My Tarte au Citron recipe includes an easy sweet pastry case filled with a sharp but sweet and creamy custard filling. Its the ultimate Lemon Tart! Whats more, you can use the sweet pastry case to make a range of other sweet tarts and as a bonus, I reveal the secret to avoiding that ubiquitous soggy bottom!
Start by creaming together 120g Salted Butter and 45g Caster Sugar until light and fluffy in a medium mixing bowl.
Whisk 1 Egg in a small bowl then weigh 35g of the beaten egg. Keep the remainder of the beaten egg for the glaze later in the recipe.
Add the weighed egg and 200g Plain Flour to the creamed butter and sugar along with 1.5 tbsp Lemon Juice.
....until a dough forms.
Lightly knead the dough just until it has fully come together into a smooth ball. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Line the Pastry Case
Lightly grease a loose bottomed tart tin (about 25cm) with a little flavourless oil.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until relatively thin and a little bigger than the tin (taking into account the amount of dough needed to line up the sides with a little excess). Keep sprinkling a little flour under the dough to prevent it sticking but don’t go overboard or you’ll change the consistency of the pastry.
Using the rolling pin to assist, drape the dough gently over the tart tin being careful to not rip it on the sharp edge.
Using your finger pads, press the dough right into the corners of the tin.
Use any trimmings to patch up any holes if any have appeared.
Using the rolling pin, roll over the top of the tin to cut the excess pastry away.
After the case is trimmed, using your fingers gently ease the pastry around the edges up a little to compensate for shrinkage. Chill the pastry case for a minimum of 30 minutes in the fridge.
Bake the Pastry Case
Preheat the oven to 190c or equivalent.
Line the inside of the pastry case with grease proof paper or a grease proof liner and FILL it with baking beans. (Twice as many as in the photo! Do as I say, not as I do!)
Blind bake the pastry case with the beans in for 10 minutes.
Take the beans out and return the pastry to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Using a pastry brush, gently paint a thin layer of your retained beaten egg over the whole of the inside of the pastry. It will dry and form a little bit of a barrier between the pastry and wet filling.
Reduce the oven temperature to 150c or equivalent.
Make the Filling
While the pastry is chilling, separate the yolk from the white of 2 Eggs.
Mix the yolk with 5 Eggs and 300g Caster Sugar.
Beat in 225ml Double Cream.
Zest then juice 3 Lemons. Add both the zest and juice to the filling mix.
Set the mixture aside until the case is ready to fill.
Assemble and Bake the Tart
Place the tart tin on a baking tray and pour the filling mixture into the pastry case.
Pop in the oven for 30 minutes.
The tart is ready when the filling is set in the middle but is still wobbly – it will carry on firming up a little before it cools. If the tart isn’t yet ready, pop it back in and check every three to five minutes.
Leave the tart in its tin to cool then gently work around the edge of the tin with something sharp to make sure the pastry isn’t sticking and remove the tin edge.
You can serve the tart on the tin base if you wish, otherwise work a big and wide sharp knife between the pastry and tin (whilst on a flat surface) to release it.
Sprinkle the tart with 1 tbsp Icing Sugar before serving with more double cream.