It’s Spring! Or at least it has been Spring for the past week (blue skies and sun!). And nothing screams Spring to me more than LEMONS.
I heart lemons. K does not heart lemons. His tolerance for sour foods is remarkably low (contrasting diets, really), which is why this lemon tart is so special. Because, he, who calls apples, oranges (sweet ones, mind you), pears and virtually any other fruit sour, has devoured half of this lemon tart in less than a day. I am so proud of you!
So, this isn’t actually lemon tart. It’s more of a lemon bar-tart hybrid because I adapted a lemon bar into a tart form. I’m not exactly sure what the difference between lemon tart and bar is, but I’d say that the purist lemon tart has a filling that is smoother and richer (egg yolks egg yolks egg yolks!), and usually just uses the juice and zest of the lemon. While the top of this kindof tart is not as smooth, the flavour and texture definitely makes up for it; this recipe uses the juice, zest and flesh of the lemon (slightly adapted from the original Smitten Kitchen recipe which uses the whole lemon- skin included), and is dense, creamy and indulgent. The marriage of lemon, eggs, and sugar with a crisp, buttery pastry is just ridiculously yummy and oh, I could eat that second half of that tart in a sitting if it weren’t hidden on the top shelve of the fridge, just barely out of my reach.
This is a wee lemon tart- it’s actually a halved recipe, but do double it (see note at bottom). I’ve also replaced some of the flour in the pastry with corn flour, and some caster sugar with icing sugar, just because it makes a crisper, meltier pastry- and I am a fan of the crisp and melty. Also, the butter is reduced in the filling (we sadly need to watch our waistlines despite being relatively skinny) and lemon is increased. Let’s go make some lemon tart!
A kindof Lemon Tart
Loosely adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (I love this cookbook! It’s so pretty! I could hug it to sleep! And I have done so, whilst snoozing after reading!)
Makes a 15cm round, shallow tart
For the pastry
- 53g flour
- 10g corn flour
- 15g icing sugar
- 18g caster sugar
- 57g cold unsalted butter
- 1/8tsp salt
- 1 lemon,
- 33g sugar
- 25g softened unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbs corn flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
Prepare the pastry:
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C
- In a bowl, combine flour, corn flour, caster sugar, icing sugar and salt. Mix to combine.
- Cut the cold butter into small cubes and toss to coat in the flour. Using only your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse sand. The mixture should clump together when pressed.
- (Alternatively, with a food processor, just blitz all them ingredients together.)
- Press the pastry mixture into the tin, using small glass to press down the bottom evenly. Alternatively, it can be rolled- just flour the surface and rolling pin liberally (the mixture’s quite sticky), and dust the excess flour from the pastry before baking.
- Prick the base with a fork, and bake for 15-20 minutes till light golden, then take out to cool. Prick any bubbles that have formed with a fork. Leave the oven on.
In the meantime, prepare the filling!
- Zest the lemon into a bowl. Cut into half and squeeze the juice out. Then, cut into wedges to remove the seeds and cut the flesh away from the skin. Chop the flesh into small chunks. (In the original recipe, it called for the entire lemon to be blitzed in a food processor, but, without one, the thought of eating non-pureed lemon skin was quite unappealing)
- Using a hand blender, blend the lemon zest, juice and flesh until as smooth as possible. Add in the butter, sugar, salt, corn flour and eggs- blend away!
- Pour the filling mixture through a sieve, using the back of a spoon to push through as much of the mixture as possible.
- Pour the filling into the partially baked pastry shell and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
- The tart is done when the filling is set, but is slightly wobbly in the centre. Cool completely in the tin before unmoulding.
- Sift icing sugar over the tart to serve.
(note: if doubling this recipe, use a 20-23cm round tin or similar. Do be sure to increase the cooking time as well. Pastry: 35-40 minutes, Filling: 35-40 minutes)
We’ve just eaten another quarter of this tart. So making this again…
Here’s the recipe card!