I recently posted about making lemon slice. It was pretty much my favourite lemon thing I’d ever made. Well I’ve surpassed the slice, and have beaten it with the best lemon tart ever. There are lots of steps, but if I can make it, it can’t be too hard. And it’s just as good as the one from the cafe. Wow.
- 300g plain flour
- 150g butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 120g icing sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- Seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 egg for the egg wash
- Finely grated zest and juice of 5 lemons
- 300ml double cream
- 390g castor sugar
- 9 large eggs(!)
- 1 large egg yolk
- Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, butter and salt on low speed until it becomes sand like in texture (2-3 minutes).
- In the meantime, combine the icing sugar and egg yolks in small bowl.
- Add the vanilla seeds and lemon zest to the egg yolk mixture and then add to the bowl in the mixer and continue to mix on low speed until fully combined and a very soft dough has formed (3-5 minutes).
- Mould the dough into a flat rectangle and wrap it in cling wrap before placing in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Roll the pastry between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 2mm, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC. Line a 26cm tart tin with the pastry making sure to press it into the edges and leaving the pastry hanging over the edge.
- Take a sheet of baking paper and scrunch it up several times to eliminate any sharp edges. Prick the dough with a fork all over the surface. Place the baking paper on top and add enough coins (I used rice) to fill the casing ¼ of the way up. Place in the preheated oven to bake for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
- In the meantime, mix some of the leftover dough with an egg using a hand blender.
- After 20 minutes, remove the baking paper and coins and, using a pastry brush, brush the entire surface of the tart with the dough and egg mixture. This ‘liquid pastry’ will ensure that any holes will be sealed. Return the tart to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 120ºC. Place the baked pastry case in the oven to warm up.
- Put all the filling ingredients into a bowl and mix together using a spatula. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and allow to warm up until the temperature reaches 60ºC. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug. With a spoon, remove the bubbles from the surface of the liquid.
- Slide the oven rack out a bit, then pour the mixture into the warm pastry case inside the oven. Fill the case to the top, slide the rack carefully back in, and bake the tart for about 25 minutes or until the temperature of the filling reaches 70ºC. Allow to cool completely to room temperature.
- Just before serving, trim the overhanging pastry by running a sharp knife round the top of the tart tin and discard.
Here’s a picture of my finished tart, such a lovely bright yellow!
I did have a few mishaps making this tart. I wasn’t very good at moulding the pastry to the tin – it was a bit frozen and I broke it. Then my patched up job wasn’t as strong as it could have been, so the overhanging edges fell off onto the tray below and burned, and the leftover edges burned too. Then, when I was filling the pastry case with the filling mixture, half the lemon mixture spilled out onto the open oven door and the tray below. Despite all of this, it turned out beautifully!