Saturday, January 25

Tarte au Citron Brûlée

The classic lemon tart, subtly enhanced with an almond pastry and thin crisp veneer of caramel on top. The tart must be served immediately after you have brulee'd it and will not keep well in the fridge. Best to make on the day, serve warm and blowtorch at the table for maximum effect.

100g Unsalted Butter
50g Caster Sugar
150g Ground Almonds
200g Plain Flour
1 Egg

Lemon Filling:9 Eggs
400 g Caster Sugar
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 5 lemons
250 ml double cream

Bung all the dry ingredients for the pastry into food processor and blitz with the butter. Unlike normal pastry you need to allow the pastry to blitz for a good couple of minutes. Add the egg and pulse to  bind. This pastry is a bugger to roll out so roll the pastry between two sheets of parchment or clingfilm  Remove one layer of the parchment and then upturn the pastry into a greased 20cm loose bottomed flan tin. Remove the other piece of parchment (which should be on top) and push well into the tin with your fingers. Any cracks can be repaired by patching up with any spare pastry.  Leave the pastry overhanging the edges of the tin. Line the pastry with cling film and then fill with baking beans. Blind bake at 200c for 30 minutes removing the cling film and beans 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Allow the pastry to cool then trim the edge of the tart with a serrated knife. If you have any small cracks, paint with beaten egg and return to the oven for 30 seconds to cook the add and thus seal the crack.

To make the filling, whisk the eggs with the caster sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Add the lemon juice and cream. Continue to whisk until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Skim any froth from the top then pour into the tart case. Bake at 120c for 30 to 40 minutes until the centre of the tart just wobbles like jelly when given a gentle nudge. If the filling looks too liquid, give the tart another few minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. Don't refrigerate or the flavours will be dulled and the tart filling has a tendency to crack. 

Just before serving dust with a thin layer of caster sugar and using a blowtorch, brûlée the top. Serve with pouring cream.

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