Lemon Tart

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.

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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.

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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.

IMG_8969 For the filling, you will need:

  • 175g (1 cup) caster sugar;
  • 4 eggs;
  • 250ml (1 cup) pure cream;
  • 250ml (1 cup) lemon juice.

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To make the filling, place the sugar, eggs, cream and juice into a bowl and mix to combine.

IMG_8973Skim 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.

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Refrigerate overnight to allow the tart to cool fully. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve with double cream.

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IMG_8985Enjoy 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

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Good choice in leaving off the meringue. Let the beautiful lemon filling show..and meringue doesn’t contribute much other than a voluminous mess. (Of course, I may be saying this because I am bitter since I have had difficulties with meringues in the past…) 🙂

    1. It was raining that week as well so I thought that may have resulted in a meringue-disaster with the humidity. Apparently it works better if you do it Italian-meringue-style (ie cooking it)… I’ll try it another time when I can be bothered to use so many eggs!

  2. Tina @ bitemeshowme says:

    looks superb. I love lemon tarts.. it’s that zing i love on the palette!

  3. What a beautiful lemon tart! Looks so delicious! I love sweet and tangy desserts.

  4. Lignum Draco says:

    So are there any vacancies at your work? My birthday would be every friday. 🙂

    1. Hahaha working here is every foodie’s dream! We do Flour & Stone office runs too 😉

  5. Jas@AbsolutelyJas says:

    What a lovely workplace culture you have. At my work (I’m not kidding) we’ve been told that if we want to celebrate our birthday with the team, we should bring in a cake to share. Yep. Fail. I too love lemon tarts, but will admit that I’ve found that particular cookbook to be a bit hit and miss, so don’t despair about the weeping and cracking 😉

    1. Ooh! Is there anything from that cookbook that you can recommend?

      1. Jas@AbsolutelyJas says:

        The spaghetti with lime and rocket is great (p42), the chilli-crusted lamb cutlets (74) is a staple in our house, the onion & blue cheese tart (p92) is great, the chocolate panna cotta (p121) works well too. The szechwan fried pork (p130) turned me off szechwan pepper for life 😦 Interestingly, flicking through it again makes me realise that there’s a lot in there that I haven’t made. Might have to crack that book open again!

  6. I had never eaten as much cake in my life as my current job…we do cakes for new staff, departing staff, birthdays, job anniversaries…you name it, we do it! Then you get people just bringing in muffins and cupcakes to share…it’s very dangerous for the hips actually!

    1. Haha everyone at work complains about how they’ve gained weight since they started there… I wouldn’t be surprised if I have as well!

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