Recently I have been having a craving for pastry, specifically my homemade pastry. The sheer variety of this glorious casing provides me with endless recipes to choose from, but for this article, I shall be divulging one of my favourite uses: Lemon tart. This recipe utilises shortcrust pastry, arguably the best and most versatile form, with a lemon custard filling.
Ingredients for the shortcrust pastry:
175g plain flour
2 tbsp icing sugar
75g chilled unsalted butter
2 tbsp water at room temperature
Ingredients for the lemon filling:
125ml double cream
200 grams golden caster sugar
- To make the shortcrust pastry measure the flour into a medium-sized bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar and rub it in a little, then add the water. Bring it together in your hands to form a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
- Take out the pastry and roll it out on a floured surface with a rolling pin. Wrap the pastry around the rolling pin and then unravel over the top of a heavily buttered flan tin. Cover in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C in a fan oven. Take out the pastry and cover it with baking parchment and then fill it with baking beans or rice to prevent the pastry from rising in the oven during the blind bake. Once the oven has reached 180C place the pasty in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, then take away the baking parchment and beans/rice and proceed to bake for another 5 minutes.
- While the pastry is blind baking, make the filling. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the juice of six lemons and grated zest of two, along with the caster sugar and double cream. Whisk until everything is smooth and has a slightly yellow colour.
- Once the pastry has finished its blind baking, allow it to cool before pouring in all of the filling mixture. Place in the oven and bake for around 25 to 30 minutes, but keep a watchful eye. Once removed from the oven, the tart should be set but have a slight wobble. Leave to cool before serving. If you feel confident enough with the strength of your pastry, attempt to remove it from the tin, but I find serving it from the flan is perfectly acceptable.