by Paula Johnson
To me lemon is like a little sunshine, and what better time of the year to look for sunshine. I ran across a recipe that had all the best words in the name of the dish. “Simple” – I love things that are simple and easy. “Homemade” – I live with someone who prefers all his food homemade, unless I’m gone and he feeds himself.
“Lemon” – Sunshine in my mouth is a good feeling. “Tart” – As a pastry, it is usually very pretty.
When the directions included that this was also a perfect baking project to do with kids, I was hooked – but skeptic. My biggest obstacle was the tart pan. When it was suggested to use a cake tin instead and I have one with a removeable bottom, I was back on board.
The only ingredient that I had to change was from regular flour to gluten free flour. If it altered the taste, it was only to give the crust a shortbread taste rather than traditional, but still flakey. Yummm.
Caster sugar, called for in the filling, was a new term for me. After searching high and low, it turns out to be the British term for what we call ultra-fine sugar.
All tasters loved the lemony shortbread tastes of this tart, except one who would have liked a stronger lemon taste (not me). You can always add some lemon zest, if desired.
Simple Homemade Lemon Tart
Crust: 1 c all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
4 Tbsp powdered sugar
Filling: ¼ c whipping cream
¼ c caster sugar
1 large egg
Lemon juice (from lemon, at least 1/3 c)
Pre-heat oven to 375º and most generously grease your tin – bottom and sides
Crust: Mix flour, melted butter and powdered sugar in bowl until you have a soft dough. Press (do NOT roll) dough into bottom and up sides (a bit) of your tin. Prick dough throughout with a fork. Bake it blind (no topping) for 20 minutes.
Take out tin for dough to cool and reduce oven to 300º.
Filling: In a bowl whisk caster sugar, egg, cream and lemon juice (zest if desired). Carefully pour filling mixture into cooled pastry. Return gently and carefully to the oven and bake another 35-40 minutes, or until filling is set.
Remove completed tart from oven and let it cool completely before removing from tin.
You can dust with sifted powdered sugar or some other options given were to serve with sour cream, whipped cream or ice cream. I found that the powdered sugar route was the best for me.
There should be no problem having it all gone, but be sure to eat it soon. This tart can dry out if left too long. Enjoy a piece of winter sunshine.