Monday, September 1, 2014

Lemon tart

Lemon tart. Photos by Steve Shanahan
Tarte au citron. This French classic, provides a light, tangy finish to a meal or as an indulgent treat at any time of the day or night. 

Pastry
250g plain flour
100g chilled unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
2 to 3 tbsp chilled water
pinch of salt

Place the flour, butter and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks while still blending, then the water until the mixture comes together. Stop as soon as the mixture comes together as further blending will toughen the pastry.

Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface, to fit the base and sides of a butter-greased twenty-four centimetre loose base fluted tart tin. Once the tart tin is lined with the pastry, place it in the freezer for twenty minutes. This will provide a better result.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

To prebake the pastry shell, place the tart pastry in the preheated oven and bake unfilled for about ten minutes, until just cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Reduce oven to 150C.

Lemon tart filling
3 large lemons
6 eggs
250g caster sugar
200ml cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Icing sugar to dust

Zest and juice the lemons. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar until well combined. Add the lemon zest, juice, cream and vanilla paste, whisking well till all combined.

Place the pre-baked pastry shell and tin on an oven tray. Pour the lemon and egg mixture into the pastry shell. Bake the lemon tart in the preheated oven for about thirty minutes or until just set and still wobbly. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin. To remove the tart from the sides of the tin, place the baked tart in the tin over a cup or glass and carefully push down on the tin using both hands to support the tart. The tart tin should come away from the tart. The tart cuts better when cooled and can also be placed in the fridge to speed up the cooling process before cutting.