At my last workplace, birthdays weren’t a big deal. Most of the time the birthday person themselves would bring in something to share or if they were close to me I’d bake them a quartet of cupcakes, but it wasn’t anything on a grand scale.
My current workplace however, takes birthdays quite seriously. For Andrew, we had decorated his work space with a Happy Birthday banner, photos of the Queen, the British flag, Polo Ralph Lauren logos as he’s quite proud of his English heritage and always dresses in preppy Polo Ralph Lauren clothing (which we tease him mercilessly about). We also consulted with each other and decided we’d throw a morning tea for him, for everyone to bring in a plate or two to share. I decided to make a lemon tart, as I’ve had a surplus of lemons from my garden this winter.
This recipe is a Marie Claire one (Donna Hay) from the book Flavours. I was tossing up on whether to make a lemon meringue tart or plain lemon tart, as I’ve previously had a few nightmares with lemon meringue tarts. I will say though, this recipe didn’t turn out brilliantly for me either. While the crust was good as I used my fool-proof recipe that I’ve used for every other tart on my blog and the balance of sweet, tang and creamy was perfect; the cooked tart began to ‘weep’ when I took it out of the fridge the next morning and then cracked on my transportation of it to the office.
I’ve researched these matters extensively and this article was the best. Apparently in regards to the ‘weeping’, it’s because a thickener like cornstarch has to be used. As for the cracking, I was transporting it from the fridge, out into the winter air, onto an over-heated train, into the winter air and into an over-heated office again and the temperature difference became too much for it. But at least it still tasted good. I’ll make it a project to perfect a fool-proof lemon pie. But in the meantime, here’s the recipe I followed:
As it was going to be a busy week for me, I decided to go for a plain lemon tart as I would be short of time the night before. I made the shortcrust pastry a day in advance.
For the pastry, you will need:
- 250g plain flour;
- 125g unsalted butter, chilled, finely chopped;
- 80g sifted icing sugar;
- 2 egg yolks.
For the pastry, process the flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg yolks and a tablespoon of chilled water in a bowl until combined, then with the food processor running, add to the flour mixture. Process until the mixture begins to form large clumps, stopping the machine before the mixture forms a ball. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and knead gently to bring together. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least two hours.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper to fit the tart tin. Line the tin and pierce the base with a fork. Trim the edges, lay in a sheet of baking paper and fill with baking beads or rice. Bake for 10 minutes before removing the weights and baking for a further 10 minutes or until golden.
For the filling, you will need:
- 175g (1 cup) caster sugar;
- 4 eggs;
- 250ml (1 cup) pure cream;
- 250ml (1 cup) lemon juice.
To make the filling, place the sugar, eggs, cream and juice into a bowl and mix to combine.
Skim the top of the mixture to remove any bubbles or foam. Pour into the tart shell, reduce the oven to 160 degrees Celcius and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is just set.
Refrigerate overnight to allow the tart to cool fully. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve with double cream.
Enjoy your weekend, lovelies! Next week there’s recipes for The Best Carbonara, my delectable Raspberry & White Chocolate Sour Cream Brownies, and a review of my first taste of fro-yo…. Until then! xx