Goes to show how much I love lemon tarts, when I have a (II) for a recipe. Just wanted to make the tart shell recipe even simpler, and also wanted to avoid measuring eggs, so I modified the old one. The texture of the shell is crumbly and buttery inside, and crusty, even flaky, outside. It’s also very easy to handle if the dough is rested.
Recipe (makes 12 small tarts or one 6″ fluted tart pan)
- 90g salted butter
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 150g plain flour
- 2 eggs (about 60g each with shell)
- 80g lemon juice
- 7g corn starch (add to lemon juice and dissolve, if you wish to pipe the curd. Omit if you just want to spoon into shell or prefer a more flowy texture.)
- 80g sugar
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 60g salted butter
1. Place all shell ingredients except flour into a pot and heat under low to medium flames.
2. Heat till all sugar and butter has dissolved, with bubbles forming at the edges of pot, about 3-5 mins.
3. Turn off flames. Pour sifted flour in one go into pot and mix will a dough forms.
4. Rest for about 10 min and divide and press into tart pan. About 25g each. Makes 12 tarts using this pan. Poke holes into each tart with a fork, about 10-15 times.
5. Bake at 210 deg C for 12 min till golden brown. Cool for 5 min.Carefully overturn onto a wire rack, tarts are very delicate and may break. See how flaky these are.
6. Now for curd. Rub whole lemon with salt and rinse clean and wipe dry. Scrape off the zest, then rub zest into sugar.
7. In a ceramic or glass bowl, add in eggs, lemon juice, sugar with zest, and stir till well mixed. Don’t use metallic bowls.
8. Place the bowl over a pot of water on the stove. Heat gently over the pot with simmering water, stir constantly with hand whisk. Near ready, the mixture will become very foamy, and thickened, in about 5 min. Be very careful not too cook the eggs, stir constantly and just take the bowl off the heat to observe if in doubt. When it thickens like a gel, it’s ready.
9. Remove from heat and cool for 5 -10 min. Then add in butter and stir till even.
10. Spoon into tart shells and chill before serving. The curd is rather soft and flowy and will smoothen out nicely.
11. Alternatively, you can pipe in like below in which case you will need a firmer curd. Add 7g corn starch to the lemon juice first and dissolve well. Cook the custard drier to a more lumpy texture, stirring rapidly at the end of cooking.
12. After curd has cooled, add in butter and cool some more. Scoop into piping bag and pipe with wilton 1M for below designs.