Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

Citron au belle  - a Beautiful Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart, delightful though it is, is a Lemon Meringue Pie that has just let itself go according to some....

Having said that I love them and they are fairly quick and easy to put together.  I have included here my recipe for Macadamia Nut Flaky Pastry as I think it goes incredibly well with the lemon.  Burnishing the tart with a blow-torch is not 100% necessary, it does improve the flavour and gives a hit of bitter-sweet toffee on top!

Macadamia Nut Flaky Pastry
220 grams plain flour
55 grams icing sugar
100 grams macadamia nuts ground to a paste (just place whole macadamias in a blender and blitz til smooth)
125 grams unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt

Zest and juice of 4 lemons
5 eggs, lightly beaten
165 grams caster sugar
250 ml cream
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

Preheat the oven to 180° C

To make the pastry:
Place flour, icing sugar, macadamia paste meal and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. If you are not using a food processor, just combine the ingredients with a cold knife, cutting through until crumbly.
Lemon TartAdd the egg yolk and mix until the dough just comes together. Knead gently and briefly on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth. Form into a ball, flatten into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until large enough to line 24cm round loose-based tart tin. Lift pastry into tin, ease into base and side. Trim off any excess pastry. Refrigerate 30 minutes. (At this stage, I usually like to cover the pastry with plastic wrap and freeze it overnight. I find that baking the pastry when it’s completely frozen helps minimize shrinkage.)

Place tart tin on baking tray. Line the pastry with a sheet of baking paper and pour in dried beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove paper and beans/rice. Lightly brush the pastry shell with egg white to seal. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until light golden. Set aside to cool.
Reduce the oven to 150 ° C.

To make the filling:
Whisk ingredients for the lemon filling in a large bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the lemon zest to infuse the mixture.
Carefully pour the filling into the pastry shell and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until just set.
Make sure you do not overcook the filling. The custard should feel firm around the outside of the tart, but still a bit wobbly in the middle.

Set aside to cool completely, then refrigerate until cold.

Serve with cream or mascarpone cheese.  For extra decadence, make in little tart shells and dust with icing sugar. 

If you have a kitchen blow-torch (I know!) burnish the tops of the tarts until the icing sugar bubbles and melts into toffee.... yum!

Lemon Tart