Lemon tart

Herself’s lemon tart

Use a loose-based flan tin, 8 inch (20 cm) diameter for the smaller quantity, or, for the larger quantity, two 7 inch (18 cm) tins or one 9 inch (22 cm) tin; the shallower the better.  The pastry burns easily, and with a shallow tin, the filling comes up higher, so less of the pastry is exposed in the oven.

Almond Pastry
Two 7″ tarts or one 9″ tart

200 g (7 oz) plain flour
30 g (1 oz) ground almonds
75 g (3 oz) caster sugar
2 large egg yolks
100 g (5 oz) butter, softened

One 8″ tart

175 g (6 oz) plain flour
30 g (1 oz) ground almonds
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
2 large egg yolks
75 g (3 oz) butter, softened

Using a food processor, place in it the sugar, egg yolks and butter (softened in a bowl in the microwave on  lowest power, try 10 seconds at a time, but do not let the butter melt).  Process 5 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the sifted flour and  ground almonds;  process in bursts of 2 to 3 seconds, till the pastry has the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs.  Turn out, form into a ball and wrap in greaseproof paper. Chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  If not using food processor, follow methods for “pate sucree”.

Prepare filling ingredients (see below) and place in large bowl.

Two 7″ tarts or one 9″ tart

4 unwaxed lemons, juice
1-2 unwaxed lemons, grated rind of
4 large eggs
200 g (7 oz) sugar (or more, to taste)
40 g (1½ oz) butter

One 8″ tart

3 unwaxed lemons, juice
1 unwaxed lemon, grated rind of
3 large eggs
150 g (5 oz) sugar (or more, to taste)
30 g (1 oz) butter

Turn pastry on to a baking board, knead very lightly, roll out to fit the tin, or tins.  The pastry breaks easily, but patch it up in the tin, using all of it.  Prick the base lightly with a fork, cover the pastry with a circle of greaseproof paper, and beans, to bake blind at 175 C, 375 F or mark 5, for about ten minutes.  The sides will be turning golden.  Remove the tins from the oven and take off the paper and beans.

[If you don’t have a fan oven: fold the paper in four, cut out a circle from the centre, leaving a ring of paper wide enough to form a collar to prevent the pastry edge from burning in the oven. If you do have a fan oven the paper will blow off, but you could make a collar with foil.]

[There is no need to paint the pastry with egg white.]

Over a pan of barely simmering water, place the bowl containing the lemon juice and rind, eggs, and sugar.  Mix well together and whisk, using a balloon whisk.  When well mixed, it is not necessary to whisk continually, just from time to time, making sure that the water beneath does not boil, and that the egg mixture is slowly thickening.  When it reaches the consistency of lemon curd, remove the bowl from the pan, and whisk in the butter.  Pour the filling over the partly-baked pastry.  Return  to the oven, placing the paper collar over the pastry edges of the tart. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the filling has set.  Cool in the tin.  Remove the loose base.  The tart may be served plain, or decorated, or dredged with sifted icing sugar.  Well wrapped, it may be frozen for a month.