Nothing could be more simple, relaxing, or down right delicious as a lemon tart. Given that at this time of year lemon trees are practically throwing off their fruit, there is no better time than now to make the most of nature’s profligacy and to try my version of the much loved sweetheart of citrus desserts. With a tart shell made from rice flour, potato starch and wholemeal flour, and a filling minus the usual inclusions of heavy cream and butter, my Shoreham Lemon Tart is a lighter, less naughty summertime treat.
For the tart shell:
130g rice flour
75g potato-starch – cornflour can be substituted
45g wholemeal flour
3 tbsp caster sugar
160g organic butter, chilled and chopped
120ml water, chilled
For the filling:
2 cups milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ cup caster sugar
3 tbsp lemon zest
Sift the flours together into a bowl. Transfer the well-sifted flours into a food processor and pulse with the sugar and butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Continue processing, adding 1 tbsp of chilled water at a time, until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for approx. 3 minutes or until smooth. Wrap the kneaded dough in glad-wrap and pop in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Grease a 23cm tart dish. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 3mm. Place into the tart dish and trim the edges. Place it back in the fridge for another 30 or so minutes.
Take the tart shell out of the fridge and line with baking paper and some rice – or baking beads if you have them. Blind bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
For the filling, pour the milk into a small saucepan and gently bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside. Pop the eggs, lemon juice, sugar, and zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until just combined. Whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture.
Pour the lemony-egg mixture into the cooled pastry case and bake for 20-25 minutes or until just firm to touch. Let cool – if in a hurry place the tart in the fridge to chill.
When ready to serve – this tart is best served chilled – sprinkle the top of the tart with some caster sugar. Using a kitchen blowtorch, scorch the sugar until it forms a golden, caramalised crust. Finish with a final dusting of icing sugar and serve. You don’t have to caramalise the top – it is just as yummy with a dusting of icing sugar.