If there’s one thing that 2022 has taught me so far, it’s that when life gives you lemons, you actually have a couple of options.
One is to make lemonade. You’ll need a lot of lemons for this though, and we all know it’ll never top an ice cold can of San Pelligrino Limonata, don’t we?
The other is to make a lemon tart, and be reminded with every bite that you at least got one decision right in January 2022.
Shopping list (serves 6 comfortably)
Unsalted butter (frozen) x 115g
Plain flour x 175g
Icing sugar x 50g
Egg (chilled) x 1
Yolk (beaten) x 1
Pinch of salt
Lemon custard filling:
Large eggs x 7
Caster sugar x 300g
Crème fraîche x 200g
Lemon juice x 200ml
zest of 2 lemons
Grease a 23cm tart case generously with butter or rapeseed oil.
Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar and salt. Grate in the frozen butter, and use your fingertips to mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the chilled egg and incorporate into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least one hour in the fridge.
Flour your rolling pin and work surface liberally. Roll out the chilled dough, using small splashes of cold water to make it more malleable if necessary. Once it’s large enough to go into your case, with a little to hang over the sides, you are done.
Take your rolling pin to the edge of the dough, and carefully fold the edge onto the rolling pin, rolling it slightly towards you. You should now be able to lift the dough sheet off your surface, half hanging off your rolling pin.
Place on top of the tart case and carefully unroll your pin, lowering the dough evenly into place. Use your fingers to press the dough into the sides of the case, and prick the base with a fork a few times.
Place into the freezer for one hour.
Turn your oven to 220°C (fan)/240°C, and use baking beads and greaseproof paper to blind bake the pastry case for 10 minutes. Reduce the temp to 180°C (fan)/200°C and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and egg wash the base and sides of the pastry with the egg yolk. Place bake in the oven for just five more minutes before removing.
Turn your oven down to 120°C (fan)/140°C
For the filling, whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale. Add in the other ingredients and continue to whisk until full incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Place under a red hot grill for just just five minutes before removing and allowing to cool.
Serve with cream or crème fraîche, if you like.