All, Food, The Challenges

Challenge No 4: When life gives you lemons, make lemon tarts!

Lemon Tarts

„This time it should be yellow“, Jewels said and wished for a Lemon Tart to be the next challenge. I selected two recipes, one from Martha Stewart, the other one from the BBC Food Blog. Unfortunately there was a little trans-atlantic misunderstanding concerning the decision which recipe to pick – therefore Jewels picked the Martha Stewart recipe and I opted for the BBC recipe. So this should be an interesting challenge: a dessert with the same name, but different ingredients. It turned out that one recipe was supposed to be the „half-fat version of a classic dessert, which tastes every bit as good as the original“ and one was supposed to be the traditional recipe.
We only found out after baking the tarts that we chose different recipes! And again: the outcome was a funny one. While my recipe worked out fine, tasted delicious and was eaten up by the whole family with lots of Ahs-and-Ohs, Jewels‘ (Martha Stewart) recipe wasn’t a hit at all! Her recipe called for whole, sliced lemons, which are difficult to eat and the pie dough was boring, she said. Also the filling tastes like scrambled eggs, which is an unusual taste for a pie. So instead of posting both recipes, we’re only going to share one, because unfortunately Martha really failed this time!

So here is the recipe that worked well and tasted good:

1. Lemon Tart
from the BBC Food Blog (with marginal changes by Liz)

50g butter
140g flour
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
1 medium egg yolk

3 medium eggs , plus 2 medium egg whites
140g icing sugar , plus extra for dusting
125ml lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
200ml tub half-fat crème fraîche (I used „Schmand“/Sour cream instead)

Rub the butter into the flour until the mix looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar, then make a well and use a round-bladed knife to stir in the oil, egg yolk and 1½-2 tbsp cold water until dough comes together. Chill for 20 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough so it fits into small baking tins. Put the pastry in the tins and press it down. Lightly prick the pastry base with a fork. Preheat the oven to 190 C/170C fan/gas 5.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat the eggs and egg whites together with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then gradually beat in the eggs. If the mix is at all lumpy, simply beat with a wire whisk. Stir in the lemon juice. Leave to stand so the lemon flavour can develop.

Put the baking tins on a baking sheet. Line with baking parchment and baking beans and bake blind for 20 mins until well set. Carefully lift out the beans and paper, then bake the pastry case for another 3-5 mins until the base is cooked and pale golden.

Beat the crème fraîche (or „Schmand“) in a medium bowl until smooth, then slowly stir in the lemon mix until well blended. Pour into the warm pastry case and place in the oven. Reduce the heat to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Bake for 25-30 mins until barely set with a slight wobble in the middle. Cool for about 1 hr, then serve with a light dusting of icing sugar. Best eaten the same day.

– Liz