Meyer Lemon Tart

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By Darren Purchese

They say you can tell a good pastry chef by their lemon tart. It is a CLASSIC and something that just sings when done correctly.

This is a simple dish but can be tricky to master, it is all in the fine golden brown pastry case and the cooking of the tangy lemony custard which should be just set and certainly not overcooked. We have used fragrant and delicious Meyer lemons here because we had a glut, but you can certainly substitute for regular lemon varieties. Care must be taken to make the pastry correctly and give time for resting. Roll the pastry thin and line your tart carefully leaving an overhang.

Once you have blind baked your tart shell you need to seal it with egg wash. Often a lemon tart, or any tart of that matter, can have slightly soggy pastry so it is important to bake your pastry to a deep golden-brown colour to ensure crispiness after you have cooked the custard inside. Now onto the custard, once you have made the mix, we need to cook it perfectly and that can be tricky.

When you check you tart there needs to be a slight wobble in the centre of the tart and no souffle or overcooking around the edges. To make this part easier we will cook the custard ever so slowly over a bain-marie to a temperature of 60C, this will dissolve the sugar and ensure your tart cooks quicker than normal. The internal temperature for a perfect lemon tart needs to be 70C – 72C so it won’t take long to get there if we preheat the custard. A little practice and you will be mastering this classic dessert and enjoying one of the best desserts ever invented.

Makes 1 x Lemon Tart

Equipment needed: Fluted tart ring with loos bottom 25cm diameter x 4 cm deep.

Time

1

hour

45

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Medium

Save

2

Portions

12
servings

Share Recipe

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Ingredients

Servings

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SWEET PASTRY

280g plain flour, sieved
90g icing sugar, sieved
1 pinch salt
135g unsalted butter, cold diced
55g egg, (approx, 1 large egg)
20g egg yolk, (approx, 1 large egg yolk)

EGG WASH

40g egg yolks (approx. 2 large egg yolks)
20g cream thickened
 pinch salt flakes

LEMON TART FILLING

200g Meyer lemon juice
350g caster sugar
300g cream, thickened
440g eggs, (approx. 8-9 eggs)
2 Meyer lemon zest
1

Ingredients for the pastry needed... 

 

2

To make the paste… place flour, icing sugar, salt and scraped vanilla seeds into a mixing bowl.

 

3

Use your fingers... to crumb in the cold butter until you have a fine sandy texture that is completely free of any butter lumps.

 

4

Add in the eggs & egg yolk... and mix again with your fingers until the dough starts to come together.

 

5

Shape the pastry... turn it out onto a lightly floured workbench and work it together briefly with your hands to make a square parcel.

 

6

To rest… wrap in baking paper, chill and rest the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling.

 

7

To roll the pastry… Once you have made your pastry and it has rested in the fridge sufficiently, place it onto a lightly floured work surface. Work the dough with your hands to soften it to an even, manageable temperature and softness. Again, lightly flour the work surface and use a rolling pin to tap the pastry to flatten to a starting point to roll the pasty. Work quickly to roll the pastry, using flour to ensure it does not stick to the bench. Try to work quickly or your pastry will get too warm, and this will make it hard to work with. Roll the pastry evenly and regularly lift the pasty from the work surface and turn it clockwise to ensure it stays in a round or rectangle shape. Roll to 2 mm thickness and roll it onto a sheet of baking paper, place onto a tray and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

 

8

To line the tart… line the 25 cm X 4 cm tart, remove the pastry from the fridge and place it onto the work bench. Leave to come to room temperature for a couple of minutes before rolling back onto the rolling pin. Roll the pastry over the tart, gently press the pastry into the edges, patching up any holes as you go. Remove excess pastry but don’t trim the tart neat, leave the pastry to overhang the edge of the tart. Make sure the mould is lined evenly with the pastry in all corners and edges and now chill the tart mould in a freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.

 

9

To blind bake… remove the tart from the freezer. Take a large sheet of baking paper and crush it into a ball, open the sheet and line the tart with the baking paper. Fill the tart with baking beans or rice and push down to ensure the edges are filled to the corners of the ring.

 

10

To cook... put the tart into an oven preheated to 180C, cook for 30 minutes. Ensure the pastry is cooked through on the sides and the base, check by gently lifting the paper and baking beans. Remove from the oven and remove the paper and beans.

 

11

Make the egg wash… add the yolks to a bowl and add the cream and salt, mix well with a fork and pass the egg wash through a sieve into a fresh bowl.

 

12

Egg wash the tart… use a pastry brush to brush the hot tart shell with the egg wash, ensure you cover the entire surface of the tart to seal up any cracks or small holes. Place the tart back into the oven and bake again for 4-5 minutes to seal the egg wash and give some colour.

 

13

Remove from the oven and leave to cool...

 

14

Trim the tart… once the tart shell has cooled take a small sharp paring knife or a vegetable peeler and carefully crape the edges of the tart to remove the excess overhang pastry.

 

15

Brush the crumbs... once you have trimmed all the way around, use a clean dry pastry brush to brush any crumbs away from the interior of the tart.

 

16

Ingredients for the custard needed...

 

17

For the Meyer lemon custard… place the eggs into a large bowl and use a whisk to break up the eggs.

 

18

Add the sugar to the bowl and again mix with the whisk... at this stage we will switch the whisk for a spatula. We are now trying to avoid making air bubbles or aerating the mix.

 

19

Add the lemon juice... and mix again with the spatula.

 

20

Add the cream and zest... and again mix well with the spatula until all is well amalgamated.

