So, let's get to it and bake!
Lemon Tart with Goats' Cheese Yum
Yield: 1 x 18cm tart
Serves: 8 slices
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Freezable: Sorry, untested
Time: 15 minutes hands on; about 90 - 100 minutes total bake time; plus cooling time
Inspired from: Tips shared by James Martin on 'The Box'. The lemon filling is a reduced quantity from the classic Lemon Tart in the book 'Desserts' by James Martin.
You will need:
1 x 18cm Flan Tin, with fluted sides with a loose bottom
1 x Baking Tray
Pallet Knife (or similar)
Baking Beans (or uncooked rice)
1L Pyrex Jug (or similar with pouring spout)
Paring Knife / Small Sharp Knife
Metal Piping Nozzle (or similar, to create shapes for the cheese)
For the Sweet Pasty
150g Plain Flour
75g Unsalted Butter, chilled & diced
25g Icing Sugar
1 medium Egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon (approx.) cold Water
For the Lemon Filling
3 Large Eggs
120g Caster Sugar
150g Double Cream
3 Lemons, Zest & Juice
For the Tart Top
Hard Goats' Cheese
How to make it:
1. Make the pastry. Place the flour, salt, icing sugar and cubed chilled butter into a good sized bowl. Rub the butter into the flour between your thumb and finger tips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre of the breadcrumbs and add the beaten egg. Using a rounded pallet knife, or similar, cut through the mixture to make a dough. You may need to add a little cold water to fully bring the mixture together. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead the dough for 10 seconds. Shape the pastry into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap in cling film and place into the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
2. Line the flan tin. Remove the pastry from the fridge and place onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the pastry out until it is nice and thin, about 2 - 3mm. Wrap the pastry around the rolling pin, lift it up (using the pin) and place into the flan tin. Gently tease the pastry into the case so that it sits into the edges well and picks up the shape of the fluted sides. Avoid stretching the pastry. If the pastry tears, patch it with surplus pastry. If the pastry over hangs the sides of the flan tin excessively, use a pair of clean scissors to trim off some of the excess. Place the lined tart case into the fridge to chill for a further 10 minutes.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 200c / 180 fan / Gas 6. Place a baking tray onto the middle shelf which is large enough to house the flan tin.
4. Blind bake the pastry. Remove the lined flan tin from the fridge. Cut a sheet of grease proof paper large enough to cover the flan tin. Scrunch it up and open it out. Gently lay it on top of the pastry, easing it into the edges. Weigh the paper down with baking beans or uncooked rice. Place into the oven (on the heated baking tray) and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the baking beans and grease proof paper. Using a sharp knife trim off the excess pastry from around the pastry case. Return the pastry to the oven and bake for a further 4 or 5 minutes until the pastry base has turned golden.
5. Prepare the lemon filling. Whilst the pastry is baking make the lemon filling. Break the eggs into a 1L capacity Pyrex jug (or similar) and beat with a fork. Add the sugar and cream and mix. Squeeze in the lemon juice and mix again. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Dispose of the waste caught by the sieve and strain the mixture again back into the jug. Add the lemon zest to the mixture and stir well.
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 100c / Fan 80 / Gas ½.
7. Fill the pastry case. Fill the pastry case with the lemon mixture whilst it is in the oven. This reduces the risk of it spilling down the back of the pastry case. Draw out the baking tray that the pastry case is sat upon and carefully pour the lemon mixture into the case as full as you dare. Slowly push the baking tray back into the oven.
8. Bake. Bake the lemon tart for 75 - 85 minutes. The tart will still have a very slight wobble in the centre once it is ready. It will continue cooking a little from the residual heat once it is removed from the oven. Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a cooling tray. Remove from the flan case after 5 - 10 minutes and allow to fully cool for at least an hour.
9. Decorate and caramelise. Pre-heat the grill. Slice the hard goats' cheese thinly and using the open end of a metal piping nozzle (or similar) cut about 16 circles (or as many as would like). Arrange on to the surface of the lemon tart. Liberally dust with icing sugar. Using a pastry brush, dust off the icing sugar from the pastry crust. Ideally use a cook's blow torch to caramelise the icing sugar (alternatively place the tart under a hot grill. Do keep a watchful eye on it as it can easily catch and burn as it caramelises due to the sugars.)
10. Cool. Allow the tart to cool fully before serving with cream.