Lemon tart is by far and away my favourite dessert. It’s not just the taste – although that’s a big part of it – it’s the whole look and texture and the exquisite beauty of the end result, whether large tarts or small, delicate pastries.
I love looking at lemon tarts and pastries on Instagram (I’m following #lemontart and #tarteaucitron and I don’t care if that’s sad or nerdy) and will happily browse through photo after photo. In supermarkets I am always tempted to buy a big lemon tart, dusted enticingly as they are with icing sugar. I have to be careful as I’m likely to eat it a whole tart in one or two sittings (near enough) but would much prefer to be eating a home made version.
I think the reason I like lemon tart, or any lemon dessert really, is because lemons remind me of wonderful mediterranean holidays, where citrus groves are never more than just a short stroll away. Some really good friends of mine lived for 10 years in Spain and I visited them regularly. They kept a lemon tree in a pot on their baking hot roof terrace and would freeze the small lemons. These could then be easily plonked straight into a gin and tonic – nature’s ice and lemon all in a handy, single package.
This week I made my first ever lemon tart and this is how it turned out – the filling was gorgeous but the pastry was too thick and rugged looking. I’ll be having another go really soon I think – next time having a go at individual tarts.
- 175g plain flour
- 100g butter (room temperature)
- 25g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 3 large eggs
- 3 lemons
- 100g cream cheese
- 200g caster sugar
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Make the pastry by mixing the sugar, flour and butter together – rub in with fingers until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs (or pulse briefly in a food processor).
- Add the cold water to form a dough and knead briefly on a floured surface. Wrap in clingfilm and put in fridge for 15 minutes.
- Grease a tart case or springform cake tin (I used a 25cm springform tin).
- Roll out the pastry and fit gently to the tin and smooth out the top. Chill for another 15 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
- Prick the pastry case and line with parchment and fill with ceramic baking beans, rice or pulses to bake blind. Bake for 12/15 minutes until the pastry starts to brown. remove the parchment and baking beans/rice/pulses.
- Bake for another 10 minutes, then allow to cool.
- Make the filling – grate the zest of one lemon and whisk well with the juice of the three lemons. caster sugar, eggs and cream cheese. Pour into the pastry case and bake for 30 minutes or until just set. Allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar.
Do you have a cheap, fresh and easy recipe I can try? Let me know and I’ll feature it on the site and link back to you.
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