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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Deep Lemon and Lime Tart

This is a twist on a Delia Smith recipe with inspiration by Jamie Oliver.  The original recipe calls for just lemons, and while this is really good, it is a bit lip puckering-ly tart.  Kinda makes your teeth water!  So I found Jamie’s recipe and was inspired.  Delia got one thing right though, most Lemon Tarts are not deep enough.  I went out and bought a special deep dish for this tart and it was worth every penny.  Now I have crisp buttery pastry, lots of lemony filling, perfection on a plate.  This is the recipe I get asked for most often to bring to dinner parties, and I never get a slice to take home!  By the way, it does require learning how to bake pastry blind, no other way around it.  But follow these steps and you will be making tarts, quiches etc. with a lovely crispy bottom.

Deep Lemon and Lime tart

For the pastry

8oz/225g plain flour
2oz/50g icing sugar
5oz/140g butter, very cold, chopped into cubes
1 large egg
A little lemon juice.

Pre heat the oven to 180c/gas 4.  You need a 9in/23cm deep tin.

In a food processor whiz together the flour, icing sugar and butter until it forms a breadcrumb like mixture.  Take care not to over process.  Add the egg and a little lemon juice and process until it almost forms a ball.  Turn it out on to a floured board and gently press together.

Roll out the pastry quite thinly and carefully line the flan tin.  Allow the pastry to run over the edges as you can cut these off when the pastry is cooked and it prevent it from shrinking too much and from the sides falling in. Rest the pastry for an hour in the fridge or the freezer. Don’t skip this step.

Prick the pastry lightly all over the base with a fork.  This stops it from rising.  Then the 
pastry case is ready for baking blind. Fill it with rice inside of baking parchment. I use the same rice over and over.

Bake blind for 20 mins, removing the rice and greaseproof paper for the final 5 mins.

For the filling (don’t get this ready in advance as the lemon juice does something to the eggs and it is not as good)

Zest of 3 large lemons and 2 limes
10 fluid oz/275ml of the juice (might need extra lemons for this if they were small)
6 eggs
6oz/175g caster sugar
7 fluid oz/200ml whipping cream

Break the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar and the combined zests.  Just lightly beat them, as you do not want them becoming thick.  Add the juice and the cream and mix gently.  Pour your mixture into a large jug and fill the cooked pastry case in the oven to avoid spills.  Bake for 30 mins or until the tart is set in the middle.  Let it cool for about half and hour. Trim the edges of the pastry for a neater finish.

Dust with icing sugar.  I would serve it with some raspberries if using it as a dessert or on its own for coffee.

Advanced bakers might like to put a burnt sugar top on this with that blowtorch you never use.  Sprinkle the top of the tart with a thin layer of castor sugar and run your blowtorch over it until it becomes caramelized. Allow to cool and set into a thin caramel layer.  A bit too much work for me; I think the tart is good enough without it.


  1. Absolutely lovely looking tart Fionnuala!

    Could you give some indication of what you mean by 'deep'? (depth)

    1. 11/2 inches or 4 cm deep and 9 inches or 23 cm round. I like it to have more filling than pastry.

      Thank you for your nice comments.