DessertsAlison Lambert

LEMON TART

DessertsAlison Lambert
I have fond memories of a lemon tart as it was one of the first "cheffy" desserts i fell in love with and was taught to make.  It was by the great Marco Pierre White (white heat), not only did this book change my life but the lemon tart left a very big impression on my taste-buds. 
However today i used Raymond Blanc's recipe and it is equally as good and not to dissimilar in taste but a little lighter on some ingredients. If you are ever wondering how to end a dinner party or you simply want a dessert that will linger on your tongue and put a smile on your face then look no further than a lemon tart - you won't be disappointed i promise!

LEMON TART
serves 8-10

for the pastry
120g unsalted butter at room temperature, diced
75g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
3 egg yolks
250g plain flour
2 Tbsp cold water

for the lemon cream
5 medium organic or free range eggs
150g caster sugar
85ml fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
150 ml double cream

Method - 24 cm tart tin
Making the sweet pastry - in a large bowl, with a spatula or wooden spoon, mix the soft butter and icing sugar to a cream: then beat in 2 of the egg yolks. Add the flour and with your fingertips rub the butter mixture and flour together to achieve a crumbly texture.  Add the water and press the mixture together to form a ball.
With the palms of you hands, knead the pastry on lightly floured work surface until it is blended (maximum 30 seconds). Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes (this helps the dough lose its elasticity).

Line the tart tin by rolling the pastry on a lightly floured bench, evenly roll out the pastry into a circle to fit you tart tin and about 3mm thick.
Roll the pastry over the rolling pin and unroll it over your tin.  With one hand lift the pastry and with the other gently tuck it into the bottom edge of the tin so that it fits tightly.  Be careful not to stretch it.  Cut off excess pastry by rolling the pin over the top edge of the tin.  Take a small ball of pastry and gently press it all around the base of the tart to ensure a snug fit.  Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate for 30minutes (this helps prevent shrinkage during cooking)
Preheat oven to 160C

Make the lemon cream by mixing together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest together in a large bowl, whisk in the cream, then place in the fridge until required.

Cooking the pastry.  Line the pastry case with tin foil and fill with dried beans, pushing them against the side.  Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and lift out both foil and beans.  Return the tart tin to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes.  Brush the inside of the pastry with the remaining egg yolk and return to the oven for 1 minute (this creates a seal on the pastry and prevents it becoming soggy when the lemon cream is added).  Turn the oven down to 140C.

Cooking the lemon tart (at long last). Pour the lemon cream mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.  Place the tart on a baking tray and put the tart in the oven, carefully pour the mixture into the pastry shell and bake for 25- 35 minutes.  It should be still slightly wobbly in the centre.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least an hour.

Dredge with icing sugar around the edge of the tart.