You may have already guessed, but lemons are my FAVOURITE ingredient to bake with! There are so many Lemon Tart recipes around, but I love this one for its simplicity and the fact I don’t need to remember to buy cream!
I’m also a big fan of making pavlova and meringues, so tend to make this Lemon Tart recipe around the same time to use the leftover yolks. I’ve been using this recipe for so many years I can’t remember where I first got it from – but it’s definitely yum! It’s great either as a large tart to slice up, or as mini tartlets to serve at a party.
This makes a fairly large tart, but I find it’s worth it as always gets eaten so quickly!
- Sweet Short Pastry, approx 400g (I use a frozen sheet, defrosted – or see recipe below)
- 4 tbsp water
- 4 tbsp cornflour
- 2/3 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4+ tsp grated lemon zest
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- 100g butter
- 6 egg yolks
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Line a 26cm greased tart tin with pre-made sweet short pastry* or follow the pastry recipe below. Chill for approx. 30 mins. Blind bake for about 15 mins, then remove the baking beads and cook further until the pastry is golden brown. (NB. The tart doesn’t get cooked again, so the pastry needs to reach a deep golden colour.) Leave to cool.
- In a cup, mix 4 tbsp water with 4 tbsp of cornflour to make a paste.
- In a large saucepan, add 2/3 cup caster sugar to 1 cup water. Heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add 4 tsp grated lemon zest and 2/3 cup lemon juice, and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Mix in the cornflour paste – keep stirring to avoid lumps. The mixture will thicken up quite quickly – keep stirring over low heat for another two minutes.
- Take the saucepan off the heat, stir in 6 egg yolks and 100g butter.
- Because lemons vary in sweetness now’s the time to taste test! If the mixture isn’t ‘lemony’ enough add more lemon zest. I like mine super zingy! If the mixture is too sharp – sieve in some icing sugar to sweeten. (Don’t add caster sugar at this stage as the sugar won’t have time to dissolve).
- Pour into the coooked tart case and chill.
*Sometimes I make my own pastry (because really, it’s not that hard). Other times, I just feel life’s too short! Depends on how much time I have, the recipe, and my mood…
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:
- 175g plain flour
- 100g cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 25g icing sugar
- 1 egg yolk*
- 1 tbsp cold water
- Make the pastry by combining the flour, butter and icing sugar in a stand mixer or using a hand-mixer. Combine until the mix forms breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolk and a tablespoon of water, pulse again until the mixture clumps together in a dough. (Add a dash more water if needed).
- Tip onto lightly floured benchtop and knead until smooth. Roll out the pastry until it’s just bigger than the size of the dish. Lightly spray the dish with cooking oil, then line with the pastry, and put into the fridge to rest for 30 mins. Pre-heat the oven to 200°/180° fan.
- Remove the dish from the fridge, and lightly prick the base all over with a fork. Place a piece of greaseproof paper onto the pastry, and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for 12-15 mins until pale golden.
- Remove the beans and paper, and put back into the oven until the pastry case is a lovely golden brown. (The tart doesn’t go back unto the oven, so this is the final cooking stage).
- Leave to cool while you make the lemon filling above.
- You use an entire egg, rather than just the egg yolk if you prefer. Using just the yolk however, makes for a crisper base.
- Pricking the base with a fork stops the base from puffing up so much because any trapped air is able to escape.
- Blind baking stops the filling seeping into the base, creating a soggy bottom!
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