I had so many comments and requests for the recipe for the lemon tarts that I decided to post it. It seems there are a lot of lemon lovers out there.The risk is now you'll all know how easy they are and I'll lose my "baking genius" reputation. Oh well ...such is life.
I love lemon tarts but had never made my own before last weekend. Like a complete sap - I was tripping down to Assaggio twice a week like a crack addict to get my lemon tart fill. Not anymore.
You're going to need:
50 grams self raising flour
90 grams plain flour
20 grams caster sugar
80 grams cold butter cut into pueces
1 egg yolk
75 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
2 tablesppons of lemon juice
50 grams of butter cut into pieces
Sift the SR flour , plain flour and sugar together . Place in a food processsor with the butter and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs . Add the egg and process until it clumps together. If you're doing this process by hand rub in the butter with your finger tips then add the egg and mix well. Knead it into a flat ball then wrap in plastic and pop it into the fridge for an hour.
Even Faster Pastry Method
Some people would call this cheating. I call it superior time management. And it will save you getting your food processor dirty, and flour on your bench and crap under your fingernails. And if the universe didnt want you to use ready made pastry it wouldn't have allowed it to be invented. So there. And if I hadn't just dobbed on myself you never would have known that I copped out and used stuff from a packet.
Discover at 9am on a Sunday morning you have a 1 cm square piece of butter in the house. Send hapless husband (who didn't put butter on the shopping list when he used the last 250 grams) down to the convenience store to buy some. Why would you need to buy from the convenience store? Because the normal shops don't open until 11 am Sundays here in order to enable everyone to go to church or sleep off their hangovers. Remind husband to steal a lemon on the way back, from the old guy round the corner that has a lemon tree that overhangs the footpath. Remind youself you really must plant a lemon tree.
When your husband returns from a 30 minute hunt for butter assume an injured air because he just paid $8.00 for a pound of butter. Convenience is expensive. Mix together the egg , extra egg yolk , lemon juice and lemon zest in a saucepan. The original recipe didn't mention where to add the sugar so I just guessed it went in at this point. Place the saucepan over medium heat and add the butter, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and becomes translucent. Yes that's right- Stand there stirring until you develop muscles in your arm that look like Popeye's. Apparently this step takes approximately 10 minutes but it will feel like hours. Vow never to make bloody lemon tarts again. Review dreams of becoming the Australian version of Pioneer Woman because this baking caper is hard work . Remove the saucepan from the heat while you're ruminating on another career choice that will make you famous. Once the mixture has cooled slightly transfer it to a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and stand to the side until it cools completely.
Pre-heat your oven to 180 C and grease a 12 hole tart or muffin pan. Remove the dough from the fridge (if you're not cheating like me ) and use a rolling pin (wave this in the general direction of your husband for fun and to watch him flinch ) and a floured board to roll it out to a 5 mm thickness (The original recipe said to roll it out to 5 cms but that just doesn't seem right does it?) Cut 6 cm diameter circles with a fancy schmancy cookie cutter so you have pretty edges and put them in the tart or muffin pan and prick the bottoms to stop them from exploding in your oven because that stuff sets like concrete and cleaning your oven is going to cut into your quilting time.
Place the tart shells in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until golden . If they end up looking slightly mutant it's OK because you can hide your mistakes with filling. Take them out of the tart pans and let them cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon the lemon filling into each pastry and sprinkle with icing sugar. Wait for the compliments to flow.