This tart took me about 4-5 hours to make and at the end of it, I was bruised and burnt. The pastry requires very little butter and hardly any water, which makes it a very dry dough, making the kneading and rolling a challenging task. The tart like the name suggests, is awfully lemony. But the pastry manages to balance it out. You can have this warm or chilled [I would suggest chilled as the tangy lemon flavour gets toned down a notch or two once it’s cool].
The recipe requires a solid baking sheet and I don’t own one and I was already halfway through the recipe to go out and buy one. So instead of using a solid baking sheet, I wrapped my baking tray with kitchen foil.
Adapted by Delia Smith
For pastry base:
6 oz (175g) plain flour
1 ½ oz (40g) icing sugar
3 oz (75g) butter, room temperature
1 large egg, separated
Pinch of salt
Quiche tin – 9 inches (23cm) in diameter and 1½ inches (4cm) deep, lightly greased
Solid baking sheet [or see above on how to use foil as an alternate option]
For the filling:
6-8 lemons [zest of 6 lemons, 10 fl oz (275ml) juice of 5 lemons]
6 large eggs
6 oz (175g) caster sugar
7 fl oz (200ml) whipping cream
A little icing sugar to serve.
– Mix all the pastry ingredients [except the egg white] in a bowl. If you are using a food processor, add 1 tablespoon of water to the mixture, if you are mixing it by hand, use 4-5 tablespoons of water until it forms a firm dough. Knead lightly.
– Place the dough in a polythene bag and leave it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
– Pre-heat the oven to 400°F/200°C and place the solid baking sheet or baking tray with foil to preheat as well.
– Roll out the pastry as thinly as possible [I place a plastic on top of my dough before rolling it out to avoid any cracks in the dough and so that that it doesn’t stick to anything].
– Line the quiche tin pressing the pastry around the base and sides so that it comes about ¼ inch (5 mm) above the edge of the tin.
– Prick the base with a fork and brush it all over with the reserved, lightly beaten egg white.
– Bake on the middle shelf for 20 minutes. As you remove it, turn the temperature down to 350°F/180°C.
– Once you remove the pastry base from the oven, allow it to cool. Once cooled, remove the base from the quiche tin.
– Return the baking sheet or foil covered baking tray to the oven.
– To make the filling, grate the zest of 6 lemons and squeeze enough juice to give 10fl oz (275 ml) – depending on the size of your lemons, that should be anywhere between 4-5 lemons.
– Add sugar and whisk to combine making sure not to overdo otherwise the eggs will thicken.
– Add the lemon juice, zest and cream and whisk lightly.
– Place the pastry case on the baking sheet in the oven and pour the filling straight into the pastry so that there is no spilling.
– Bake for about 30 minutes or until the tart is set and feels springy at the centre.
– Allow it to cool for half an hour if you want to serve it warm. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the lemon tart as it is very good served chilled.
– Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.