A classic lemon tart, or tarte au citron, is a beautiful thing – sharp, smooth and seductive; a timeless recipe not to be meddled with.
- Preparation time: 30 minutes plus chilling and cooling
- Cooking time: 1 minutes
200g plain our, plus extra for rolling out
65g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
1 large egg yolk, plus 1 beaten egg for glazing
175g caster sugar
85ml lemon juice
150ml double cream
1. For the pastry, tip the our, icing sugar and a good pinch of salt into a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 tbsp ice-cold water. Pulse again to bring the dough together, adding a little more water if needed. Tip the dough onto a work surface and shape into a ball using your hands, then atten into a puck, cover with cling lm and chill for 1 hour until firm.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the lling. Lightly whisk the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until well combined, taking care not to create lots of bubbles on the surface. Stir in the cream and chill until needed. 3 Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C, gas mark 4. Lightly dust the work surface with our, roll out the pastry into a circle about 0.3cm thick and use to line a 23cm uted tart tin. Trim off any excess pastry, prick the base and chill for 20 minutes.
4. Line the pastry case with scrunched-up then smoothed-out baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Sit the tin on a baking sheet and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 15 minutes, until crisp and pale golden. Carefully lift out the paper and baking beans and return to the oven for 15 minutes, until the base is crisp and dry. Brush the base and sides with the beaten egg and return to the oven for a final 3-5 minutes to seal the pastry with the egg.
5. Remove the pastry case from the oven and reduce the temperature to 150 ̊C, gas mark 2. Pour the lling into the pastry case and bake for 25 minutes, until barely set (it should still wobble in the centre). Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving, with a dusting of icing sugar if liked.