When life gives you lemons…..make a ‘lemon curd tart’!
I could not let the months of February and March pass without posting some lemon based recipes.
February sees ‘La fete du Citron’ at Menton in the south of France, (this year it was from the 14th of February to the 4th March) when this usually sleepy Provincal town (at this time of year at least!) comes alive with wonderful processions of floats decorated entirely with oranges and lemons.
This post is in honour of my lovely ladies at Hopital Tenon, who sampled my lemon tart today and gave it a ‘thumbs up’
After arguing with me that ‘tarte au citron’ was a classic French dessert, I told them that I had learnt this recipe from my grandmother, Annie (she who taught me how to make pastry as also gave me the recipe for ‘Treacle Tart’)
The English version has a creamier, softer filling than the classic French tart, more like a firm lemon curd than a lemon baked custard.
It is surprisingly easy and extremely light and ‘moorish’ Definite a dessert to impress………..
7 oz /200g of rich short crust pastry (see ‘Frangipan Tarte aux poires et chocolat’ tarte for how to make the perfect pastry)
2 large free range eggs (eleve en plein air)
100g of raw cane sugar (sucre canné )
150ml of double cream (crème epaisse)
50g unsalted butter
Zest and juice of 2 untaxed Lemons
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4
Line a flan dish with the pastry and cover the centre with kitchen foil and weigh down with either cooking beans or and dried beans and bake for 10 minutes
Remove the beans and foil and bake for a further 5 minutes until pastry has just begun to set and turn slightly golden
Remove from oven and leave to cool
Whisk the eggs, sugar, cream and lemon zest and juice with a hand whisk until creamy
Melt the butter in a sauce pan and quickly whisk it into the lemon mixture
Pour the mixture into the cooled pastry case and return to the oven for 10 minutes
Reduce the heat to 160 degrees/gas mark 3 and bake for a further 30 minutes (or until the filling is ‘just set’)
Turn off the oven and open the door and allow the tart to cool slowly
Allow to cool for at least one hour before serving – best served cold rather than chilled
This dessert is delicious with a small dollop of crème fraiche on the side or just on its own…..