Recipe by: Michelle Pilarczyk

Source: Raymond Blanc, “100 Recipes for Entertaining”

Serves 8-10

Ingredients (Sweet Pastry)

  • 120 g (4½ oz) butter, at room temperature, diced
  • 75 g (3 oz) icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 egg yolks, divided
  • 250 g (9 oz) flour
  • 2 Tbsp water

Ingredients (Lemon Cream Filling)

  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g (5 oz) caster sugar
  • 85 ml (3 oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons, squeezed)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 150 ml (2/3 cups) double cream

Ingredients (Garnish)

  • A few small mint leaves

 

Instructions (Making the Sweet Pastry Dough)

  • Grease a 26 cm (10 in) removable bottom tart tin.
  • Add the softened butter and the icing sugar to a bowl. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix well to form a cream.
  • Beat in two of the egg yolks.
  • Add in the flour and use your fingertips to crumble the mixture together.
  • Add in the water and work with your hands until you can form a ball out of the dough. Do not overwork. Transfer to a floured surface and knead the dough ever so slightly (no more than 30 seconds), adding a bit more flour if necessary, until the ball comes together and is not sticking to the surface.
  • Place the dough on a sheet of cling film and flatten slightly to a disc shape.
  • Encase the entire dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 mins. This helps ensure the dough will not shrink while baking.

Instructions (Lemon Cream Filling)

  • In a large bowl, add the eggs, caster sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Whisk together for a few seconds, until all the ingredients mix well.
  • Whisk in the cream, then place in the fridge to chill.

Instructions (Shaping and Re-Chilling the Sweet Pastry Dough)

  • Remove the Sweet Pastry dough from the fridge and place on a floured surface.
  • Roll out to the size of the tart tin.
  • Transfer to the tart tin (wrapping the dough around the rolling pin is an easy way to do this).
  • Push the dough into the tart tin to ensure a snug fit.
  • Use your fingers or a fork to create decorative trim to the edge of the tart dough,
  • Prick the base of the dough all over with a fork.
  • Return the pastry, now in the tin, to the fridge to chill for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160 C (325 F).

Instructions (Blind Baking the Sweet Pastry Crust)

  • Remove the pastry in the tin from the fridge and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • While it is baking, beat the third egg yolk.
  • After the 30 mins, remove the pastry from the oven, brush with the beaten egg and return to the oven to bake for one further minute.
  • Remove the pastry from the oven and turn the temperature down to 140 C (275 F).

Instructions (Baking the Tart)

  • In a small saucepan, gently warm the Lemon Cream Filling (be careful not to cook the eggs).
  • Fill the pre-baked Sweet Pastry crust with the warmed Lemon Cream Filling and bake for 25 minutes, until barely set.
  • Remove the tart from the oven and let sit for at least one hour.
  • Dust a bit of icing sugar on top for decoration, garnish with a few mint leaves and serve.

Download PDF here. More photos are in this PDF than in this blog post. French Lemon Tart

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