A firm favourite amongst both staff and clients is our version of tarte au citron. It’s the perfect way to round off a meal by tingling your taste buds and cleansing your palate!
You will need a 25cm (10”) round loose bottomed tart tin, greased and floured
For the pastry:
- 250g plain flour
- 20g icing sugar
- 150g unsalted butter at fridge temperature, diced in cubes
- 2 egg yolks and 1 white
For the filling:
- 3 unwaxed organic lemons – both zest and juice needed
- 6 eggs
- 250g caster sugar
- 150ml double cream
To make the pastry pulse the flour and icing sugar together in a food processor (or sift into a bowl). Add the butter and pulse (or mix with your fingertips) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Next add the egg yolks and pulse (or mix) until a soft dough forms, adding 1 tbsp of cold water or more if necessary. [Be careful here – you can always add more but you can’t take it back out!]
Remove the dough from the processor and form into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
After resting, roll the pastry out onto a flat surface dusted lightly with flour. Line your prepared tin with the pastry and gently prick the base with a fork – this releases any trapped air which could cause bubbles to form underneath. Trim off the excess and chill in the fridge again for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200°C and place a baking sheet inside. Remove the pastry from the fridge and line it with greaseproof paper, filling with baking beans, uncooked rice or dried beans (save these to use for another time, but never cook them afterwards to eat!).
Place the tart tin on the baking tray in the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges have started to colour. Carefully remove the beans and paper, baking for another 3-4 minutes. Brush the pastry with the egg white and place back in the oven for a further 2 minutes – this seals the bottom to ensure the filling does not leak! Remove the pastry from the oven, turning the heat down to 120°C.
To make the filling, grate the zest from the lemons avoiding the bitter white pith. Once this has been done, squeeze enough lemons so that there is between 150-175ml of juice.
In a separate bowl, gently mix the eggs and sugar together – you want to just mix them, not froth them up. Stir in the lemon juice and cream then pass it through a sieve to remove pips or any fibrous extras. Stir in the zest.
The easiest way to fill the pastry case is to place the pastry tin back on the baking sheet in the oven and pull it out slightly, then pour the filling in and slide the tart back in very gently.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until just set. Garnish with edible flowers, seasonal berries and a dusting of icing sugar.