Tarte au Citron
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Serves: 10 slices
For the sweet shortcrust:
  • 1 vanilla pod (seeds only)
  • 250g (8.8 oz) plain flour
  • 90g (3.1 oz) icing sugar
  • 125g (4.4 oz) butter (diced)
  • 1 large egg
  • Flour for dusting
For the filling:
  • 8 eggs
  • 300g (1-1/2 cups) (10.5 oz) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • Grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 4 lemons (I made 2/3rds cup juice)
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes
  • 300ml (1-1/4 cups) (10.1 fl oz) heavy cream
To decorate:
  • Icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) to dust over top
  • Whipped cream, to serve
For the shortcrust:
  1. Slice the vanilla pod in half length-ways. Then scrape out all the seeds and discard the pod (or better still, pop it into your sugar container for scented sugar).
  2. Place the flour in a food processor and add the icing sugar and the diced butter. Then add the vanilla seeds. Combine the ingredients together using pulse mode until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs (this should only take about 10 seconds). Now crack one whole egg into the mixture and process using pulse mode until the mixture is combined and starts to clump (around 10 seconds). Don’t wait for it to become a ball of dough though – it should be processed only to the point where, if you hold some of the mixture between your fingers, it holds together.
  3. Dust the work surface lightly with flour. Dump the crumbly dough on the work surface and begin bringing the mixture together. Do so only until it is a smooth ball, and be careful not to over-mix or the dough will become too hard. Now wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to rest and cool for at least one hour.
  4. Take the pastry from the fridge and remove the cling film. Lightly dust the work surface with flour and knead the pastry for about 30 seconds to make it smooth again. Begin to roll out the pastry until it’s 3-4mm thick, making sure you turn it and flour it occasionally.
  5. Now roll the pastry over your rolling pin and unroll it over a 9 or 10 inch fluted tart tin*. Make sure you press the pastry into the corners of the tin using your fingers. Trim away excess pastry using a sharp knife, but leave some pastry hanging over the edge - this will be trimmed neatly after the tart is baked. Prick the base all over with a fork and place the tart shell in the fridge for about at least 30 minutes to an hour to allow the pastry to relax (and avoid shrinking).
  6. Remove the tart shell from the fridge. Place baking paper and baking beans in the tart shell and cook in a pre-heated oven at 180°C (350°F) for 15-20 mins. Remove the tart shell from the oven, remove the paper and beans, then put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove the tart shell and put it on a rack to cool. In the meantime, reduce the oven heat to 150°C (300°F).
For the filling:
  1. Whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and lime juice, in a medium sized bowl. Slowly pour in the cream and whisk together to combine.
  2. Pour the custard into the pie crust (it helps if you put the empty pie crust part-way into the oven before pouring in the custard to avoid spills).
  3. Cook the tart for 25-30 minutes, or until it is just set (there should be a slight wobble in the middle as it will continue to firm up as it cools).
  4. Remove the tray from the oven and place on a wire rack. Use a sharp paring knife to trim away the excess pastry around the top, then leave the tart to cool completely on a rack. If not eating right away, store the tart in the fridge, lightly covered with foil. NB: I make my tart the day before and store it in the fridge.
To serve:
  1. When ready to serve, dust with icing sugar. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream. The tart will keep for up to 3 days stored in the fridge.
You can use a deeper dish tart tin here and even go wider than 10 inches, as there is plenty of both pastry and filling. In fact, I actually had enough for two shallow 9 inch tarts.
Recipe by The Kiwi Cook at https://thekiwicook.com/2017/11/16/tarte-au-citron/