Following on from yesterdays “lesson” on how to create the perfect pastry, I shall show you how to make a delicious, yet relatively healthy, lemon tart. The Great British Bake Off, a televised British baking competition, first prompted to me to attempt such a dessert. One week the contestants were charged with following a recipe, devised by the goliath of British baking Mary Berry, for lemon tart. The standard set by Mary looked so incredibly delicious I had to go away and create this fantastic, decadent tart for mere pittance.
The thing I most love about this recipe, which is taken from a GoodFood magazine, is that, assuming one has a thin layer of pastry, it doesn’t sit very heavily on one’s stomach. Perhaps this is because instead of using double cream and five eggs, it uses half fat crème fraîche and loses two of the egg yolks. One would think that this may affect the consistency, but I promise you it doesn’t. The recipe for the casing is available in my previous post and under the guidance of Delia it produces a very light and crisp pastry.
I suppose tarts can be rather tricky to bake correctly. However, getting the timing right really isn’t too difficult. It wants to be just set in the middle, with plenty of wobble but no slide. However, once it reaches this point remove it from the oven immediately, otherwise it’ll overcook. One can tell if a tart has been overcooked because it’ll be coming away from the sides of the casing, this means a little too much moisture has evaporated from it. I’m ashamed to admit that I was a little busy when this particular tart was baking and that it did overcook by perhaps 10-20 seconds as a small portion has come away from the edges. However, this hasn’t impaired the flavour or texture at all. Other than that, this recipe is fairly straight forward – Good luck my fellow great British bakers!
Lemon Tart Filling
•3 eggs and 2 extra egg whites
• 140g icing sugar, plus extra for decoration
• The zest of 4 lemons, finely grated
• The juice of 4 lemons
• 200ml of roughly half fat crème fraîche, although I suppose one could use full fat
1. Heat the oven to 150C. Beat together the eggs until smooth. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the eggs, whisk until there are no lumps. Stir in the zest and the juice and leave to stand in order to let the lemon infuse.
2. Beat the crème fraîche in a bowl until smooth, then sieve in the lemon mixture. Whisk until all the lumps have been removed. Pour half into the pastry case, place it in the oven and then pour in the rest. This method avoids spillages. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is just cooked –wobbly, but not coming away from the sides of the casing. Leave it to stand for at least an hour before decorating with icing sugar.
Cost: A bag of 4 lemons currently costs 56p, which is an absolute bargain as a single lemon usually sets one back a whole 30 pence. As such, this tart came in at an exceptionally cheap £2.60. That’s assuming you have to buy the eggs – I didn’t so my tart actually cost around £1.60. Good times.