Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Lemon Tart



Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Ummmmm... I think you'll find if you add sugar to the juice along with eggs and cream and pour it all into a buttery, crumbly pastry shell, it's plenty edible.

Lemon Tart
from Laura Calder's French Food At Home
For the Pastry:
185g flour
110g cold butter, cut into pieces 
55g caster sugar 
2 egg yolks 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the flour and the butter with your fingers, or in the food processor, until it turns into fine crumbs. Mix in sugar. Finally add egg yolks and vanilla and mix just until it comes together into a ball. Pat into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Roll out as thin as you can and line a 25cm tart tin leaving an over-hang of pastry around the tin. The thinner the pastry, the more delicate the end result. It also means you have less chance of soggy, under-cooked pastry. I find rolling pastry out between two sheets of baking paper makes it easier to handle. Chill again for 30 minutes before baking. Put baking paper inside shell and fill the shell with dried beans. Put the tin on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven set at 200 degrees C for 12 minutes. Then, remove the baking paper and beans and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes at 180 degree C, just until crust is beginning to show colour. Cut the over-hanging pastry off, leaving a clean edge.

For the Filling:
2 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
155g  caster sugar, more to taste
175 ml lemon Juice (about 4 lemons)
150 ml crème fraiche

Heat the oven to 160 degrees C.

Beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a bowl. Add the lemon juice. Whisk in the cream.

Strain the mixture through a sieve into a jug. Skim off any surface foam, and pop any bubbles. Pour from the jug to the shell. I find it easier to pour from a jug rather than sieving it directly into the pastry shell.

Bake until just set, about 30 minutes.

Let cool before serving.

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