Recipe: Lemon Tart

~ This is Day 278 ~

In case you were wondering, my time count above in every post is the number of days since lockdown, of this pandemic. I will stop it once life returns to “normal”.

This is a classic tarte au citron, which is lemon tart in French.

For Pâte Sablée (Short Bread dough)

  • 150 g butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 90 g powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 255 g cake flour (sifted)
  • 1-2 TBS cold water (optional)
  • Butter, as needed, for tart pan

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Using a rubber spatula, flatten out butter and powdered sugar or if you’re lazy like me, put in a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until combined. Add yolk one by one and then add sifted cake flour. If you don’t have cake flour, substitute with the following: for every 1 cup of AP flour, remove 1 TBS of it and add 1 TBS cornstarch. Mix slowly to combine. If dry, add the cold water. Form into a ball and flatten it, wrap with plastic and place in refrigerator until firm.

Butter the tart pan and put in freezer.

In between two sheets of parchment paper/plastic wrap/SilPats, roll dough to 1/16 inch or 15 mm. Carefully place into buttered pan, press into place and roll over the top of the pan to remove excess hanging dough.

When using shortbread dough for a tart, you need to bake the tart twice. Once at a higher temperature (cooking the shell) and the second at a lower temperature (cooking the filling/custard). Using a fork, puncture the tart shell with holes. Blind bake with weights for 20 minutes. Remove weights and continue baking until golden. Weights can be any dried legumes or rice wrapped in cheesecloth.

Reserve shell at room temperature before pouring in the tart filling. Lower oven to 300°F.

For the Tart Filling

  • Pinch of flour
  • Butter, as needed
  • 5 eggs
  • 6 lemons: zested, and 150 g juice
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g heavy cream

Zest lemons and mix the juices together. Infuse for as long as possible.

In a bowl, add the eggs and sugar. Whisk until fully incorporated. Add cream, mix lightly and continue to whisk. Stir in lemon juice, zest, and pinch of flour. Strain into a clean bowl and skim off as much foam as possible. Transfer to a container that can pour easily before putting it into the cooled pastry shell. There’s going to be an excess amount of liquid, that’s normal. You could make a mini tart with the leftovers, if you want to!

Bake 20-30 minutes. When removing from oven, the custard should jiggle. Cool on wire rack and serve with fresh berries and whipped cream.

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