I’ve never made a tart before…. *shock*gasp*horror*
I know…. I think I’ve kinda been putting it off, cause I don’t really like them, and I know they can be tricky little creatures, or big creatures for that matter. I’ve always made jam tarts, very tiny, very easy, jam tarts, literally just with a blob of jam in the middle, no work involved really.
However a rare moment happened a few weeks ago. My Grandad and Dad came into the kitchen, placed a magazine in front of me, with a recipe for a lemon tart spread across two pages. My eyes immediately went to the corner where there was an alternative salted caramel chocolate tart…. Now that was my cup of tea!
But, alas, after much dispute, it was decided I was to make this tart, not for me, not with chocolate, and not with great happiness, but for Grandad and Dad.
It was actually really simple to make, I just needed SO MANY EGGS! Apart from the slight horror of using up almost all of the eggs in my cupboard, I warmed to the idea of a challenge and something new. That’s what bakers do right?!
After lots of prep and waiting for things to cool and carefully swaying a tray full of tart into the oven (boy was that a challenge) I actually kinda maybe potentially made a pretty sweet pie tart thingy.
I don’t really like lemon (much prefer orange), but it wasn’t too bad at all. The pastry could have been better, but I suppose that comes with experience, as well as the right amount of mixing and whisking with the filling. In fact I’m sure there are nicer and more fancy recipes out there for lemon tarts, but I liked the simplicity of this one (if I remember correctly, I believe it was a French recipe) and thought it was pretty good for innocent tart beginners like myself. Obviously I will be making a chocolate-y one soon enough….
But I wanted to share, as my Grandad and Dad thoroughly enjoyed it, as did I with the rustic appearance (I like imperfect things!).
Hope you enjoy and have a fabulous weekend ❤
Rustic Lemon Tart (serves around 6-8)
For the sweet pastry:
120g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
75g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
2 egg yolks
250g plain flour
2 tbsp water
For the lemon filling:
150g caster sugar
85ml lemon juice, around 3 lemons
2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
150ml double cream
- To make the pastry: In a large bowl, cream the butter and icing sugar together, then beat in 2 of the egg yolks. Add the flour and rub the mixture with your fingers, creating a breadcrumb texture. Add the water (if you need it) and form a ball with the mixture. Knead the pastry on a lightly floured surface (try not to overwork the pastry otherwise it will be too hard – I knead for around 1 minute). Wrap in cling film and chill for around 30-60 minutes
- Making the lemon cream: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and cream. Sieve and then add the zest. Place in the fridge to cool
- Take out the pastry and roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a circle, around 3mm thick. Here comes the tricky part! Roll the pastry over the rolling pin and unroll it over a (I used 24cm) loose-bottom tart tin. Gently tuck into the bottom edges of the tin so it fits nice and tightly. Cut off any excess (I wasn’t too bothered about a neat tart – hence the adjective rustic!). If you have any particularly loose or thin parts, use the excess pastry and press gently into rough areas to create a nice snug fit. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes
- Cooking the pastry: Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Now line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, pushing them against the side. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and lift out both greaseproof paper and beans. Return the pastry to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes
- Cooking the lemon cream: Turn the oven down to 150°C/ 275°F/Gas Mark 1. Pour the lemon mixture into your pastry base and carefully place it into the oven (CAREFULLY!). Bake for around 35-40 minutes, until just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes, then dredge icing sugar around the edge of the tart. Remove the tart from the tin and place on a serving plate. Enjoy!