Bake Along 2011 – Tarte au Citron

I love lemon tart. I love lemons in pretty much anything, actually. So it wasn’t much of a trial to make Mary Berry‘s Tarte au Citron for one of the 2011 Bake Along challenges. Her recipe is here and it’s a pretty good recipe, I think.

I took dozens of photos of this because a friend had loaned me a macro lens, and my photographer friend Mel and I went a bit nuts with the food porn shots.

Got a bit obsessed with the pastry here. You need to blind bake the shell. If you’re having trouble getting it right, some troubleshooting tips are:

1. Keep everything very cold.

2. It’s better to rub in the butter than use a food processor, I think, because you cover the flour properly with fat, and so protect it from absorbing too much liquid. That said, you can use a processor, especially if you are worried that your hand will warm everything up too much.

3. Rest the dough once it’s made and then once you’d lined the tin. I find freezing the lined tin for 20 mins helps with shrinkage.

4. You can let the dough hang over the sides when you line it and cut it off later when it’s baked, but I tend not to do this – if you’ve rested it well enough, it shouldn’t shrink too much.

5. Make sure you bake it until it’s properly golden.

6. I avoid the filling seeping into the pastry by brushing the inside with egg wash after the first stage of the blind bake (ie when the beans have come out).

Minimal handling keeps the dough short. Try not to stretch it either, so move it around draped over a rolling pin.

Finally – it’s important not to overcook it or let it get too hot or the lemon custard filling will start to curdle (mine did just a smidgen at the edges and top in this one).