This lovely recipe was featured on the cover of the September issue of delicious. and seeing as it was the editor’s pick (and bearing in mind my penchant for all things citrus-inspired), I decided to give it a whirl. Although making your own pastry takes a bit of patience, the filling is super-snappy, and the end result was very nearly heavenly.
On a side note, we’re currently passing our days at the Cowell residence, which comes with the added benefit of a luxuriously spacious kitchen, so if you enjoy the new setting, you have Iain and Kate to thank!
Begin by preheating the oven to 200ºC/fan180ºC/gas 6/395ºF.
What you’ll need
For the pastry
250g plain (all purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
25g icing sugar
150g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
2 medium free-range egg yolks
1 egg white, lightly beaten
For the filling
3 large or 4 small lemons
250g granulated sugar
150mL double cream
icing sugar to dust (optional)
What to do
For the pastry
Begin by sifting the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt. Next, chop your butter into small cubes and, if you have the luxury of a food processor, mix until your end result result resembles fine crumbs. If you do not have a food processor, mix with your hands until you have the same result, doing your best not to over-handle the dough.
Add the yolks and 1 ½ tbsp water, and continue mixing until the pastry comes together. Knead the dough a couple of times before wrapping in cling film and leaving to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Once the pastry has chilled, roll it into a thin layer (using flour to dust) and line a 25cm diameter, 3cm deep loose bottomed tart tin. Prick the base of the tart with a fork (don’t hold back here) and pop it into the fridge to chill for another 25 minutes.
If you haven’t already turned the oven on, preheat to 200ºC/fan180ºC/gas 6/395ºF and place a baking tray in the oven to pre-heat as well.
Once your pastry has finished chilling, remove it from the fridge, line with baking paper and baking beans or pie weights, and bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are very lightly browned. Remove the baking paper and beans/pie weights, and continue to bake for another 4 minutes. Remove once again, brush with the egg white, and return to the oven for a final two minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 120ºC/fan100ºC/gas ½/250ºF.
For the filling
I found I had plenty of time to spare while the pastry was chilling, so got cracking on this earlier.
Begin by grating the zest from the lemons, then squeeze the juice from all of the lemons and limes (this should give you roughly 160mL). In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together by hand (you don’t want the eggs to be frothy), add the citrus juice and cream, and sieve the resulting mixture. Add the lemon zest and you’re good to go.
To bake the tart, Rick Stein gives a handy tip to avoid spilling. Place the baking sheet back in the oven place the pastry case
on the tray and pull the shelf half way out of the oven. Pour the filling into the pastry case, slide the shelf back into the oven and cook for approximately 45 minutes (until just set). Remove from the oven and leave to cool (don’t refrigerate). Dust with
icing if you feel inclined and serve on the
same day if you can.
As per usual, all that’s left to do is enjoy!