Sunday, December 10, 2017

Tarte au Citron

In my continuing attempt to master pastry I decided to make a Tarte au Citron this week.  I used the recipe from my Leith's Baking Bible but instead of making a Pate Sucree I used the sweet rich shortcrust pastry recipe as its a lot simpler! The Pate Sucree recipe involves many more complicated steps and french terms, when I have the hang of shortcrust I may try it, but not just yet...

For the Sweet Rich shortcrust Pastry for a 20cm/8inch tart tin
170g/6oz plain flour
A pinch of salt
100g/3 1/2oz cold butter
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice cold water

For the filling
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
200g/7oz caster sugar
150ml/ 5 fl oz double cream
grated zest and juice of two lemons

To finish
icing sugar, sifted

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.  Cut the butter into 1cm cubes and add to the flour.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour, either by hand, or in a food processor or a stand mixture.
  3. Stop when the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Mix the egg yolk with the water and sprinkle over the flour mixture
  4. Stir with a knife until the mixture begins to clump together.  If the mixture is still a little dry sprinkle in a little more water.
  5. Bring the mixture together with you hands and gently press into a smooth paste. Form into a disc, cover in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30mins
  6. Once rested, take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out onto a lightly floured surface or a piece of bake-o-glide.
  7. Line an 8 inch tart tin with the pastry and return it to the fridge to rest again for another 30mins
  8. Preheat the oven to 190C/ Fan 170 
  9. Line the chilled pastry shell with baking parchment and fill with baking beans and blind bake for 15 mins
  10. Remove the beans and bake again for 5-10mins until the pastry is golden and sandy to touch.
  11. Lower the oven temperature to 170c/Fan 150
  12. Mix the eggs, yolk and sugar together until smooth, then strain through a sieve to remove any eggy threads.  Stir in the cream.  
  13. Add the lemon zest and juice; the mixture will thicken considerable.
  14. Pour the lemon filling into the pastry case and bake for 50mins until almost set.  Check the tart periodically and if the pastry and filling is starting to brown too much cover with foil.  Be careful not to let the foil touch the filling as it will stick.
  15. When the tart is cooked remove the tart tin and leave to cool
  16. To serve dust thickly with icing sugar and serve with cream. 

I was quite pleased with how the tart turned out, the pastry was nice and short with no soggy bottom, and it certainly tasted good.  Sadly, the foil I covered the tart with to prevent it burning got stuck to the filling so the surface was a bit ruffled up, but a good helping of icing sugar helps cover it up.

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