 

21

Cook the custard… place the bowl of lemon tart mix over a pan of simmering water and turn the heat to low, stir regularly with the silicone spatula until the temperature of the custard reaches 60C - 62C. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir well again, pass the custard through a fine sieve into a jug to remove the zest.

 

22

Pour the mix into the tart shell… reduce the oven to 120C and pour the mix into the prepared tart and take a blow torch or piece of baking paper to remove any air bubbles from the surface. It is important to fill the custard to the very top of the tart so it will be easier to put the blind baked tart into the oven first and fill using a jug. This way there will be less chance to spill the custard while moving.

 

23

Cook the tart… in the oven pre heated to 120°C for around 12 minutes or until the interior of the custard reaches 70°C and there is a slight jiggle in the centre of the tart. Immediately remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool.

 

 

24

Cut slices and serve.

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

Ingredients for the pastry needed... 

2
0 hours 0 minutes

To make the paste… place flour, icing sugar, salt and scraped vanilla seeds into a mixing bowl.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

Use your fingers... to crumb in the cold butter until you have a fine sandy texture that is completely free of any butter lumps.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

Add in the eggs & egg yolk... and mix again with your fingers until the dough starts to come together.

5
0 hours 0 minutes

Shape the pastry... turn it out onto a lightly floured workbench and work it together briefly with your hands to make a square parcel.

6
0 hours 0 minutes

To rest… wrap in baking paper, chill and rest the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling.

7
0 hours 0 minutes

To roll the pastry… Once you have made your pastry and it has rested in the fridge sufficiently, place it onto a lightly floured work surface. Work the dough with your hands to soften it to an even, manageable temperature and softness. Again, lightly flour the work surface and use a rolling pin to tap the pastry to flatten to a starting point to roll the pasty. Work quickly to roll the pastry, using flour to ensure it does not stick to the bench. Try to work quickly or your pastry will get too warm, and this will make it hard to work with. Roll the pastry evenly and regularly lift the pasty from the work surface and turn it clockwise to ensure it stays in a round or rectangle shape. Roll to 2 mm thickness and roll it onto a sheet of baking paper, place onto a tray and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

8
0 hours 0 minutes

To line the tart… line the 25 cm X 4 cm tart, remove the pastry from the fridge and place it onto the work bench. Leave to come to room temperature for a couple of minutes before rolling back onto the rolling pin. Roll the pastry over the tart, gently press the pastry into the edges, patching up any holes as you go. Remove excess pastry but don’t trim the tart neat, leave the pastry to overhang the edge of the tart. Make sure the mould is lined evenly with the pastry in all corners and edges and now chill the tart mould in a freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.

9
0 hours 0 minutes

To blind bake… remove the tart from the freezer. Take a large sheet of baking paper and crush it into a ball, open the sheet and line the tart with the baking paper. Fill the tart with baking beans or rice and push down to ensure the edges are filled to the corners of the ring.

10
0 hours 0 minutes

To cook... put the tart into an oven preheated to 180C, cook for 30 minutes. Ensure the pastry is cooked through on the sides and the base, check by gently lifting the paper and baking beans. Remove from the oven and remove the paper and beans.

11
0 hours 0 minutes

Make the egg wash… add the yolks to a bowl and add the cream and salt, mix well with a fork and pass the egg wash through a sieve into a fresh bowl.

12
0 hours 0 minutes

Egg wash the tart… use a pastry brush to brush the hot tart shell with the egg wash, ensure you cover the entire surface of the tart to seal up any cracks or small holes. Place the tart back into the oven and bake again for 4-5 minutes to seal the egg wash and give some colour.

13
0 hours 0 minutes

Remove from the oven and leave to cool...

14
0 hours 0 minutes

Trim the tart… once the tart shell has cooled take a small sharp paring knife or a vegetable peeler and carefully crape the edges of the tart to remove the excess overhang pastry.

15
0 hours 0 minutes

Brush the crumbs... once you have trimmed all the way around, use a clean dry pastry brush to brush any crumbs away from the interior of the tart.

16
0 hours 0 minutes

Ingredients for the custard needed...

17
0 hours 0 minutes

For the Meyer lemon custard… place the eggs into a large bowl and use a whisk to break up the eggs.

18
0 hours 0 minutes

Add the sugar to the bowl and again mix with the whisk... at this stage we will switch the whisk for a spatula. We are now trying to avoid making air bubbles or aerating the mix.

19
0 hours 0 minutes

Add the lemon juice... and mix again with the spatula.

20
0 hours 0 minutes

Add the cream and zest... and again mix well with the spatula until all is well amalgamated.

21
0 hours 0 minutes

Cook the custard… place the bowl of lemon tart mix over a pan of simmering water and turn the heat to low, stir regularly with the silicone spatula until the temperature of the custard reaches 60C - 62C. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir well again, pass the custard through a fine sieve into a jug to remove the zest.

22
0 hours 0 minutes

Pour the mix into the tart shell… reduce the oven to 120C and pour the mix into the prepared tart and take a blow torch or piece of baking paper to remove any air bubbles from the surface. It is important to fill the custard to the very top of the tart so it will be easier to put the blind baked tart into the oven first and fill using a jug. This way there will be less chance to spill the custard while moving.

23
0 hours 0 minutes

Cook the tart… in the oven pre heated to 120°C for around 12 minutes or until the interior of the custard reaches 70°C and there is a slight jiggle in the centre of the tart. Immediately remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool.

 

24
0 hours 0 minutes

Cut slices and serve.

Recipe Tags basics, custard, lemon, nostalgia