If there’s one thing I know about myself it’s that I panic. If I were in the movie Titanic, I would be that girl that everyone gets pissed at because she can’t stop freaking out. I would be the person screaming, ‘We’re all going to die!’ Very melodramatic. This fact has just been reconfirmed with my close encounter with a blowtorch.
Ok, so I did have the torch on full flame and I was holding it practically upside down. But come on, these things are robust! They are definitely not supposed to melt on you to the point where you can’t turn the damn thing off! At this point I did what any sane person would do, and calmly placed it into my garden and ran back inside and awaited my doom. I seriously thought I might blow up my neighbours and even googled ‘how far will a blowtorch explode?’
It is still sitting in my garden, I’m pretty sure its dead now.
But who cares if I now have an irrational fear of blowtorch’s, I have a beautiful crust on my lemon tart.
Ingredients – Makes one Tarte au Citron (22cm/9 inch flan tin)
Shortcrust Pastry – recipe from BBC Food
- 250g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 110g cold butter, cubed
- 4-6 tbsp cold water
Lemon Filling – recipe halved from Michelle Roux – Pastry
- 3 unwaxed lemons
- 4 eggs
- 188g caster sugar
- 150ml double cream, lightly whipped
- 30g icing sugar to glaze
Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Rub in the cubed butter with your fingers until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the water a few tbsp at a time until the pastry holds together. Pat into a disk and wrap in cling-film to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. While this is chilling you can skip to starting the lemon filling.
Once the pastry has chilled, roll it out to 3-5mm thickness on a floured board. Once you’ve rolled out your pastry, roll it onto your flan tin and press into the fluted sides. Leave a slight overhang of pastry so that the pastry doesn’t shrink in the oven. Blind bake the pastry by placing a large piece of crumpled baking parchment on top of the lined tin and weigh down with baking beans. Blind bake for 10 minutes at 170 degrees C. Take out the baking beans and paper and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Take the tart case out of the oven and lightly egg wash the surface, place back in the oven for a final 5 minutes. Trim off the excess pastry from th edges using a sharp knife.
Zest and juice the lemons, passing the juice through a sieve to eliminate the pulp and pips. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Next add in the lemon juice and zest. Lightly fold in the whipped cream, being careful not to knock the air out of the cream. Cover and chill this mix for 30 minutes.
When you are ready to bake the tart, pour the filling into the pre-baked tart case and place in the oven at 150 degrees C for 40 minutes. If you have any filling left, freeze it for a lovely ice cream! Take out of the oven, wait until it has cooled completely before you de-mould the tart.
To finish, dust the top of the tart with a light layer of icing sugar and heat with a blow torch. Repeat this process for a glorious sugar crust.