Growing up, we had delicious treats like lemon tarts, always a favourite depending on how cumbly the pastry was, or how thin and crisp it was; how sweet or tart the lemon filling was; and, of course, how much was filled into the little bite of goodness! The traditional swirl of the filling, with a dot of red on it, made a difference too, if and when we had a choice.
Here is one that was made in a larger quantity, to share with the table; it is delicious and just as good. You may be happy to make them individually, and this recipe should cover 8 to 12 tartlets, depending on the size you wish to mould them into.
"Creativity is an artist's prerogative," I say, so go ahead and make it your very own.
|Lemon tart sprinkled with icing sugar and drizzled with lemon curd
4oz / 113 gm soft salted butter
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
In a food processor, beat the butter and icing sugar until light.
Add in the yolk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix well.
Now add the flour and salt; using the pulse button, allow it to become a soft ball.
Overturn the dough on a rolling surface and allow it to rest for 30 minutes, preferably covered.
If it is too soft and sticky, refrigerate it for 30 minutes wrapped up tightly in cling film.
Preheat the oven to 180 C | 350 F
Roll it out in a 9 or 10 inch pie plate. Prick it all over.
Bake until slightly golden brown, approximately 15 to 22 minutes. Cool.
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 oz butter
4 egg yolks, well beaten with a fork
In a pan, mix together
the sugar, corn flour, salt, orange and lemon juices. Keep stirring it until it comes to a boil. Allow it to boil for one minute or two.
Remove it from the heat and stir in the butter until it is melted, then add the egg yolks through a strainer, rapidly mixing them through.
Return the pan to a very low fire, mix well till the mixture gets incorporated and a nice sheen comes over the curd and looks ready to eat. The mixture should not boil once the egg yolks have been added.
Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down.
Optionally, with an electric hand beater, whip the curd if you like a light lemon tart. The texture and colour will change.
Spoon the lemon curd into the pastry shell.
Serve it at room temperature.
The lemon tart can be spooned into the pie shell or put through a large piping bag if it needs to be decorated.
If you prefer the lemon tart to be colder, allow all the curd to chill before filling the pastry shell. The pastry shell is best served when not chilled.
Lightly greasing the pan/dish with butter will help you lift it off.
You can prepare individual ones if you prefer. Keep the pastry as thin as possible. It should be moist with a bite to it.
If you use a loose bottom fluted pie/tart pan, you are able to remove it to serve. If you have a glass pie plate, it will still work just as well, except you need to serve it straight from it.
Depending on where you reside, the weather will make a difference in whether you leave the pastry out or put it in the fridge to chill.
It can easily be made in a cake mixer, with a hand beater or even by hand.
The end result will be the same: perfect!
Using lime is an option.
To make a lemon meringue pie, simply prepare the meringue by beating the remaining 4 egg whites until stiff and adding very slowly 1/2 cup of sugar to it until it is glossy.
Spoon it over the ready lemon tart. Use the back of the spoon for the swirls, lightly pulling it toward the top to make pretty peaks!
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on Amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.
Photo courtesy William Reveall