The last time I put a recipe post up on the blog, it went over a treat, so I thought I might make it a more regular thing. Be prepared though- if you are watching this space waiting for dinner ideas or lunch inspiration, you’re going to be disappointed. I have a massive sweet tooth, so when I get busy in the kitchen it’s usually for desserts.
A few weeks ago, my best friend Claudia and her boyfriend Lachlan came down for an evening picnic, and being the control freak that I am, I assumed total responsibility for the entire meal.
Since we were still having very balmy late afternoons, I decided to go with something fresh, and citrus always comes to mind when my brain wanders in that direction.
Below is the recipe I used for a lemon tart. It tasted as good as it looks!
1 1/2 cups plain flour
125g chilled butter, cubed
1/2 cup icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp iced water
1 cup pouring cream
3 egg yolks (extra)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
Springs of mint
1. Place flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Add the egg yolks and process until combined. Add the iced water and process until dough just comes together (my dough didn’t need any extra water added).
3. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface, and bring together into a ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Refrigeration is absolutely necessary or your dough will be impossible to work with.
4. Pre-heat oven to 180˚C. Grease a free-form tart pan (I used a light spray oil). Roll the pastry out between two sheets of grease-proof paper to around 3mm thick, and line pan. Prick the base with a fork, and refrigerate again for 30mins. This is to help minimise shrinkage during cooking.
5. After 30mins, trim the edges of the pastry, line with baking paper and fill with baking weights. Bake for 15 mins, then remove baking weights and paper and bake for a further 10-12 mins or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 140˚C.
6. To make filling, beat cream, eggs, extra yolks, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl until combined (you don’t have to beat until thick or stiff). Pour into tart shell, and wait for air bubbles to settle.
7. Bake for 30-35 mins (mine actually took 45) or until just set. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate until set.
8. Dust with icing sugar, and decorate as desired with lemon curd, mint sprigs and edible flowers.
I found a little bit of shrinkage with my pastry was unavoidable. If you guys have any tips for helping with this, please let me know!