Lemon and Lime Tart

A very easy and tasty dessert for those of you who are proficient in the art of shortcrust pastry and would like to tweak the recipe and try something new. This recipe comes from the MasterChef Cookery Course book.

The texture of the filling is slightly different from a standard lime tart (or tarte aux citrons, if you want to be over pompous and show off that you can speak French), mostly because the eggs are whisked up until the very last minute, thus creating a very light and frothy filling. Needless to say, you can opt for a more traditional pastry case and omit the cocoa or swap the lemons & lime zest and juice for 1 1/2 oranges’ or 2 satsumas’, the possibilities are endless. Also, where possible, I swap standard caster sugar with golden caster sugar, mostly because the latter is less refined and therefore healthier for you – not to mention it adds a caramel-like flavour to your bakes!

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Ingredients (for the pastry case)

  • 125g plain flour
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 75g unsalted butter, chilled and diced

Ingredients (for the filling)

  • 3 large eggs
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 200ml double cream
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime

Method

  1. First, make the pastry. Sift the flour, salt, icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the butter and gently rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture becomes slightly darker and resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1-2 tbsp of iced water, a little at a time, then gather the pastry with your fingers and try and bring it together. Tip onto a slightly floured working surface and use the heel of your hands to bring the pastry together and slightly knead it. Shape it into a round ball, flatten it slightly and wrap it in clingfilm, then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  2. Once hardened and chilled, take the pastry out of the oven and roll it out on a slightly floured work surface. Use it to line a 20cm loose-bottomed flan tin, then return to the fridge and chill until stone cold and hard again.
  3. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and put a baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
  4. Take the pastry case out of the fridge, prick the base with a fork, then layer it with a crumpled sheet of baking parchment and fill it with baking beans.
  5. Blind-bake for 15 minutes, then remove the case from the oven, carefully lift the baking parchment off the pastry and bake for another 10 minutes to crisp up.
  6. While the pastry case is baking, make the filling. In the bowl of a freestanding mixer or using a hand-held one, whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and creamy. Stir in the cream, lime and lemon juice and zest, then transfer to a jug (so that it will be easier to pour it into the pastry case).
  7. Once the case has cooked thoroughly, reduce the temperature for the oven to 160 degrees and pour the filling into the case, then return it to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before unmoulding from the tin.

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