Sunday 1 February 2009

Part Three

Lemon Tarte

Well, sort of!

To be honest, I was amazed this came out as well as it did. I had few of the ingredients asked for and sort of made the rest up as I went along. Firstly, it took a search through at least 7 of my recipe books to actually find a lemon tarte, then when I did, it was lemon and almond. Almonds...I looked at the back of the baking cupboard and found a half opened bag of almonds, not ground as suggested in the recipe, but flaked. "They'll do" I thought, so quickly gave them a crush with the rolling pin in the hopes of making them slightly more 'ground' than they were!

Pastry is not my forte and I haven't actually made shortcrust before, but how hard could it be? A simple basic recipe, which I followed well until the butter I was meant to rub in melted too much as I was trying to soften it in the microwave, so I ended up adding little more of the solid stuff and knowing exactly what weight of butter I had added. When finally combined, it look great but it was then that I remembered I really wanted a sweet shortcrust. With complete disregard now for any recipe in front of me, I sprinkled the lot with sugar and rolled it in! It tasted good anyway and I even managed to blind bake it successfully!

Back to the lemon filling. All was going to plan just about...eggs and sugar whisked (except I didn't have icing sugar so substituted for caster sugar instead - what harm could that do?!), lemon zest and juice stirred in, crushed almonds added. It was looking great. So I poured it into the case - which did not leak and held it perfectly, and popped it into the oven to set.

5 minutes in, I sneaked a peak...the top was browning (for browning read burning) nicely, so I quickly covered the lot with foil. When I retrieved the now 'set' tarte twenty minutes later and took the foil off, much of the top also came away! Oh well, a disaster from start to finish!

But it tasted great!
If you'd like to try the real recipe, ensure you have the correct ingredients before you start! It's taken from 'Dangerous Desserts' published by BBC Worldwide:
225g sweet shortcrust pastry
2 eggs
150g icing sugar (not caster!)
4 lemons
100g butter - melted
75g ground almonds
Line 20cm tart pan with rolled out pastry and bake blind for 10 minutes at 220c. Take out baking beans and return to oven for a further 10 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
Whisk eggs and icing sugar together until fluffy. Mix in grated zest of two of the lemons, the butter, the ground almonds and juice of all 4 lemons. It actually says not to worry if it looks curdled at this stage!
Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 25 minutes at 180c until set.
Leave to cool and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
Hope you have better luck than I did!

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Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
Merlotti x

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