I’m trying something new this week. Simultaneous baking and blogging. I wanted to publish the results of my lemon tart attempt before le Grand Depart of the Tour de France tomorrow. For the next few weeks I’m going to try and “bake the jerseys” starting today with the big one, the yellow, and a glazed lemon tart from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. It sounds tricky, with a sweet pastry case, a filling made with ground almonds, double cream and a lot of lemon, and glazed lemons to decorate. Fingers crossed for a successful yellow tart for me, and a yellow jersey for Chris Froome. I could go on for some time about the Tour, the main contenders for the yellow jersey, the cross winds, the cobbles, the mountains, breakaways, bunch sprints…. (see what I mean). This is a baking blog though, so I’ll shut up about cycling, and make my tart.
My pastry is in the fridge chilling at the moment. It’s made with plain flour, softened butter, caster sugar, and egg yolks. It was much easier to get to breadcrumb stage with softened butter than with the chilled butter I’d use for shortcrust, I do wonder how it will roll out though. I also have to confess to a bit of a butter mix up. I didn’t have enough unsalted so I’ve had to use a mixture of unsalted and salted, and I’ve used extra sugar to compensate. I’m going to keep quiet about it and see whether any of my tasters notices. My timer has just gone off. Time to roll out.
Well, the pastry was fine to roll out. I managed to get it onto the rolling-pin and into the flan tin in one piece. I pricked the base with a fork and put it back into the fridge while I made the filling. Again, this was pretty easy. I beat together eggs, caster sugar, ground almonds and double cream and then added lemon rind and lemon juice. I did drop the juicer into the mixture and I did send half a lemon flying across the kitchen but, other than that, there were no mishaps. I put the pastry case onto a baking sheet onto the bottom shelf of my oven (which slides right out) and filled it while it was on the shelf. This looked like a much safer prospect than filling it up somewhere else and then trying to get it into the oven. I’m glad to say, this seems to have worked. The recipe says that the tart should take between 30 and 35 minutes at 160° fan.
The tart was in the oven for just under 30 minutes and has just come out looking pretty good. I have the lemons for the decoration soaking in hot sugar syrup at the moment. They have to stay there for two hours. I have a choice. Mow the lawn, clean the fish tank, or watch Wimbledon. Difficult decision.
Back in the kitchen, I put the lemons onto the top of the tart and found that I didn’t have enough. Perhaps I didn’t slice them thinly enough, but I needed another lemon (to be honest, the tart could easily have taken a fourth, but I didn’t have any more lemons). I popped my last lemon into the syrup and waited (not for the stipulated two hours. I don’t have time). After putting the extra lemon slices onto the tart, I brushed the top with warm apricot jam. This is what it looks like.
I’m not sure what the tart tastes like yet, I’d feel too guilty if I tried it by myself. It would feel too much like pouring a sneaky solo afternoon gin and tonic. I do know that the pastry doesn’t taste salty – I tried some of the offcuts, and the filling smells very good (there was a lovely lemony waft of air as it came out of the oven). Altogether, it looks like a very successful tart. Taste-wise, I’ll have to let you know.