My mum has been making this lemon tart since I was a little girl, and it is one of the best-loved desserts in our family. I would like to think that this is the best lemon tart I have ever eaten. I have never known any other version of lemon tart until I came to Australia and noticed that all the lemon tarts sold at cafes and patisseries were different from what I was used to. They were really lemon cream tarts I suppose, as the lemon filling typically contains cream. I have to say that mum's version wins hands down, as I prefer the tart and lemony jam-like filling which is perfectly balanced by the rich, buttery and slighly salty shortcrust pastry. Pure heaven!
It's really hard to stop at just one slice, and I can shamelessly admit to having two or three (or four) slices in one go. The kids love it too, especially the crisp and buttery edges of the tart shell. When I was a kid, I used to break off the edges of the tart as they were my favourite part, and now my kids do the same! I'm glad that they have the chance to enjoy eating the same things I did when I was their age. They will thank me for it when they are older!
I hope that you will try out this wonderful recipe for Lemon Tart, and love it as much as all three generations in our family have.
Lemon Tart Recipe
Pastry:150g (5 oz) cold salted butter, diced into cubes
1 tsp baking powder
225g (7.5 oz) plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk (cold) mixed with 1 tbsp ice-cold water
1 tbsp ice-cold water (extra)1 tsp lemon juice
A little egg white for brushing
Filling:Juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
45g butter, softened
180g (6 oz) caster sugar
1 large egg
1. Sift flour with baking powder and add salt. Combine with butter and rub with fingertips until the mixture is crumbly (like breadcrumbs). Drizzle over the egg-water mixture and lemon juice, mix and gently bring the dough together to form a ball. If the dough is not coming together, it's too dry. Slowly add 1 tbsp of ice-cold water or just enough for it to come together to form a smooth dough. Take care not to overwork / overknead the dough. Cover in clingwrap and rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Grease the base and sides of a 9-inch / 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin and lightly dust with flour. Shake off excess flour.
3. Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper into a circle about 4mm thick. Line the tart tin with the pastry. Cut off excess pastry and crimp the edges. Fill up any holes with the excess pastry. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes to prevent shrinkage while baking.
6. Carefully remove the tart from the tin and place on a serving plate. Using a sharp knife, cut into wedges and serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Note: You can use a food processor to make the pastry dough if you have one. That's what I used :)
|Unbaked tart shell|