There is a dream.
Somewhere over the rainbow.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops. Away apon the chimney tops.
And although we cant always go there, and although I dont have a chimney, what we can do is bring a little of the dream into our kitchens.
Now I dont known about you, but when the weather is cold and rainy I want a little sunshine in my kitchen.
Luckily for me I have wonderful friends. I recieved a text last week proclaiming, 'We should get together soon and make something we have never made before.'
Without further ado I replied with,' How about Wednesday?' and a date was set.
A large baking extravaganza was had.
He wanted to make a lemon tart and although I have made lemon tarts before, its been some while.
And nothing brings sunshine into your kitchen quite like lemon tart.
There is something entirely sensual about making pastry by hand.
Its the feel of the thing.
It was, I must admit, a bit daunting to approach setting the filling in our atrocious oven. This is an oven that burns vegetables on the outside before they are cooked on the inside.. It hurts my soul a little. Would the tart curdle? Would the pastry burn before it set? Would it taste of eggs? Be too firm?
I should have trusted the melting-lemon-drop-dream. For a dream it was.
Gastranomique citrus porn.
Are you scintillated? Good. Because if I can make this tart in my monstrosity of a temperemental oven, anyone can. And with good faith...
For the pastry;
300 plain flour
115 gm icing sugar
225 gm of butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
For the Filling;
180ml lemon juice
190gm castor sugar
Zest of two lemons
Approx. 300 gm of whole eggs
To make the pastry;
Mix the salt flour and icing sugar.
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembes fine bread crumbs.
If you are in a hurry use cold butter and blitz the flour and butter in a food processor.
Add yolk and knead until it becomes shiny and smooth.
There really is something wonderfully sensual about this. The feel of the flour crumbling and forming is a beautiful thing.
If you have never kneaded before look up a video on youtube for some technique pointers.
It is really fairly self-explanatory though.
Give the dough some love and it will love you back.
Form into a block and wrap in glad wrap or a plastic bag. Place in the fridge to chill.
To make the filling;
Place eggs in a bowl and beat till smooth.
Place two small pans on the stove. Heat the cream in one and the sugar, lemon juice and zest in the other.
Bring the cream to a simmer. Don't let it boil over.
Pour the cream into the eggs, whisking as you go. Whisk till smooth.
Heat juice and sugar mix till sugar disolves. Whisk into cream mix.
Allow to cool while you make the base.
Roll out a round flate pancake with your dough. Try and keep it even. Lay it evenly over you tart dish and press into the corners.
If there are any broken bits or holes patch it up with some pastry trim.
Trim the edges.
Chill in the freezer for 10 min.
Poke holes all over with a fork and bake at 180 c till lightly golden.
Pour in filling. Turn down oven to 100 c .
Gently place your tart in the oven and cook for 1 hour.
If your oven is a dangerous beast, set the timer for 30 minutes and turn the tart around to ensure even ness of cooking. Then set the timer for a further 20 min.
It will be ready when you shake it gently and the middle is no longer liquid.
Remove from the oven and cool on the bench till room temp.
Serve with cream, mascapone, ice cream or just devour as is.
Excuse my twee-ness when i say this but...
That's what sunshine tastes like.