Les Desserts de Printemps: La tarte au citron

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Bonjour à tous!

The weather is finally warming up, which means it’s time to pull out some fresh, summery recipes!

Lemon tart is my favourite dessert of all time. A lemon tart that is parfait has a zesty filling that’s not too sweet, and a thin pastry that’s not too crumbly or dry.

La tarte au citron originates from around the French-Italian border, but is popular all over France.

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A shot from my 2011 Eurotrip: Crowded beach in Nice

It’s a bit of a scary dish to make if you haven’t done it before. There are only two elements (the crust and the curd), so it’s important you get both right. This recipe isn’t baked, so you’ll need to leave the tart in the fridge overnight to set. Initially I found this time very stressful as I wondered whether the curd will set properly, mais ne vous inquiétez pas (don’t worry), follow the steps and it will.

The tart is incredibly versatile. Add meringue if you like, or keep it simple and decorate with fresh berries, passionfruit or lime rind (like I did below). For a fancier take on the recipe below see Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen for grapefruit and pepper meringue tartlets (yum!)

The recipe below is the easiest version of a lemon tart you could possibly make. It doesn’t use real pastry (although you could use the shortcrust pastry from my Quiche Lorraine if you wanted to make your own) and the curd is relatively painless – just be prepared to stir!

La tarte au citron

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Cooking time: Approximately 10 minutes + 25 minutes cooking (note: tart should be refrigerated overnight)  

-1 packet Marie biscuits

-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-Pinch of nutmeg

-120g melted butter

-Rind of one small lime, to serve (if desired)

Lemon Curd:

– 3 lemons (you could use lime if you wish)

-4 fresh eggs

-1 cup caster sugar

-125g butter

Method:

Lightly grease 24cm flan plan. Blitz biscuits in a food processor until they have a sandy texture.dsc_1070

Combine the crumbs with butter, nutmeg and cinnamon. Press the mixture evenly into the flan pan using your hands, then put it in the fridge to set for about an hour.

To make the lemon curd, zest one lemon and juice all lemons. In a heatproof bowl (steel or pyrex work well) whisk eggs and sugar together. When really well combined, add lemon juice and rind, and combine again. Place the bowl over a simmering saucepan of water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the surface of the water. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for about 25 minutes, or until it is as thick as honey (this does take a long time – be patient and don’t stop stirring!) Make sure the mixture doesn’t boil – if it starts to, take it off the heat for a little. Once thick, remove the mixture from the stove and whisk in butter.

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Action shot – keep stirring!

Pour curd into set tart case, cover with plastic wrap (try not to let the wrap touch the curd), and leave overnight. The next day top with lime curd, icing sugar, meringue or berries and serve.

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C’est tout – bon ap’!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

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