- 1 quantity of Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (please see below)
- 2 free-range egg yolks, beaten icing sugar, to dust
For the lemon filling
- finely grated zest and juice of 10 unwaxed lemons (you need 450ml juice)
- 500g caster sugar
- 1 litre double cream
- 6 free-range eggs
- 6 free-range egg yolks
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface, then use it to line a 25cm loose-bottomed flan tin about 4.5cm deep, or a cake ring placed on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Leave the excess pastry overhanging the edge of the tin as this will be trimmed after cooking.
Refrigerate for 25 minutes. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper, then fill to the top with baking beans (if you don’t have baking beans, use plain uncooked beans or rice).
Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 18–20 minutes or until pale golden.
Remove from the oven and lift out the paper and beans, then return the pastry case to the oven and bake for a further 4 minutes. Remove from the oven again and brush the egg yolks over the hot pastry case. Return to the oven for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 110°C/Gas Mark 1/4.
To make the filling, put the lemon juice and caster sugar in a pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon zest and leave to infuse for 3–4 minutes, then pass the mixture through a fine sieve.
Put the cream in a separate pan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Put the eggs and egg yolks into a large mixing bowl and whisk together, then, whilst still whisking, pour the lemon juice/sugar mixture on to the eggs. Whisk in the cream, then pass the mixture through a fine sieve. Skim off any bubbles from the top.
Place the pastry case in the tin on a baking sheet and place this on the shelf in the oven, then gently pour in the lemon filling, taking it to the very top and being very careful to avoid any spillages. Bake for about 40 minutes or until only just set. The middle should wobble like a jelly when the tart is cooked.
Remove from the oven and leave the tart to cool on the baking sheet for at least 3 hours at room temperature – do not put it in the fridge as the pastry will go soggy. When cool, neatly trim off the excess pastry from around the edge of the tart using a small paring knife. Carefully remove the tart from the tin or ring, then cut it into wedges.
Dust with icing sugar and caramelise the top with a chef’s blowtorch just before serving.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry ( Makes about 440g)
- 200g plain flour
- a small pinch of sea salt
- 75g icing sugar
- 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and set aside. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the icing sugar, butter and vanilla seeds together on a medium speed until pale in colour. Gradually mix in half the beaten egg, then half the flour, then add the remainder of the beaten egg and finally the last of the flour.
Turn out and knead lightly until you have a smooth dough but do not over work it. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 2 hours before use.