There are a million and one different lemon desserts out there but my favourite has got to be the humble lemon tart. Just the plain ol’ lemon tart without all that fancy schmancy burnished crown of meringue. It scores with its minimalistic and elegant appearance. Not to mention the beautiful sunny, pastel-yellow filling. Sometimes, I do a ‘cheater’s version’ by simply topping a baked tart shell with homemade lemon curd. However, this French Lemon Tart totally knocks it out of the park.
A buttery crisp shortcrust tart, imbued with the unmistakable scent of vanilla, surrounds a softly-set, lemony custard filing. I used my absolute favourite Pâte Sucrée and adapted Thomas Keller’s recipe for the lemon filling (I’m such a fan of Kelle! French Laundry, Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery are on my to-visit/eat list/bucket list) This lemon tart is deceptively simple to make – which is unfortunately both a good and dangerous thing. A slice of the tart, plain and unadorned is yummy on its own. Sifted powdered sugar or a drizzle of chocolate across the top would add a nice touch, but why go to such lengths? Now, I think I have found the lemon tart.
Tarte au Citron
adapted from Thomas Keller’s lemon tart filling with a way more simplified set of directions. Enjoy!
1 blind-baked sweet shortcrust pastry
2 freerange, organic eggs + 2 extra egg yolks
130g organic cane sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs sour cream
zest of 1 lemon
a smidgen of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
6 T unsalted french butter, cold
Place the lemon zest and sugar in a pan and rub together until thoroughly imbued. Pour in the lemon juice and heat. Whisk the eggs and stream in the hot liquid to temper. Pour the egg mix back into the pan and add the vanilla, sour cream. Cook over low heat until thickened. Cool and whisk in the butter. Strain to remove the zests and bits of cooked eggs, if any at all. Fill the tart shell and smooth over the top. Bake in an oven preheated to 160C until just softly-set, about 7 mins. Cool, slice and eat!