The lemon tart has a simplicity of flavour and texture that has made it a classic. The shortcrust pastry shell makes for a soft, buttery case that melts in the mouth. Serve this tart on its own or add a dollop of cream or top with citrus zest for extra indulgence.
- 550g frozen sweet shortcrust pastry, chilled
- 1 egg yolk
- 300g caster sugar
- lemon, finely grated
- 9 eggs (450g)
- 250ml lemon juice, strained
- 250ml thickened cream, (35 per cent milk fat)
- pure icing sugar, for dusting
For the tart shell
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place a 20 cm-diameter x 4 cm-deep dessert ring on top.
Follow the instructions for the shortcrust pastry and line the ring. Freeze the tart shell until very firm.
For the filling
Rub the lemon zest into the sugar to release the oils. Whisk the eggs together with the lemon zest and sugar mixture until foamy. Stir in the lemon juice, then the cream, and set aside for the proteins to begin breaking down while you blind bake the tart shell.
Blind bake the tart shell
Remove the tart shell from the freezer and line carefully with foil. Make sure the foil is flush with all the surfaces of the pastry. Remember any creases or spaces will result in faults in the shell.
Fill the shell all the way to the top with uncooked rice and fold the foil down around the edge of the ring. Bake the shell for about 20 minutes.
Flick the foil upwards and pull gently to release the steam. Bake for a further 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
Remove the foil and rice carefully and return to the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 130°C and continue baking until the tart shell is dry and golden brown all over.
Remove the shell. If there are any cracks, use a little of the pastry scraps and the beaten egg yolk to patch them up while the tart shell is still hot.
Bake the filling
Whisk the filling briefly and skim off any big bubbles. Return the shell to the oven and with the door open, pour the filling into the shell right to the top. Carefully close the oven door and bake undisturbed for 50 minutes.
Check the tart by gently wobbling the tray. If the filling still seems liquid, give it another 5–10 minutes.
Once cooked, cool the tart for 10 minutes before trimming the overhanging pastry from the rim. Allow it to cool completely before lifting off the ring. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.
Recipe taken from PS Desserts by Philippa Sibley
PS Desserts is the dessert lover's bible. With a comprehensive, step-by-step section explaining basic techniques such as making puff pastry, chocolate sponge, meringue, crème patisserie, panna cotta and ice creams and sorbets, as well as a chocolate section on ganache and decorations. With full-colour photography detailing each step, the basics section is an invaluable resource. The recipe section follows on from the techniques, with delicious recipes that are sure to become instant favourites, including classics like lemon tart and tiramisu and signature dishes such as raspberry and chocolate delice brownie ice cream and pineapple doughnuts.
You can buy PS Desserts at cooked.com.
Published by Hardie Grant Books.
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