FOOD & DRINK / A-Z of treats: Lemon Tart

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L is for lemon tart, continuing our alphabet of sweet indulgences. In France it is a Tarte au Citron, a classic of the French sweet trolley.

This tarte is agreeably tart, a version I experienced in Switzerland, made by the Swiss masterchef Fredy Girardet at his restaurant in Crissier, Lausanne.


Serves 6

8oz sweet short pastry (or buy it ready-made)

3 eggs

1 egg yolk

juice of 3 lemons

juice of 1 orange

1/4 pint double cream

5oz sugar

1 whole lemon, split into segments and peeled

Roll out pastry to shape of an 8in tart tin (with removable base), leave to chill 30 minutes in fridge. Preheat oven to very hot, 500F/250C/Gas 9. Line the tart tin with the pastry, cover with foil and a layer of dry beans, and 'bake blind' for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and leave to cool in its tin.

Lower oven temperature to 350F/180C/ Gas 4. Whisk eggs, lemon and orange juice, cream and sugar together. Pour the frothy mixture into the tin (finish filling it in the oven with a spoon to avoid spilling over the edges). Bake the tart with oven door slightly ajar till filling is firm, about 35 minutes. You can tell by giving the tin a little shake.

When still warm remove from tin to cool on a wire rack. Decorate with peeled segments of lemon.

Pastry: 3oz unsalted butter cut into small pieces, 4oz plain flour, 1oz caster sugar, pinch of salt, half an egg (chefs make it in larger quantities). Mix flour, sugar, salt in food processor. Add egg and incorporate very quickly. Make into a ball and refrigerate for several hours before use.