This recipe is an old one which I have published before in my newspaper column. Several friends of mine asked me if I could post it on my main blog, so here it is, including my original preamble…
When I used to live in Bermuda, I was lucky enough to be able to pad barefoot to the bottom of the garden overlooking the ocean and pick oranges, lemons and grapefruits for breakfast. The strong citrus fragrance hung in the air despite the gentle sea breeze.
That kind of fresh zestiness is what I seek to create when making a lemon tart.
French Lemon Tart (serves 8-10) © Kevin Ashton 2003
Pastry: yield = (27cm) flan dish* that is 4cm deep
12oz Plain Flour
6 oz Butter
3 oz Icing sugar
zest of 1 large lemons
1 egg beaten
1 tbsp of cold water
1.) Rub butter with flour, then add the icing sugar & lemon zest, until you achieve a sandy texture.
2.) Fold in beaten egg and lightly bring the pastry together, let the pastry rest for 30 minutes before using.
3.) Roll pastry evenly but as thin as possible. Don’t trim edges.
4.) Make a paper circle from baking parchment paper (slightly bigger than the flan dish/quiche dish)
5.) Place circle onto pastry then weigh the paper down with 4 oz (120 grams) uncooked rice, this is called “blind baking”.
6.) Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes at gas mark 7 until light straw colour.
7.) Remove paper circle & rice carefully not to spill rice onto pastry then put pastry back
into the oven for a further 5 minutes but turn the oven down to gas mark 4.
5 whole free-range large eggs
5 fl oz double cream (lightly whipped)
zest & juice of 3 lemons
5 oz castor sugar
1.) Whisk eggs, sugar & lemon zest (not juice) until very pale in colour.
2.) Gently stir in lemon juice ,then fold in the whipped cream lightly.
3.) Pour the custard mix carefully into the pastry case then bake in a low oven for at least 45 min
at gas mark 4 until it is set and lightly browned. * Place the lemon tart on the lowest shelf so it
does not brown too fast.
4.) When set & lightly brown remove from oven and lightly dust with icing sugar, standing dish on
a wire rack if you have one.
5.) Serve with creme fraiche & fresh raspberries.
Letting the pastry rest before rolling it out to prevents it from shrinking.
Try rolling the pastry between two sheets of cling film so you can roll it thinner
(you may have to overlap several pieces of cling film to make it large enough to do this).
*I know lots of chefs recommend metal flan tins for lemon tarts but I prefer to use a ceramic dish if the tart in question requires blind baking. This is because a ceramic dish heats up more slowly creating a perfect crust every time. The depth is also important
If you don’t currently own a flan dish here is a good one.
And if you really want to treat yourself and help your pastry making, consider buying a marble pastry board like this one if you are in the UK, or if you are in the US, maybe this one . Granite or marble help to keep the pastry cold as you roll it. You’ll use less flour to dust your pastry and it is less likely that your pastry will stick at the critical moment.
Don’t forget to visit my other blogs
Easy & Cheap Student Recipes-A great resource if you are a student or just learning how to cook.
All Recipes, articles and photos are the property of Kevin Ashton unless stated ©Kevin Ashton