A good lemon tart is a perfect dessert. Light, fresh and zingy. This one fits the bill perfectly, particularly if made with this pastry, which is from Giorgio Locatelli’s Made in Italy book. It’s very easy to make and work with and has a lovely bite to it.
Serves 8 | 50 mins prep (including chilling the pastry) plus 30 mins cooking
Sweet pastry (makes enough for two large tart tins)
- 225g butter (softened to room temperature)
- 150g icing sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 450 g plain flour
- beaten egg for glazing
- 3 eggs
- 125g caster sugar
- Juice and finely grated rind of two lemons
- 100ml double cream
You will also need…
- a 25cm loose bottomed flan tin greased lightly with butter
- baking beans or rice
- Start with the pastry. Put the butter into a food processor and whizz it for a minute or so to soften. Add in the icing sugar – no need to sieve first – and whizz until the colour becomes more pale.
- Add the eggs, one by one, pulsing after each addition. Finally, add the flour and just as it starts to all come together, switch off the machine and turn the mix out onto a floured surface to finish off by hand. Don’t over-mix in the processor or it will become too tough and not crumbly enough.
- When it all comes together into a solid mass, divide in two, wrap each piece in cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins or so.
- Now cook the pastry. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c (fan). Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a flour sprinkled surface until about half a cm thick. Drape the rolled pastry over your rolling pin and carefully place it into the prepared tin. Don’t worry if it breaks – this pastry is easy to work with and you can fill in any gaps or tears with offcuts. Don’t trim the pastry at this stage – leave it until it’s past the first cooking stage. Prick it all over with a fork and place a piece of crumpled baking paper over it and fill the case with baking beans or rice. Cook for 15 mins or so, then remove from the oven, take the beans and paper out, trim the edges and brush with beaten egg before returning to the oven for a further 5 mins.
- While the pastry is cooking, make the lemon filling. Whizz the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale – about 8 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and rind and mix again, then finally add the cream and make sure it’s all fully mixed.
- When the pastry is cooked, pour in the lemon filling, turn the oven down to 120c and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, set the tin on a can (of beans or similar) to remove the outer ring and set the tart on a wire rack to cool completely.
- One completely cool, sprinkle with icing sugar, slice and serve with mascarpone and a few raspberries.