Sunday, 28 September 2008

Extreme Lemon tart (Warning: for lemon addicts only!)

Now regular readers will know that I hate lemon. Oddly though, I rather enjoy using it in baking. I never claimed to make sense!

Recently I’ve made quite a few things with almond and the CCM (Caked Crusader’s Ma) has to eat these sparingly because as much as she loves almonds, they don’t reciprocate the love. So this one’s for her!

I found this lemon oil and it’s made solely from pressing lemons. That may sound an obvious comment but often you’ll find additional ingredients to make the expensive ingredient go further – no such tactics here. I bought this lemon oil from Lakeland Limited who state that it takes 330 lemons to make one bottle...that’s a lot of lemons! I added a few drops to the pastry for a subtle lemon tang and some more to the lemon juice just to perk up the zing-factor. You could use lemon zest to achieve the same objective but I wanted the lemon filling to be smooth.

Here’s the beautiful pastry straight from the fridge and about to be baked blind:

As the tart cooled I found that the surface cracked. Admittedly it isn’t desirable but it didn’t effect the flavour or texture, and with judicious cutting (i.e. cutting along the cracks) you can eliminate most of them.

The CCM’s verdict? She was pleased! She claimed that this is a lemon tart for people who never find things lemony enough. It also announced itself with that lemon tickle at the back of the throat – again, I’m reliant on the CCM here but this is apparently a good thing. The CCM also thought this would be a good dessert for people who usually find dessert too sweet.

Always sieve a custard-type filling before baking. Why? This photo is probably the best answer!

For the pastry:
173g plain flour
120g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons icing sugar
2 egg yolks
Dash of lemon oil or, if preferred, the finely grated zest of 1 lemon

For the filling:
5 eggs, beaten
150g caster sugar
Juice of 5 lemons (if required, add the grated zest to the mix as well)
300ml double cream

How to make:

- Put all the ingredients for the pastry in a food processor and whizz together until a soft ball of dough is formed.
- Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper and use to line a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin. No need to grease this, as the pastry is rich and buttery enough. Leave any excess pastry hanging over the edge of the flan tin (it’s always best to leave trimming the pastry until after you have blind baked it).
- Leave to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.
- Line the pastry case with baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Once you have removed the pastry from the oven reduce the temperature to 150°C/fan oven 130°C/300°F/Gas mark 2.
- Meanwhile, start making the filling: mix the eggs and sugar until combined.
- Beat in the lemon juice (and zest or oil, if using) followed by the double cream.
- Sieve the filling before pouring into the pastry case.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling has only a slight tremor if you gently shake the tin. Mine took 35 minutes to reach this stage, but once you’re past the 30 minute mark watch it closely as mine was very liquid still at this point and then set quickly.
- Turn the oven off but leave the tart where it is. Let the tart cool in the oven – leave the oven door ajar. Without cooking the tart further, this helps the filling to firm up.
- When cool, transfer the tart to the fridge and chill thoroughly before serving, ideally 24 hours.
- Serve with cream or crème fraiche.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Beth (jamandcream) said...

Give me a slice of that please. I love lemon tart! This one looks delish

trash said...

CK will be pleased.

Trekkie said...

Wow, that does look good.

anudivya said...

That looks heavenly! I am not that big of a lemon fan, but that is sweeeeet, and anything sweet goes with me!

Cakelaw said...

Ooh, looks delicious!! So soft and delectable. BTW, I have now become a David Tennant fan - perhaps it was CCM's influence??

Maria said...

I am a lemon addict! Can't wait to try this one!

PG said...

That looks really yummy! I love lemon in cakes too. But, also otherwise!

Pravs said...

looks beautiful !

Emily said...

Sounds like a winner!

I'm a fan of all things lemon.

Maggie said...

I love lemon tart - the lemon oil is really useful and like you, I use it sparingly!

Anonymous said...

mhmm this looks so delicious and creamy. i feel the same way about lemons, too. Somehow, combining lemons, butter, and sugar just makes lemons taste good. Weird isn't it? haha

Cybèle said...

I made this one yesterday and couldn't believe how easy it was. I didn't have lemon oil so used a bit of lemon juice in the pastry and lemon zest in the filling. The pastry is buttery with a hint of sweetness, and the lemon filling is just like lemon curd. My partner declared it 'prizewinning'. Definitely a winner in this house - will be making it again (and again and again)!

glamah16 said...

I bet Mama was so happy.

Dee said...

Me. Want. NOW.
Nothing's ever lemony enough for me, so I'm going to take your word and bake it over the weekend hopefully. I love the cracked top :)

Katie said...

I'm a lemon addict so this tart looks amazing! Send a slice my way!

Lore said...

I'm with CCM, things can never be too lemony! The pure lemon oil sounds like such a great idea for baking. I'm missing out so much because I just can't get myself to use lemon rinds when I can tell just by touching them (the lemons in the supermarket) that they have been chemically treated (it's like they have some kind of wax on). I would buy and buy again this oil if I knew it was organic. And your delicious tart would be my first stop to make up for all those years I could use lemon peel. Lovely!

Rosie said...

I would love a slice of your lemon pie C.C. I adore citrus flavours and lemon tops the bill...

Wonderful bake as always :)

Rosie x

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

I wish I had read this post before my trip to Lakeland. All I bought was jam jars and lids. I will have to buy some of this oil next time. I do love lemon desserts. My favourite. I would have this over chocolate cake any day and I like the cracking too :)