This Bitter Lemon Tart is the perfect antidote to Holiday dessert blahs. Its refreshingly bitter-sweet lemon flavor cuts through the sugary flavors of the usual suspects, making it a great alternative for those who don’t like Pumpkin Pie. Yes, they exist!
With just 6 ingredients, it is also very easy to make. The lemon filling couldn’t be simpler. Whole lemons are used to make it, so we recommend buying them organic. And if you’re nervous about making shortcrust pastry, or feel too tired to take it on, it can be swapped out for frozen store-bought shortcrust. Enjoy!
- Preheat the oven to 400F. You will need 1 x 8” flan case + a circle of tin foil to cover it and a high-speed blender. Separate one of the eggs, reserving the white. Set aside.
- Make the pastry: Into a large bowl, sift 1½ cups of the whole wheat pastry flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the salt.
- Dice 1/2 cup of the butter. Add to the flour mixture and rub in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Take care not to over mix – it’s OK to have some pieces of butter visible. If the mixture seems too lumpy, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour a tablespoon at a time. (See Ann’s Tips)
- Beat the yolk with 1 tablespoon of iced water. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and add the egg yolk and water. With a knife cut and mix the egg into the flour until it clumps enough for you to form it into a ball with your hands. Roll out to just fit the flan tin. Fold it in half, lay it onto the tin and push it into the sides with your fingers. (see Ann’s Tips). Put in the freezer for 10 minutes. Once cold and hard, cover with foil, pressing the foil against the sides of the crust and bake blind for 8 minutes. Remove the foil, brush the pastry base with the egg white and return to the oven for 3 minutes more. Remove and lower the oven to 325F
- Meanwhile make the filling. Put the 2 lemons into a saucepot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. They will be very soft so remove with a slotted spoon. Put into the vase of a high-speed blender and completely puree. Add 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and 1 cup of sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Puree until completely blended.
- Lower the blender speed to low and add the remaining 2 eggs, one a time. It’s important to do this slowly so that the mixture doesn’t get too airy. When the eggs are added, tip the mixture into the blind baked flan shell and bake at 325F for 35-40 minutes, or until light brown and pulling away from the sides of the flan. Set on a rack to cool slightly.
- In a small pot, heat the remaining lemon juice and sugar over a medium high flame. When it has thickened to a heavy golden syrup. Using a pastry brush, glaze the top of the lemon tart with the syrup. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
In step 3, you can make the dough by using a food processor to process together the butter, flour and salt, but don’t overblend it. Tip into a large bowl and carry on with step 4.
If the dough seems a little crumbly roll it into a rough circle, lay it on the flan case and push it into the sides with your hands.
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