So this is basically my favourite dessert/tart/sweet treat of all time. If I come upon a patisserie or a cake shop which looks even remotely like it has a proper pastry chef at the helm I will buy a lemon tart. Or Citron tart if we feel like getting fancy.
I adore my lemon butter but it is not right for a proper lemon tart. Similarly, that time I made the lemon meringue tart when I so bravely tried to keep up with the Daring Bakers produced a very easy lemon ‘curd’ but I could not bring myself to say a mix that involves cornflour is a proper lemon curd.
This comes from Jane and Jeremy Strode who own Bistrode, a 40 seat bistro in Sydney. They also do the weekly recipes in Good Living, which I always find very hit and miss. In fact, I bought their cookbook bistrode purely on flicking through it in the bookshop and chancing upon the page with their lemon curd tarts. There is much in the book I will try, far more than what they offer in GL, and this lemon curd is absolutely sensational.
The shortcrust pastry below is the one I use for everything. I think it is a Bill Granger recipe from recollection. (The picture below features double the curd recipe and is made in a 10cm x 33cm tart case w/ removable base.)
- 4 cups plain flour
- 350g unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4-1/2 cup cold water
For the curd
- 120g butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 175ml lemon juice
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
For the pastry
- Process the flour with the butter and add enough water for it to come together as a dough
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes
- Roll the pastry to 2mm thick and line a tart case or 12 x 10cm diameter round discs (Jane Strode says here to cut out the discs and then refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight but I am never so organised – I cut them out, line the cases and then refrigerate)
- Make sure you avoid any air bubbles between the pastry and the tin
- Line and fill with pie weights and bake for 10 minutes or until golden-brown and cooked through then allow to cool.
For the curd
- Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan then add the sugar and stir to combine
- Add lemon juice and eggs and cook over a medium to low heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon
- Make sure you don’t let it boil as this will curdle the eggs
- Take off the heat and pass through a fine strainer into a clean container
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing gently onto the surface so a skin doesn’t form and cool in the fridge before spooning into the tart case(s)
- The curd will keep in the fridge for a week.
Seriously, I could eat this until my head fell off.
Oh, and that pastry quantity will mean you have some left over. Just wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for another day.