The monsoons have hit Delhi.
The rains come visiting at any time, with absolutely no regard for my plans, my clothes hung out to dry, or the day I decide to wear new shoes.
Maybe a luscious lemon tart will facilitate better behaviour?
This recipe comes from David Lebovitz. You can read all about his fabulous recipe here.
The thing is I’ve made puff pastry dough and tart dough before, and I have to admit it’s one of the most tedious things I have ever done. There is a lot of ice water, mixing, rolling, folding, freezing, and other such things involved. You need to make sure the dough is super cold at all times, and that is a tad difficult when you’re baking in June and in Delhi.
So obviously I was super pleased when I discovered that I could make wonderful tart dough and not care if it was cold. Infact, in this recipe, the dough has to be hot. Hot enough to burn your finger (I would know).
The fun thing is it’s so easy that a baby could make it. Except for the hot dough bit. We don’t want you to have to deal with crying babies who’ve just burnt their baby fingers.
This French tart (to see the original recipe go here) is buttery, crumbly, and perfectly melt-in-your-mouth. The lemon curd filling is tarty and slightly sweet, and makes you stop thinking about your new, wet shoes drying against the wall.
I have modified the recipe a little bit. I like my lemon tarts really lemony. If you like it more sweet and less tart, just reduce the lemon juice and increase the sugar by a few tablespoons.
Hello rain. Would you like a slice?
Make this and bribe the rains. And wait, hoping they’ll have the decency make an appointment before their next visit.
Tangy Lemon tart
Inspired by: David Lebovitz’s Tarte au citron
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
For the tart shell:
90 g salted butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
150 g flour
For the lemon curd:
½ cup lemon juice (I used about 8 small lemons)
grated zest of one lemon
100 g sugar
85 g salted butter
2 egg yolks (freeze the whites for an omelette later!)
For the tart case
- Preheat the oven to 210º C. In a medium, oven-proof bowl, mix the butter, oil, water and sugar.
- Place the bowl in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the liquids are bubbling slightly.
- Remove the bowl from the oven CAREFULLY (burnt finger alert!) and put the flour in immediately. Stir until it all comes together, and the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
- Put the dough in a 9-inch tart tin with a removable base, and spread it out so it cools a little. Once slightly cool, use your fingers to spread the dough all over the base and sides. Prick all over with a fork.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until it is golden. Leave the tart case to cool before filling, or freeze to use later.
For the lemon curd filling
- Preheat the oven to 180º C.
- In a non-stick pan, heat the lemon juice, zest, sugar and butter. Once the butter has melted, turn off the heat.
- Beat the eggs and yolks in a small bowl. Pour a few spoons of the warm lemon-butter mixture into the eggs gradually, while stirring. This has to be done to warm the egg mixture before pouring it into the lemon-butter mixture. If you skip this, you will have scrambled eggs. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
- Now pour the warmed egg mixture into the lemon mixture and cook over very low heat till it thickens. Keep stirring gently.
- Pour this warm mixture through a strainer into the cooled tart case. Press down with a spoon to push the mixture through the strainer properly.
- Spread the mixture evenly in the tart case. Don’t worry if you think the layer of filling is too thin. The creamy richness will come through in every mouthful.
- Pop the tart in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the filling is just set, but slightly wobbly. Let it cool before you stuff your face in it It tastes good when it’s been sitting in the fridge for a while as well.