So I’d seen Heston make this lemon tart on the telly & he made it look ever so easy! Crisp golden pastry & zesty lemony filling with a dollop of creme fraiche on the side looked like dessert heaven to me. And then as luck would have as a Birthday present his cook book Heston Blumenthal at Home arrived on my doorstep & I couldn’t resist a slice.
The tart did go down a treat for a Sunday lunch & as leftovers at work the next day. So the tart is definitely worth the effort. For me, my oven slightly over cooked the edges of the pastry & slightly under did the base if I was being really picky. However, I think that’s because it wasn’t rolled out quite thin enough. A little practice in pastry making called for. The filling is wonderful, smooth & just the right amount of sweet lemon flavour.
Lemon Tart, from Heston Blumenthal at Home
For the pastry
120g icing sugar
3 large egg yolks
300g plain flour
150g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
Seeds from half a vanilla pod
Zest of half a lemon, finely grated
For the filling
Finely grated zest & juice of 5 lemons
390g caster sugar
9 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
To finish & serve
For the pastry blitz the icing sugar & egg yolks in a tall container with a hand blender. Place the flour, butter & salt in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment & mix on low speed until it looks like cornmeal, 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla seeds & lemon zest & then add the egg yolk mixture & continue to mix on low speed until all combined & you have a soft dough. About 3-5 minutes.
Shape the dough in to a flat rectangle, wrap in cling film & pop in the fridge for 1 hour. After an hour remove from the fridge & roll the pastry out between 2 sheets of baking paper until 2mm thick & then place it in the freezer for half an hour.
Pre heat oven to 180C/350F
Line a 26cm tart tin (2.5cm deep) & spray with a little oil & then place in the pastry, letting the edges hang over. Prick the base with a fork & place back in the freezer for another 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer & line the pastry case with scrumpled up baking paper & baking beans. Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove the baking paper & baking beans & pop back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven & allow to cool a little. Trim the overhanging pastry by running a sharp knife around the top of the tart tin & discard & leave the tart to cool completely.
When ready to bake pre heat the oven to 120C/250F & place the tart in the oven to warm up.
Place all the filling ingredients in a bowl & mix together using a spatula. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water & allow to warm up until the temperature reaches 62C/144F. At this point strain the mixture through a fine sieve in to a jug. Remove any bubbles from the surface with a spoon.
Slide the oven rack out a little & pour in the filling. Fill the case to the top & carefully slide the rack back in & bake for about 25 minutes until the temperature reaches 70C/158F or until just set, I totally forgot to take the temperature. Allow to cool completely at room temperature.
Just before serving sprinkle over some icing sugar & serve with dollops of creme fraiche.
With a good dollop of creme fraiche it is a delightful dessert & the perfect end to a long lazy Sunday lunch.
If you like this you might like this Plum & Lemon Cake
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