- For the pastry:
- 200 g flour
- 100 g sugar
- 1 egg
- a pinch of salt
- 200 g butter
- a tsp vanilla essence
- For the lemon cream:
- 4 egg yolks
- 150 g sugar
- 300 ml milk
- 1 lemon
- 450 ml double cream
- 3 tbsp flour
Yes please. We all need lots of sunshine right now.
In the summer we usually stock up on vitamin D (or at least we try to) but by the time January comes we already begin to feel low and we get desperate for any precious rays the sun decides to grant us.
I find that since having children it all gets even more complicated; whenever the sun pretends to show its face I feel confident that now the SUN IS OUT and rush outside with the children heading to the nearest park only for it to disappear as soon as I leave the doorstep and often with a few drops of rain too!
I cannot say which sort of Italian words come out of my mouth at that moment, but you know what I mean.
Question is: will I ever get used to living in England? Maybe not but the best way to cope is by bringing the sunshine in by baking something sunny
And what could be sunnier than a bright yellow tart with an intense lemony flavour? A smile on your face is guaranteed. I love lemon tart.
To make it you need to use the best lemons you can find. Get the ones which are big with a thick zest and strictly unwaxed or even better organic ones. Lemons are heavily treated with pesticides.
For this recipe I was lucky to have some Sicilian lemons. They remind me of my childhood when my parents used to go and visit their friends in a small village near Catania. They used to own a wonderful citrus grove which looked beautiful with all those yellow and orange colours. As I was only a child I thought I had just landed in fairyland! The powerful aromatic smell of the citrus in the grove was like one of the best perfumes on earth. And this is what proper good lemons should smell of!
Make the pastry by putting the flour in a heap on your work surface. Make a hole in the middle and add the egg, salt, vanilla essence and sugar.
Quickly incorporate the ingredients with your hands. Add the diced cold butter and make it into a ball. If it feels sticky put it in the fridge for 30 minutes wrapped in cling film
With your hands (or with the help of a rolling pin if you prefer) lay the dough in a greased round mould
Pinch the base with a fork then cook it in a hot oven at 180C for 30-35 minutes until golden
Take the pastry out of the oven and let it cool down.
With a knife cut the zest of the lemon into big pieces. Make sure you don’t cut off the white of the citrus as it tastes bitter.
Make the lemon cream by bringing the milk to the boil with the lemon zest. Afterwards remove the zest from the milk.
Whisk the yolks with the sugar, add the cream and the flour, then slowly pour the hot milk onto the mixture whilst stirring
Bring the mixture slowly to the boil always stirring. When cooked add the juice of the lemon. Always stir to avoid the mixture curdling.
Cook for a couple of minutes then pour the cream onto the cooked shortcrust pastry
Put the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
I am adding this recipe to Javelin’s Warrior weekly round up: Made with Love Mondays: recipes all made from scratch.