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Author Notes: I’d be lying if I said that lemon tart had been a major part of my upbringing, but I certainly remember eating it once and being very impressed. Something in the perfect flat of the filling and the crumbly contrast of the pastry — not to mention the shock of lemon — just seems to have stuck in my memory. That, really, is the thing with lemon tart: it sticks in the memory. —17years
Pastry (or substitute a tart case of your choice)
- 1 cup flour
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 lemons
- Heat the oven to 200°C ( 400°F).
- Start with the pastry. Mix the butter, oil, water, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in an ovenproof pot. Place pot in the oven for around 15 minutes, until it is bubbling and starting to brown.
- Drop into an 8 or 9 inch loose based tart or sandwich tin and spread with a spatula. Once cooled sufficiently, hand form to the shape of the tin - reserving a small piece to plug gaps later.
- Prick the base with a fork and blind bake for 15 minutes until a golden colour. If any cracks form, plug them with the reserved dough. Allow to cool. Turn the oven down to 320°F (160°C).
- Meanwhile, get to work on the filling. Mix the eggs and yolk with the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the cream, then whisk again. Add the lemon juice and zest before giving a final whisk.
- Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake for 50 minutes, by which time the filling should be almost set.
- Serve cold, lightly dusted with icing sugar and with fruit, ice cream or anything else you want.