Light, tangy and refreshing, this silky lemon tart makes great use of all the glorious citrus fruit coming into season in Australia this Autumn.
While making your own short crust pastry is a little labour intensive, it is well worth the effort. The texture and taste of this golden, crumbly pastry can't be matched by anything available in a supermarket freezer, and it's sure to impress your friends and family.
Ingredients Pastry 120g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
Lemon Custard 5 large eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tblsp lemon zest
300 ml thickened cream
To make pasty, sift flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Using your fingertips rub in butter until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
Lightly beat the yolks and, using a dinner knife, cut yolks into the flour mixture until the pastry begins to clump together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently kneed until a smooth pastry forms. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes
Once the pastry has chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until approximately 3 mm thick. Line a 23 cm fluted tart tin with the pastry and gently press into base and flutes.* Cut off any excess pastry and chill for a further 30 minutes.
While the pastry chills, preheat oven to 170 degrees fan-forced. Line tart shell with a piece of crumpled baking paper and fill with baking beans (dried beans, pulses or rice will work too). Bake for 12-15 minutes until the pastry has set.
Remove the beans and bake tart for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry has dried and become lightly golden brown.
Lightly whisk remaining egg and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the base and edges of the pastry to seal. Bake for a further 3 minutes then remove and allow to cool.
Reduce the oven to 120 degrees.
To make the filling, in a large bowl whisk together the sugar and eggs for 3-4 minutes until well combined and the sugar has dissolved.
Juice the lemons and measure out 1/2 cup, add to the egg and sugar mixture along with the zest, lightly whisk to combine.
Add the cream to the bowl and whisk to combine. Place kitchen paper lightly on the surface of the custard to remove any air bubbles.
Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, then transfer into a pouring jug. Place tart on middle rack of the oven and carefully pour custard into tart shell. Bake for 35 minutes or until set with a wobble in the centre.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for half an hour before removing from tin. Allow to sit for a further 2 hours to cool and set then decorate with berries and icing sugar.*
When lining tart tin press pastry into base and edges, but only lightly press into the flutes. Trim excess pastry then press to define flutes letting the pastry stand 1-2mm above the tin. This will help account for any pastry shrinkage during baking.
Do not place berries on top until ready to serve as their weight can sometimes crack the surface of the custard.