- For the pastry
- 11/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 1/4 cup icing sugar, sieved
- 2 egg yolks, divided
- zest of a half lemon
- 2 tbsp milk
- For the lemon custard:
- 6 medium eggs
- 1 cup caster sugar
- juice and zest of 4 lemons
- 6 oz double cream
- For the garnish:
- 5 oz redcurrants
- 11/2 cups strawberries, halved
- 1 tbsp Limoncello – optional
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- Greek basil, optional
Grease and line a 9 inch circular tart tin. Set aside. Pre-heat oven at 350˚ F.
In a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, add the flour and the butter. Mix until combined and the texture is like breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar and the lemon zest, giving a quick mix through then add the milk and 1 egg yolk.
Mix on a slow speed and stop the moment the dough comes together to form a ball. Turn the pastry out on to some clingfilm and flatten out with your hands. Wrap up and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
Roll out the pastry and line the tin pushing the pastry in to the corners and sides of the tin. Leave an over-hanging edge (to prevent shrinkage), but trim away any excess. Return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Blind bake your pastry using baking paper and baking beans, removing these after 15 minutes. Use the remaining egg yolk mixed with a few drops of boiling water and egg wash the pastry before returning it to the oven to finish baking. The pastry should be very golden and crisp, which should take about 15 minutes more.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then shave off the over- hanging pastry edge.
Turn down the oven temperature to 250˚ F.
To make the lemon custard, crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat together using a fork, trying not to incorporate too much air while doing so. Add the sugar, lemon juice and zest, and cream. Mix together thoroughly then set aside for 10 minutes. If after this time any froth appears on the surface, spoon off and discard. Pass through a sieve, straining in to a large jug or something that can then be poured from easily.
Place the cooked tart shell (still in its tin) on to a baking sheet and place on to the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven. Pull the shelf out and carefully pour the lemon custard in to the pastry case, filling as close to the top as you can. If any bubbles rise to the surface, they can be easily popped by running the flame of a blow torch over the surface, but this isn’t a necessity. Gently ease the shelf back in to the oven, close the oven door and bake for 35 minutes. When ready, the tart should have a slight wobble towards the centre. If when gently shaken you feel it is still rippling towards the outer part of the tart, bake for a further 10 minutes and then re-check. The tart can go from being seemingly under cooked to being set solid in no time, so be vigilant. Once you are happy with the consistency, remove from the oven, leave the tart in its tin and allow to cool completely where it will continue to set further.
Decorate the tart with half of the strawberries and red currants and the Greek basil. Place the remaining fruit in to a bowl along with the caster sugar and the Limoncello (if using) and allow the fruit to macerate until needed.
When ready to serve, add a few freshly picked basil leaves, and serve alongside a slice of the lemon tart, you can add some meringue kisses for texture if you wish.