A Tart French Tart!
Tarte au Citron
The Boys Do Bake Off - Series 2, Ep.2 - Tart Week
According to Felicity Cloake at The Guardian "A lemon tart would be spongy, sticky with lemon curd, a homely thing, while the tarte au citron has Parisian airs and graces." We disagree. A lemon tart is simply an English Tarte Au Citron (hence our title). Suggesting that an English version is "homely" implies something messy and rough, but the Gents say "it's the skills of the cook that will define the quality of the end product".
So, on with the task at hand, making Mary Berry's lemon tart recipe. We start with a sweetened and enriched shortcrust pasty. Flour and cold butter as standard, egg for richness (standard shortcrust uses only water) and fine icing sugar for a little sweetness. The resulting pastry should be indulgent yet crisp.
Role out to a even thickness as thin as a pound coin. Carefully lay in your flan case (we're doing little versions, after all, you can't possibly think we eat all of this can you?!) and let the pastry overhang the sides. Press into all the ridges and corners using a spare piece of pasty. You wont put your finger through the delicate dough and you'll have nice clean lines when you cut your tart. You can trim the excess during blind baking, that way you'll avoid shrinkage and get a cleaner looking finish.
Prick the base with a fork and line with baking paper or heat-proof clingfilm then fill will your choice of baking beans. There are commercial ceramic beans available, but rice or dried pulses work just as well and will form more closely to your case, especially if you're using a fluted tin. Bake until lightly golden, remove your beans, trim your pastry and bake again until completely dry. Once removed from the oven, reduce the temperature (you don't want a scrambled filling!).
For the filling simply whisk together your eggs, cream and sugar as well as the all important lemon juice and zest. Carefully fill your case with the lemon mixture. The easiest way to do this is to place you case on the shelf of your oven and pour your mixture in from a jug. That way there's far less chance of spillage.
Bake until just wobbly, then cool and dust with icing sugar. There you have it. A refined, classy English lemon tart!