Classic Lemon Tart
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
All good things begin by rubbing together a little butter and flour. Homemade pastry says 'hey man, I love you'. Well to me it does, anyway. We go through so much to put in on the table, in tact, not burnt and looking delicious. We cube butter, rub it into breadcrumbs, bring together to a dough, roll out and blind bake to form a pastry case. So many processes to go that extra mile. This tart is all about the extra mile. It's made with love and last weekend it was made for Mother's Day.
Lemon tart is one of my family's favourites. When my Dad and I were planning a menu for Mothering Sunday a couple of weeks ago we didn't have much of a decision on our hands. Lemon tart all the way. It's a favourite of my Mum's and always certain to be polished off by my sister. A winner all round. The recipe itself is a little time consuming, but is a labour of love for sure. And everyone will just adore you for bringing it to the table! It is also worth it. And it mean WORTH IT. Delicious, thick, creamy lemon filling held in a sweet, buttery, crumbly pastry case. Classic flavours come together to produce one of the most elegant tarts around. And if you're feeling super fancy, you should definitely serve it up as Tarte au Citron and put your cream into a jug rather than just whacking the pot down on the table. But however you chose to serve it, slice up generous portions - you can't skimp on this beauty.
I don't know if I can give this one anymore of an introduction, so shall we bake?
For Classic Lemon Tart you will need:
For the pastry:
250g plain flour
70g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, chilled
2 egg yolks
For the filling:
150ml double cream
140g caster sugar
3 lemons, juice and zest
icing sugar, to dust
tart tin 25cm wide, 3cm deep.
Begin by cubing the butter and then rubbing it together with the flour and icing sugar.
Add in the two egg yolks and mix together. If the dough isn't coming together add 1-2 tablespoons of chilled water and mix until a dough forms.
Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
Whilst your pastry is chilling, get to making your filling by cracking 5 eggs into a bowl.
Add in the cream and sugar.
Weirdly loving the close up of this shot. Food textures weirdo for sure.
Add in the lemon juice and beat together.
Now strain the mixture into a clean bowl. I know this seems like a time consuming faff but it really does make a difference and will leave you with a decadently smooth tart filling!
Then add in the lemon zest, stir through and set to one side.
Now roll out your dough.
Place into your tin.
Push the pastry into the corners of the dish.
Remove any excess.
Prick with a fork and chill for another 30 minutes.
Once chilled, blind bake (with parchment and baking beans) for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 160c.
Bake for a further 20 minutes without the parchment and beans until your have a biscuity base.
Pour in your filling and then bake for 20 - 35 minutes. You want this tart to be just set when you take it out. Overcook it and the filling will pull away from the sides. This doesn't alter the taste of the tart but is incredibly frustrating (trust me, I speak from experience!). So be careful when you bake. If you know your oven is particularly hot check the tart at 20 minutes - it might be done!
Once just set and delicious looking leave to cool and then serve at room temperature or chilled.
Finish with icing sugar (that I wasn't on the ball to photograph - probably because I had wine with dinner) and serve with a little creme fraiche, cream or simply on it's own. It's deliciously smooth and creamy and the homemade pastry is TO-DIE-FOR.
Love in a pastry case, for sure.