Friday, November 10, 2006


I filmed an episode of Food Uncut with Merrilees today and to be honest, I made a bit of a pig's ear of it. I was making a lemon tart and when it came to the bit where I'm meant to produce the beautiful one I'd made earlier from under the counter I saw that it had been completely flattened by a big mixing bowl I'd flung under there. I had no choice but to say 'ta-da' and slice it. I blame the Whiskey Sours. It's on UKTV Food on Tuesday.

My Lovely Lemon Tart
Serves 6 –8
200g plain flour
50g ground almonds
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp icing sugar
125g chilled butter, diced
2 egg yolks
2 – 3 tbsp cold water
1 egg white, beaten
200g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
Grated rind and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
150ml carton double cream

Put the flour, almonds, salt, sugar and butter in a food processor and whiz to make fine crumbs. Add the yolks and water and pulse until the mixture comes together to make a firm but moist dough.

Lightly shape the pastry into a ball then roll out on a floured surface and use to line a 20cm fluted flan tin. Chill for 30 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven to 190C / gas 5. Line the case with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. Lift out the paper, return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes until the surface of the pastry is dry. Brush the inside of the pastry case with egg white and return to the oven for 5 minutes until the egg white has dried and the pastry is shiny – this will prevent the pastry going soggy once the filling is poured in.

Lower the oven temperature to 150C / Gas 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until foamy then beat in the cream and then the lemon rind and juice. Pour the mixture into the tart case, and return to the oven for 40 – 50 minutes until just set– don’t worry if it’s a little wobbly in the centre as it will set as it cools. Leave to cool before slipping out of the tin.

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