Feast cookalong: Lemon brulee tart

I’ll be totally honest – this tart was absolutely delicious, but it was despite me, not because of me. Which says a lot about the robustness of Matthew’s recipes. Let me explain – I had three baking projects on the go as I was cooking this tart: a chocolate cake for a helpful neighbour; a panforte to take to a dinner party; and this lemon tart. All three were happening simultaneously and, while the chocolate cake and panforte were recipes I had made before, the lemon tart was all new.

The first mistake I made was not reading the recipe and seeing how long it would take (amateur!), then, I let myself get distracted by various processes happening on various recipes (blanching almonds, while allowing a cocoa mixture to cool, while pastry was chilling) at various times. However, all’s well that ends well, and the tart was declared a fabulous success. Seconds were enjoyed with gusto.

Ingredients

  • 5 lemons
  • 6 eggs
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 250ml (1 cup) double cream
  • Pure icing sugar, to dust

Sweet shortcrust pastry

  • 180g unsalted butter,
  • chopped, softened
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 110g (⅔ cup) pure icing sugar
  • 300g (2 cups) plain flour

Preparation

  • To make the pastry, mix butter with lemon zest and icing sugar in a large bowl until combined. Add flour and 2 tbs iced water until mixture forms a soft dough; add more water if necessary.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Shape into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until large enough to line a 24cm tart pan with removable base. Press pastry into pan and trim edges. Refrigerate (or freeze) for 1 hour or until very cold.
  • Cover pastry with baking paper and top with baking weights or rice. Bake for 12 minutes or until starting to colour. Remove paper and weights, reduce oven to 160C and bake for a further 5 minutes or until base is crisp and golden.
  • Reduce oven to 120°C. To make filling, zest 3 lemons and combine with eggs and sugar in a bowl. Juice 2 lemons, add to egg mixture and whisk until combined. Whisk in cream and set aside for 1 hour.
  • Using a spoon, gently skim off froth from surface and discard. Strain mixture, discarding solids and removing any froth, then add zest of remaining 2 lemons.
  • Pour mixture into tart case and bake for 30 minutes or until centre is just set. (Give it a very gentle bump and watch if it wobbles in the centre.) Cool completely before removing from the pan.
  • Dust with icing sugar. Using a kitchen blow torch, caramelise the top lightly. Cool completely before serving.

About the author: Alix Clark is the editor of SBS food magazine Feast. In this regular series, she will choose a different dish from Feast magazine and recreate it in her own kitchen.

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As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 13, pg34. Photography by Alan Benson. 

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