Around the world in 80 dishes No.27: France
Wednesday 13 October 2010
France: Tarte au citron, by Gregg Wallace
Ingredients to serve 6-8
For the pastry
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
125g butter, diced
1 egg yolk
2-3 tbsp iced water
For the filling
Finely grated rind and juice of 3 large lemons
125g caster sugar
2 eggs, plus 1 egg white
75ml double cream
125g ground almonds
Pinch of ground cinnamon
For the topping
2 lemons, thinly sliced
125g caster sugar
cream or ice cream, to serve
This elegant and sophisticated French dessert is a benchmark for professional pastry chefs. For me the standard was set by Michel Roux at The Waterside Inn. Time to match your skills against the best.
To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and enough of the water to mix to a soft, pliable dough. Wrap in foil and chill for 30 minutes.
To make the filling, put the lemon rind and juice and sugar in a bowl. Break in the eggs and add the egg white. Beat together well, then beat in the cream, ground almonds and cinnamon until thick and smooth.
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 25cm loose-bottomed flan tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and pour in the filling. Bake in a preheated oven, 190C/Gas Mark 5, for 30 minutes or until the tart is set and golden. Leave to cool.
To make the topping, put the lemon slices with a little water in a saucepan and cook them gently for 10 minutes or until they're tender. Remove and drain the lemon slices, reserving 75ml of the liquid.
Return the reserved liquid to the pan, add the sugar and cook, stirring, over a gentle heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, add the lemon slices and cook rapidly until they are well coated with thick syrup. Remove and use to decorate the tart. Leave to cool before serving with cream or ice cream.
Taken from 'Gregg's Favourite Puddings' by Gregg Wallace (Octopus, £17.99).
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