I mentioned a little in this post that I am really enjoying baking again - and it’s true, it’s so nice to be back in the kitchen and regaining my confidence there again. But frustratingly and sadly each time that I bake something, all I can think of is my old home and kitchen. And then I get upset at the reminder that most of my kitchen and baking equipment it tightly packed away and my home was unfairly taken from me. It’s the weird every day things that tend to shake you the most. But at the same time, it’s good to face them, realise that they are now just a memory, they can’t hurt you any more and it’s time to pull yourself together, remind yourself of how far you have come and then make the recipe that you have always loved to make.
And this Classic Lemon Tart is one of those - I have lost count at how many times I have made this recipe of the years. Each time I make it I tweak the recipe ever so slightly, and this is the new take on my first lemon tart recipe that I shared years and years ago. Try not to get too overwhelmed with all of the steps below, it looks like a lot, but break it down, take your time and at the end you will have a delicious silky, sweet but tangy lemon tart recipe to share with your friends and family. Oh, and pair with a delicious glass of New Zealand Rosé for a perfect summer dessert. I’d love to hear what your all time favourite recipe to make and tweak over time is. x
In a large bowl, using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix the soft butter and icing sugar to a cream; then beat in 2 of the egg yolks. Add the flour and, with your fingertips, rub the butter mixture and flour together until a crumbly texture forms - it should feel like wet sand. Add the water and press the mixture together to form a ball. With the palms of your hands, knead the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is combined and smooth (take care not to handle the pastry too much or it will be hard and lose its crumbly texture). Flatten the pastry slightly into a disc shape with the palm of your hand, wrap well in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. You can of course save a little time and make the pastry a day or two ahead of time.
Butter and flour a rectangle or round loose bottom tart tin, and pre heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place the pastry onto a lightly floured bench top and roll into the shape of your tart tin - then gently roll the pastry over/around your rolling pin and gently roll out over your tart tin. This will help you to not puncture or stretch the pasty. Gently press the pasty into the tart tin, then cover the pasty with crumpled baking paper and fill the tart with either ceramic baking beans or rice to blind bake your pastry. Place into the oven and bake for around 15-20, or until the edges of the pastry start to golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing the baking paper and baking beans. Turn the oven down to 140 degrees celsius.
In a large bowl, hand whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest until combined. Next add the cream and quickly whisk together until well combined. Place the lemon mixture in the fridge for around 5-10 min (or until your pastry has cooled).
Carefully pour the lemon filling into the pastry and bake for 20-25 mins - or until just set, which you’ll be able to test by gently nudging the tart. If the filling only just moves, it’s ready. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely - at least an hour, before either placing into the fridge to set completely or serving while still a little warm with a dollop or two of vanilla ice cream.