There are things that are classics for a reason, and one of them is surely the lemon tart. It is difficult to say when the lemon tart was invented in its current state—or I am too lazy to Google. It must have gone through many rounds of evolution and perfecting; if you ask Mary Berry, she will most likely tell you that she has been making this tart for the last 20 years. But that is why, when she gives you a recipe, it works.
I made this tart twice within a week, and every time it disappeared in a flash. No, seriously, I brought it to work, the whole tart was there when I left for lunch, and when I came back from lunch, it was almost all gone.
So far, I made one 28 cm tart, and there was enough material left to make two 10 cm tarts, for the boyfriend to enjoy. I can imagine only making the small tarts for a stylish dinner party.
The one thing that I changed in the recipe is to halve the dose of the filling: my tart pan is quite shallow, and half is just enough to fill it (I use 4 eggs in the halved version).
You can find the recipe here.
I will copy/paste the recipe here, in case the recipe gets lost from the original page, in the process halving the amount of the filling.
225g plain flour
150g cold butter, cut into small cubes
25g icing sugar
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp water
4 large eggs
150ml double cream
175g caster sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 3 large lemons
- You will need a 28cm deep loose-bottomed tart tin.
- To make the pastry, measure the flour, butter and sugar into a processor. Whiz until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs and then add the egg and water. Whiz again until it forms a ball.
- Roll out the pastry thinly on a floured work surface until it is just a little bigger than the size of the tin. Line the tart tin with the pastry, letting the extra pastry hang over the sides of the tin. Place on a baking sheet and then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Peheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Line the tin with nonstick paper and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven until pale golden brown.
- Take out of the oven and remove the baking beans and paper. Carefully trim the excess pastry from the sides using a sharp knife. Return the empty pastry shell to the oven for another 10-12 minutes or until it is completely dry. Set aside to cool.
- Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
- Measure all the filling ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth. Carefully pour the filling mixture into the cold baked pastry case.
- Transfer the tart and tray carefully to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until just set but still with a slight wobble in the middle. The filling will sink down a bit when it has cooled.
- Leave to cool a little, or completely, and then remove it from the tin. Transfer to a serving plate and dust with icing sugar to serve.