and the ones who can’t resist a lemon tart. I am firmly in the latter camp.
Lemon tart is quite possibly my favourite dessert ever, so I’m pretty fussy. I like it really citrusy. I need the acidity to cut through the sweetness. The pastry should not be too thick . Sometimes I like to use a combination of lemons and limes – whatever I have on hand.
This is my tried and true recipe – I hope you like it.
260g Plain flour
40g Icing sugar
210g cold unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
200ml lemon juice (or a mixture or lemon and lime)
7 eggs, lightly beaten
280g Castor sugar
1 cup pure cream
Sift the flour, a pinch of salt and icing sugar into a bowl. Grate the butter over the top and using your fingertips, run in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the flour mixture. Combine 1 egg yolk and 1/4 cup of cold water. Gradually pour in egg mixture and using your fingertips, gently mix until the mixture comes together. Using the palm of your hand, push the mixture away from you across the bench, then repeat two or three times to form a soft dough. Work quickly or the butter starts to melt and things can get sticky! Bring the pastry together to form a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll out pastry between two sheets of baking paper until it’s about 1cm thick and line a 28cm flan tin with removable base. Prick the pastry with a fork then refrigerate again for another hour.
Line pastry with baking paper and fill with dried beans or rice and bake blind at 180C for 15 minutes. Remove paper and beans. brush the base with remaining beaten egg yolk and cook for a further 10 minutes or until pastry is golden and dry.
For the filling, combine all ingredients in a heatproof bowl over simmering water and stir until the sugar is melted. Pour into the hot tart shell and bake at 130C for 20-25 minutes or until just set.
Stand for 1 hour before serving. Dust with icing sugar and serve with cream.