written by @juliarecipes
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Do you like creamy lemon custard and crumbly sweet pastry? Then you are on the right blog, I am going to show you how to make this ideal dessert with crisp pastry and silky smooth filling of lemon custard. French people calls it “Tarte au citron” and it is one of the famous desserts you must taste, when visiting France.
(Video tailored by my friend Marie from SUGAR SALT MAGIC)
You must have noticed, that i really like lemon desserts, because not long ago I have posted this delicious recipe for BEST LEMON CHEESECAKE. If you like sweet and tangy desserts like me, you will quiet understand, why I love so much this Lemon tart recipe.
This lemon tart recipe is very rich, so it is measured and meant to work with shallow tart pan 10″ or 9″, but I managed to used classic apple pie dish and you sure can do too. It didn’t fill up the whole plate, because it is more deep, but it’s still looks beautiful and elegant.
HOW TO MAKE A TART SHELL (PATE SUCREE)
Pastry shell needs to be pre-baked in this case, because our lemon custard will me cooked separately over double boiler. Making pate sucree is way faster while using electric mixer. But you can also prepare it by hand, which requires more energy 😉 It is important to let the pastry dough rest the time indicated to allow it to relax and soften. This will prevent it from cracking when it is rolled out and from shrinking as it bakes.
- Sift the flour onto working surface. Sprinkle with salt and add room temperature butter. Rub the flour and butter together in between the palms of your hands until the texture of the pate sucree is as fine crumbs and the butter is well incorporated. Mix the sugar together and add this to the flour mixture along with the ground almonds. Make a nest in the center of the mixture and pour an egg into it. Using your fingertips, mix the ingredients together to form a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for minimum of 2 hours.
- Sift the flour and sugar separately. Beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside. in a bowl of electric mixer, beat the butter until soften. Add sugar, ground almonds, salt, eggs and lastly the flour. Mix slowly until the mixture comes together. Remove from electric mixer wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for minimum of 2 hour.
BAKING THE TART SHELL
- The pastry shell needs to be weighted down with dried beans to prevent it from losing it’s shape while baking. Cut out a disk of parchment paper , fold the disk in half several times to make a triangular shape. Then clip the outer edge with scissors. Line the tart pan with the pastry dough and cover the bottom with cut out parchment paper disk. Fill it with dried beans or chickpeas. Bake in preheated oven. In the middle of the baking remove the beans and lining paper and return the shell to the oven to finish baking.
HOW TO MAKE THE LEMON CREAM (CUSTARD)
Making lemon cream will require lot of patience. The time until the temperature of this creamy lemony mixture will reach required temperature, might take good 15-20 minutes. So i strongly suggest using electric hand mixer, you will be thanking me later.
- First you zest the lemons in large heatproof bowl and then you pour in sugar. Using both hands, rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Add the eggs and whisk everything together.Stir in the lemon juice. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and mix and mix and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches 82-83 C ( 180-181 F)…..good 15 minutes 🙂 Strain the mixture into a large bowl and let cool to 60 C (140 F). Then add butter pieces, one by one, mixing then with an immersion blender. Now you are ready to pour the lemon cream filling into the baked pastry shell. Now you have to let cool and set the tart for at least 4 hours.
- When making pastry dough by hand, use marble or wooden pastry board.
- Knead the dough as briefly as possible.
- Let the dough rest at least for 2 hours, this will prevent it from cracking when it is rolled out and from shrinking as it bakes.
- For sharp taste of lemon cream, use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Do not mix in the butter, until the mixture cools down to 60 C (140F).
- To make airy lemon cream, at the end mix with immersion blender for full 10 minutes.
Preparation time: 45-60 minutes⭐chilling time: 2 hours⭐baking time: 20-25 minutes⭐ servings: 8- 10 slices
- 2 cups flour
- 2 pinches of salt
- 3/4 cup butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup ground almonds
- 1 egg
Lemon cream (custard):
- 5 lemons
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/3 cups butter at room temperature
- Sift the flour and sugar separately. Beat the egg in a bowl and set aside. In a bowl of stand electric mixer, beat the butter until soften. Add sugar, ground almonds, salt, egg and lastly the flour. Mix slowly until the mixture comes together, do not overmix. Remove from electric mixer wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for minimum of 2 hour.
- Roll out the pastry dough on floured surface to 3-5 mm (1/8 “-1/4”). Slip the metal spatula underneath to prevent the pastry from sticking. Drape the pastry over the rolling pin and roll up halfway so you can lift it. Carefully because the dough might be braking. Place the dough over the tart pan and unroll the pastry dough. Press the pastry dough into the bottom and up the side of the pan. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the ring to cut off the excess pastry dough. Using your fingertips, press the pastry dough into and up the sides of the pan.
- Cut out a disk of parchment paper , fold the disk in half several times to make a triangular shape. Then clip the outer edge with scissors. Line the tart pan with the pastry dough and cover the bottom with cut out parchment paper disk. Fill it with dried beans or chickpeas. Bake in preheated oven 180 C (350 F) for 18-20 minutes. Now it will be partially baked. To bake it fully, remove the beans and lining paper and return the tart shell to the oven for another 5- 6 minutes or util golden brown.
Lemon cream (custard):
- Zest the lemons in large heatproof bowl and then you pour in the sugar. Using both hands, rub the lemon zest into the sugar.
- Add the eggs and whisk everything together. Stir in the lemon juice. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches 82-83 C ( 180-181 F) About 15 minutes.
- Strain the mixture into a large bowl and let cool to 60 C (140 F). Then add butter pieces, one by one, mixing then with an immersion blender.
- Pour the lemon cream filling into the baked pastry shell and smooth the surface with a metal spatula.
- Let cool the tart in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- For the finishing touch sprinkle with confectioner sugar. For smooth slices, cut with knife immersed in hot water and wiped with clean cloth.
- Enjoy it, lemon tart is a refreshing and tangy dessert!