This recipe was given to me by a friend, Kathleen Forrest, and I adore it because it’s really light and creamy, and not quite as heavy and intense as many other lemon tarts, yet it is still wonderfully fresh and zesty.
- 175g (7ozs) flour
- 100g (4ozs) butter (from the fridge)
- 25g (1oz) sugar
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- pinch of salt
- a little water
- 3 eggs
- 125g (5ozs) granulated sugar
- juice and finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 100ml (4fl ozs) cream
- Grease a 22cm (9 inch) fluted pastry tin with a little butter
- First, make the pastry and blind bake.
- Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl.
- Cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour until mixture is like crumbs.
- Add the sugar and gently mix in with a fork.
- Drizzle in the egg yolk and lightly stir it into the mixture with a knife until the mixture sticks. If the mixture does not come together, then add a teaspoon or two of water.
- Roll out the pastry into a round about 2cms (3/4) thick, cover and chill for at least 45 minutes in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
- When you are ready to roll the pastry, remove from the fridge. Place the pastry between two sheets of cling film, which should be bigger than your tart tin. Using a rolling pin, roll it out until it’s no thicker than 3mm (1/8 inch). Make sure to keep it round, if the tin is round, and large enough to line the base and sides of the tin.
- Remove the top layer of cling film, place the pastry upside-down (cling film side facing up) in the tart tin. Press into the edges, cling film still attached and, using your thumb, “cut” the pastry on the edge of the tin to give a neat finish. Remove the cling film and pop the pastry in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
- Blind baking is a way of partially cooking a pastry case before adding its filling. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper when cold (leaving plenty to come up the sides), fill with baking beans or dried pulses (you can use these over and over), and bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the pastry feels dry.
- Remove the paper and beans, brush with a little leftover beaten egg and return to the oven for 2 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and put to one side while you prepare the filling. This can easily be made a day in advance.When the pastry is cooked, remove from the oven and lower the heat in the oven to 125°C/250°F/Gas Mark 1/2.
Next make the filling.
- Place the eggs and sugar in a bowl, and using an electric mixer, whisk until pale and creamy (about 10 minutes), you can also do this in a food processor.
- Add in the lemon juice and zest, and mix for another 5 minutes, then pour in the cream and mix for a further 5 minutes. Skim off any froth from the top of the mixture.
- Pour the filling into the cooked pastry case in the tin, carefully so it does not spill, (sometimes I pour in the filling when it is actually sitting on a rack in the oven to avoid spilling it). Return to the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until the filling has just set in the centre.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the tart from the tin and transferring to a plate or cake stand. When it’s cool, dredge icing sugar over the top, and cut into slices to serve.