Lemons…one of the perennial flavours of all seasons, everyone loves Lemon !
Now like most of my flavours I like a lot of kick…if its peppery I want a LOT of pepper, if there’s chilli involved well its got to make my nose run faster than Niagara and blow my brains outta my ears ! So anything lemony has to be sharp and tart and make me go OOOOOHH with a shudder and a tingle.
Now Lemon tart I think is like a benchmark for all pastry chefs, I have been asked out right in interviews for jobs if I can make a decent one and also been asked to make them in trade tests for jobs to see if I am up to scratch. Thankfully I got the job in all cases so must have done something right 🙂
Now for years I used a recipe based on a Roux brothers recipe that used double cream, it served me well but as my palate demanded more and more sharpness I have finally settled on one based on a recipe by famous french patissier Gerard Mulot It doesn’t have any cream and is in fact a lemon curd base just using eggs, lemon juice and butter, In fact I have found you can even just make the filling and store it in a jar and use for filling cakes or whatever takes your fancy, it’s quite safe as the mix is cooked out on the stove and only goes in the oven for a few minutes to set it in the case and give it a smooth finish.
Now rightly so Lemon tarts are seen mainly as a french speciality, but on my travels in Italy I have seen many versions there too, especially along the Amalfi coast which is a major lemon producing area, so as a nod to this and because I like the flavour and texture provided I have added some ground pine nuts & Almonds to the pastry recipe.
So have a go and see if it is as sharp as I say..post pictures of your “lemon face” as you try a slice please 🙂
Its great served with fresh berries and cream in the summer, & in the winter with grilled fresh figs and honey, Or just serve caramelized on top by dusting with icing sugar and placing under the grill or giving a quick blast with chefs blow torch … marvelous !
NOTE : Pastry best made in advance & chilled
YOU WILL NEED-
An 8-9 inch tart ring
A decent lemon squeezer
An oven pre-heated to 160c
INGREDIENTS & METHOD FOR PASTRY
400g plain flour
150g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
30g ground pine nuts
200g unsalted butter
2 medium eggs
Rub all dry ingredients and butter together in a bowl with butter, add the eggs and mix until dough is formed ( don’t worry if it seems sticky) wrap in clingfilm and chill for a couple of hours.
Any unused pastry can be frozen for 1 month to use later
INGREDIENTS FOR LEMON FILLING:
350 ml fresh lemon juice ( approx 8-9 medium size lemons )
200g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
4 whole medium eggs
4 egg yolks
Follow the method gallery below, click on any image to enlarge
© The cake-shaker