Lovely Lemon Tart

This is my go-to recipe. My go-to when I need a birthday cake, go-to when I need a dessert for a dinner party that I need to be able to make the day before because I’m busy, go-to when I have a friend who is down in the dumps and needs a tasty treat, go-to when I want to spoil The Chef as it’s his favourite (and mine).

I have adapted the recipe over the years from the Australian chef Guy Grossi’s fabulous italian book ‘Grossi Florentino – Secrets and Recipes’.

With a delightfully smooth lemon cream and sweet short pastry, this tart is indulgent, satisfying and…just perfect.

Recipe

Ingredients Filling

  • 11 eggs
  • Grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
  • 200grams caster sugar
  • 300ml cream

Ingredients Pastry

  • 250grams unsulted butter
  • 500grams flour
  • 325 grams castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked with a pinch of salt)

Method

  • To make the pastry, run the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  • In a seperate bowl, whisk the eggs, the yolk and the sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the salt and lemon zest to the sugar/egg mixture, then add this to the flour mixture.
  • Do not overwork, but mix the liquid ingredients into the flour until it comes together into a ball of pastry.
  • Refrigerate for 30 mins.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Grease a 24cm x 5 cm deep springform tin.
  • On a floured work surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll our the dough to the thickness of 5mm.
  • Line the tin with the pastry. Cut of any excess dough with a sharp knife, and patch up any holes with the leftover pastry.
  • Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Line the pastry with foil and fill with rice or dried beans to blind bake the pastry, although this isn’t absolutely necessary. Neglecting this step will just mean the pastry will rise very slightly and won’t be absolutely even but this is ok.
  • Bake the pastry shell for 15 minutes, remove from the oven.
  • Brush the pastry with the egg wash (1 egg whisked with a pinch of salt).
  • Return to the oven for 3-4 minutes until the egg gas set which will seal the tart case.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 100 degrees celsius.
  • To make the filling, whisk the eggs. Then add the juice and sugar and whisk until well combined.
  • Fold the cream through the egg and lemon mixture.
  • Gently pour the filling into the tart case and bake for 1 hour 30 mins on the bottom shelf of the oven until just set.
  • The tart should have a slight wobble in the very centre when you shake the tin back and forth.
  • Allow to cook for several hours before serving.

Extras

  • Oranges also work well as a substitute for lemons, although you will need to cut the sugar in the filling by half.
  • There may be extra pastry left over. This can be frozen for later use, or can be rolled out to make biscuits (bake for approximately 10 minutes on 180 degrees).
  • The tart may crack after cooling, which means that the oven was too hot. It’s ok, just make a note of it for next time.

 

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