Although lemons are more of a winter fruit, I was really craving a tangy lemon tart. I found a recipe by Delia Smith and was intrigued by the fact that - unlike most lemon tarts - it was a deep dish tart. It's thicker than usual and is more filling than pastry (translation: more lemon goodness!). The crust was a little cumbersome, if you've got a great crust recipe I'd stick with it (this one did NOT want to cooperate - I ended up rolling it between two pieces of parchment paper), but definitely try this filling. For a unique twist on the standard lemon tart,
For the pastry:
6 oz (175 g) plain flour
1 1/2 oz (40 g) icing sugar
3 oz (75 g) softened butter
1 large egg, separated
For the filling:
1 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6-8 lemons)
zest from 6-8 lemons
6 large eggs
6 oz (175 g or approx 3/4 cup) of superfine sugar
7 fl oz (200 ml) whipping cream
*Note: I only had 4 lemons, which resulted in 3/4 cups of juice. So I added an additional 1 tbsp of June Taylor's Strawberry & Lemon Verbena Syrup. It gave it a nice tang and the end result was fantastic.
- The best way to make the pastry is in a food processor. To do this add all the pastry ingredients (except the egg white) to the bowl with 1 tablespoon water and process until it forms a firm dough. Then turn it out and knead lightly before placing in a polythene bag and leaving in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest.
- Grease a deep, fluted quiche tin with a loose base 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter and 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) deep.
- To cook the pastry base, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C) and place a solid baking sheet inside to preheat as well. Now roll out the pastry as thinly as possible and carefully line the quiche tin, pressing the pastry around the base and sides so that it comes about 1/4 inch (5 mm) above the edge of the tin. Then prick the base with a fork and brush it all over with the reserved egg white, which you should lightly beat first.
- Bake on the baking sheet on the middle shelf for 20 minutes, then, as you remove it, turn the temperature down to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
- While pastry is out of the oven, make the filling. Grate the zest from 6 of the lemons, and squeeze enough juice to give 10 fl oz (275 ml or 1 1/4 cups).
- Break the eggs into a bowl, add the sugar and whisk to combine, but don't overdo it or the eggs will thicken. Next add the lemon juice and zest followed by the cream, and whisk lightly. Now pour it all into a 2 pint (1.2 litre) jug or container that will be easy to pour from. [You can omit this step if you are confident that you will not spill when pouring it from bowl to crust.]
- Place pastry back onto baking sheet in oven. Pour filling directly into the pastry (this avoids having to carry the tart to the oven and spilling it).
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until the tart is set and feels springy in the centre. Let it cool for about half an hour if you want to serve it warm. It's also extremely good served chilled. Either way, dust it with icing sugar just before serving.