Recipe by: Tania Nicaise

Source: Tania’s recipe & Carine’s restaurant for shortcrust

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 portion of sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 300 g butter
  • 120 g sugar
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 4 eggs (60 g each)

Ingredients (Meringue)

  • 120 g egg whites
  • 120 g caster sugar

Ingredients (For 4 Sweet Shortcrust Pastry)

  • 700 g top flour (Redman) or cake flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 400 g frozen butter, grated
  • 80 g cassonade or light muscovado sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 Tbsp cold water

Instructions (Sweet Shortcrust Pastry)

  • Mix the flour with sugar and salt
  • Place the flour on a cleaned surface and make a hole in the middle
  • Put the butter in the middle and quickly rub the butter into the flour by lifting up small amounts with the fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg yolk and the water and knead lightly Don’t work too much the dough otherwise it will become elastic!
  • Wrap in clingfilm and let it rest for at least 30 min.
  • Let the dough “heat” again at room temp before rolling out (2-3 mm) between 2 pieces of baking paper (this method simplifies the task).
  • Remove one paper, roll the pastry around your roller pin and put on a butter/floured tin. Remove the second baking paper. ( I used a 23 cm tin, but there’s enough ingredients for 25 cm tin)
  • Press the pastry over the base and up the sides of the tin with your fingertips, trim excess of pastry and chill it for minimum 15 min (to minimize shrinkage while cooking)

Note: It’s even better if you rest the dough overnight. You can keep the dough in the fridge for 3 days or 3 months in the freezer!

Instructions (Baking the Shortcrust)

Preheat oven 180 C (350 F)

  • Bake the tart case empty (baking blind): prick the pastry base with a fork, line with baking paper and half-fill the tin with baking beans to hold the pastry in shape.
  • Bake for 10-15 min or until just set, then lift out the paper and the filling.
  • Decrease the oven temp to 160C and cook the empty tart for another 10 minutes.
  • Let it cool

Instructions (Lemon Custard)

  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl
  • Place the bowl on a saucepan of simmering water (bain-marie) and use a whisk to stir continuously for about 8 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
  • Once cooked, remove from the heat, stir again and let it cool till warm.
  • Pour the lemon curd on the cooked shortcrust pastry and let it cool in the fridge.

Instructions (Meringue)

  • Whisk the ingredients till the volume tripled and the meringue is thick and glossy. Don’t overbeat to avoid a foamy texture.
  • Spoon over the cold lemon cream to cover it completely and swirl with a spoon or a fork
  • For a nice golden effect, grill the meringue in the oven or use a torch; be careful, it burns very quickly!

Download PDF here (many more photos are in this PDF): French Lemon Tart with Meringue Tania Nicaise

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