Classic lemon tart

Classic lemon tart

By
From
Desserts
Serves
8

For me, this is a true chef’s pudding. Pastry chefs would always choose this from a restaurant menu as it sorts the men from the boys. It shows how far you dare go in getting the filling thick and the pastry thin, because if the tart splits during baking, you’ll spend all day cleaning the oven! Use plenty of icing sugar on the glaze.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
10 eggs
380g caster sugar
500ml double cream
8 lemons, zested and juiced
butter, for greasing
225g Rich shortcrust pastry, made using icing sugar to make it sweet

To serve:

Quantity Ingredient
100g mild goat’s cheese
50ml double cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
a little whipped cream

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. To make the filling, break the eggs into a bowl and whisk gently to break up the yolks. Add the sugar and continue to mix, then add the cream and the lemon juice, but not the zest. Pass the mixture through a sieve, add the lemon zest and leave to one side.
  3. Butter a 20cm plain, loose-bottomed flan tin with softened butter and roll out the pastry between two wooden rulers (if you have some) to get a thin but even depth to the pastry. Carefully roll the pastry back onto the rolling pin, lift over the tin and roll the pastry back over the tin very loosely. If you don’t leave plenty of slack, the pastry will rip or shrink too much when cooking. Tuck the pastry down the sides of the tin, pressing into the bottom edge well, but be careful not to tear or stretch the pastry. Don’t trim the pastry.
  4. Line the tart with a circle of greaseproof paper that is bigger than the tart and allows the paper to rise above the ring. Fill the tart with either baking beans, rice or ceramic baking beans. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and remove the beans and greaseproof paper, then place back in the oven to colour the bottom of the tart. This should only take 3–4 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven down to 100°C. Pour in the lemon mix to reach the top of the tart and bake for about 1 hour until the tart is only just set. Remove from the oven and trim off the edges of the pastry. Leave to cool for about 1 hour.
  7. To make the accompanying cream, mix the goat’s cheese with the double cream and icing sugar.
  8. To serve, dust the tart with plenty of icing sugar and grill under a hot grill to caramelize the top. Remove from the grill and cut into wedges and serve with a spoonful of the cream.
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