Lemon tart

Serves: 6
Course: Dessert
Cooking Time: 1 hr 0 mins
  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g cold butter, diced small
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1tsp cold water, if needed
  • 3 unwaxed lemons
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 125ml cream

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan, or equivalent. Grease a 20cm loose-bottomed tart tin (not less than 2.5cm deep).

2. To make the pastry, sieve the flour into a bowl. Add the diced butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar. With a dinner knife, work in the egg yolk then bring together to a firm dough (add a little water if it appears very dry, to help the mixture come together). Shape into a flat disc. Wrap in clingfilm and chill the pastry for 20 minutes.

3. Roll the pastry out thinly to a 2mm thickness on a lightly floured work surface and use it to line the greased tart tin. Lightly prick the pastry base with a fork.

4. To bake the pastry blind, cover the pastry with parchment paper and fill with baking beans (or uncooked rice, dry beans or even dry lentils). Place in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is light golden in colour. Remove the beans and paper and cook for a further four to five minutes, or until the base is dry and crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside.

5. To make the lemon tart filling: using a fine zest grater (or microplane), finely grate the zest from two of the lemons before squeezing the juice from all three (ensure that you are only grating the outer zest and not grating through to the bitter white pith).

6. In a mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest and caster sugar. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.

7. Whisk the eggs into the lemon mixture. Next, stir in the cream until fully incorporated, without overwhisking and creating too much foam.

8. Pour the filling carefully into the baked pastry base (an easy way is to half-fill the pastry case, then use a jug to top it up once it is sitting on the oven rack).  Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the filling is just set (with no wobble in the centre).

Variation: You can also bake six individual lemon tarts in 10cm mini tartlet tins.