I have been making this recipe for around 15 years now and it was the first recipe I made using homemade pastry. It is perfect for dinner parties, as it can be made in advance and can serve 12 people easily. Serve with fresh or freeze-dried raspberries as I do, or with some passionfruit pulp folded into the whipped cream.
Time: 15 minutes preparation | 30 minutes chill time | 45 minutes cooking
Serves: 1 x 20cm tart | 8-12 serves, depending on the size of slices
For the pastry
1½ cups flour
3 tablespoons caster sugar
130g (6 ½ tablespoons / 4.5oz) butter, cubed
1 free-range egg yolk
1-2 tablespoons ice-cold water
For the filling
4 free-range eggs
¾ cup of sugar
½-¾ cup fresh lemon juice (approx. 5-6 medium lemons)
½ cup cream
250ml (1 cup) cream
1-2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 packet freeze-dried raspberries (I used Fresh As brand)
Grease a 20cm (8") flan tin with butter, making sure you get into the edges and crimps of the tin, and then dust with flour. Bang out excess flour into the sink. Set aside.
Place the flour, sugar and cubed butter into the bowl of a food processor and process until it looks like fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water and pulse until it is just combined. Press some of the pastry together with your fingers. It should come together with a little pressure. If it doesn’t, put the lid back on and pulse in 1 more tablespoon of water. Turn out the pastry onto the bench and knead together. Press the pastry into the flan tin. Note: This is a very ‘short’ pastry, so you will need to press it in, rather than roll it out. Prick the base of the tart shell a few times with a fork and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. This allows the flour to relax and the butter to harden again so that the pastry doesn’t shrink when cooking.
While the pastry is chilling, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). When the tart shell is ready, line the base of the pastry shell with baking paper (wide enough so that it covers the edges), and fill with baking weights, dry beans or rice. This is preparing for ‘blind baking’, which allows the pastry to pre-cook before the filling is added. Blind baking stops the pastry from puffing up and rising too much during the first baking stage. Put the tart shell on a tray with sides (this takes care of any potential spills later) and bake for 15 minutes, then lift the paper and weights out. Bake for a further 10 minutes.
While the tart shell is baking, make the tart filling by whisking the eggs, sugar, ½ cup lemon juice and cream together in a large jug. Taste the mixture, and if you prefer your tart to be more ‘lemony’, add more lemon juice to taste. Pour the filling into the prebaked shell. I do this with the tart still in the oven by just pulling the tray out slightly. Bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool.
Whisk the cream to soft peaks and add the icing sugar to taste and the vanilla. Cut the tart into quarters, then decide if you want each quarter cut in half or into thirds. Serve with whipped cream and raspberries.