August 27, 2011

Tarte au Citron - Mary Berry's own

Well, as addicted to the Great British Bake off as I am, I have set myself a target of completing at least one type of baking per week based on the last episode of the show. Week one was cakes so I made my cute little sunflower cupcakes using Jo's recipe for the cakes and a video from you tube on piping. 

This week I am tried my hand at  Mary Berry's Tarte au Citron - pastry and all. It took two attempts at the pastry but the 2nd was well worth the effort - glad my other half convinced me to start again - happy with crust - still needs some perfecting!

Tarte au Citron

Mary's recipe


For the pastry
For the filling
  • 5 free-range eggs
  • 125ml/4fl oz double cream
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • lemons, juice and zest
  • icing sugar, for dusting

    To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor -  I used a pastry cutter so as not to add any heat. Make sure the butter is cold when you add it or you will end up with a runny pastry.
    When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs add the egg yolk and water.  

    Pulse or cut with pastry cutter again until the mixture sticks together in clumps then tip onto a work surface and gather it into a ball with your hands. Knead the pastry just two or three times to make it smooth. If your butter was a bit too soft, the pastry might be too. If so, wrap it in parchment paper and chill for 10-15 minutes.

    Grease a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin.

    Lay a piece of parchment paper on the work surface. Remove the base from the tart tin and lay it on the paper. Using a pencil, draw a circle onto the 
    paper 4cm/1½in bigger than the tin base

    Dust the base of the tin with flour. Place the pastry ball in the centre of the tin base and flatten it out slightly. Roll out the pastry, still on the base, until it meets the circle mark. As you are rolling out, turn the pastry by turning the paper. Using lightly flour dusted fingers, gently fold the pastry surrounding the tin base in towards the centre. You want a thin crust so don't pack it around the edges if you see a crack.   

    Carefully lift the tin base off the parchment paper, drop it into the tin, then ease the pastry into the corners and up the sides of the tin, pressing the overhang lightly over the rim. If the pastry has cracked at all, simply press it together to seal. Press the pastry into the flutes of the tin then lightly prick the base with a fork, but not quite all the way through. 

    Place the pastry-lined tin on a baking tray, cover loosely with cling film and 
    chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 

    Remove the cling film from the pastry case and line with foil so it supports the sides, then fill with baking beans. (make sure you use a baking tray  (this is where I messed up the first time round as I didn't put it on  first time and when I pulled it out it fell to pieces boooo)

    Bake blind for 12-15 minutes, until the pastry is set, then lift out the foil and beans. Carefully trim the excess pastry from the sides using a sharp knife, holding the knife at a sharp angle and slicing away from you. Remove the trimmings from the sheet. Return the empty pastry case to the oven for another 10-12 minutes or until it is pale golden and completely dry. Set aside to cool while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas 3.

    For the Filling
    Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together with a wire whisk. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and whisk again until they are all well combined. Pour the filling mixture into a jug, then into the cooled baked pastry case. TIP  To prevent it spilling as it goes in the oven, pour in most of the filling so it almost fills the tart, carefully sit the baking sheet and tart on the oven shelf, then top up with the rest of the filling to completely fill it. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until just set but with a slight wobble in the  centre (if it is over baked the filling will tend to crack)

    Leave to cool slightly then, when the pastry seems firm enough, remove the tart from the tin. The easiest way to do this is to place the base of the tin on an upturned can or jam jar and let the outer ring fall to the work surface. Transfer the tart to a serving plate and serve warm or cold, dusted with sifted icing sugar.

    To "Tart up your Tarte" - after adding a generous dusting of icing sugar, using a blowtorch, gently caramelise the sugar to give it that lovely golden look.

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