Why Lemon Tart
I just love lemons, and this classic, yet simple dessert is a must to try.
The crisp, buttery pastry; the beautifully yellow filling that while ever so creamy, still has that ever important tartness. For all lemon lovers, heaven awaits in the shape of this tart.
1 egg (for brushing)
200g caster sugar
200ml double cream
3 lemons, finely grated zest and juice
Icing sugar for dusting
300 g (2 cups) plain flour
110 g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 egg yolks
For the Pastry. Place the flour and sugar in a food processor, and while on add the cubed cold butter until the flour mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of iced water till the dough comes together. Take out and form into a ball. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
After an hour roll the pastry to roughly 5 mm thick and big enough to fit a 22 cm (26 cm including the depth) deep fluted tart tin with a removable base. Prick the pastry with a fork and cover with baking paper. Fill the tart with dried beans or ceramic balls and blind bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.
Beat the 1 egg with a fork and brush the inside of the tart case. Place in oven for bake for 1-2 minutes till the egg has set somewhat like a varnish or lacquer. This will prevent the lemon filling from making the pastry soggy later.
For the Filling
Place the eggs, sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until light in colour and texture. Add the cream and strain lemon juice and zest. Pour into the tart shell and bake at 150 degrees Celsius for 15 min, or until just set in the middle.
For an alternative turn this gorgeous tart into a lemon meringue pie by adding an Italian meringue to the top. Here is a recipe for a simple Italian meringue.
3 egg whites at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Combine ingredients in a metal bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on a low speed for 4-5 minutes. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick peaks form. This will take about 4 minutes. The eggwhites should be no more than 60-70 degrees Celsius. Remove the bowl from saucepan and beat for another 4 minutes. Pipe or spoon the meringue onto the tart. If desired, brown with a kitchen blow torch.