Who doesn’t love a classic lemon tart? Who doesn’t love a classic gin and tonic? They both score a big yes from me. The tangy bitterness of a refreshing G&T has me dreaming of balmy summer evenings, and so, inspired by the sudden arrival of summer weather last week, I experimented with a gin and lemon tart.
Of course, Melbourne has confounded us as usual, and it’s a chilly 15 degrees with pouring rain today, but it was lovely while it lasted, and my tarts were a triumph if I say so myself!
I used my go-to gluten free pastry recipe courtesy of Maggie Beer from her series The Cook and The Chef, but made a sweet version by adding 2 teaspoons of caster sugar in place of the salt. This worked a treat, and I highly recommend this if you need a gluten free pastry. If not, then use your favourite short crust pastry recipe, or shop-bought is pretty good if you’re short of time or can’t be bothered.
I’d never attempted a lemon tart of any sort before, so consulted the experts on my cook book shelf. It turned out to be a clash of the titans, with excellent recipes from both Mary Berry and Stephanie Alexander, but Stephanie won the day this time. I used her classic recipe from The Cook’s Companion, so I couldn’t possible go wrong.
I couldn’t decide between one large tart or little tartlets, so I doubled up and made both.
- 1 quantity of short crust pastry
- 6 free range eggs
- 250g caster sugar
- Grated zest and juice of 3 large lemons
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup of gin
- 200ml cream
- Pure icing sugar (check it's gluten free)
- Berries, edible flowers and leaves to decorate
- Line a 24cm loose-bottomed flan tin with pastry.
- *If you are using Maggie Beer's gluten free pastry recipe there is no need to blind bake the pastry case - just chill in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
- *If you are using regular pastry then blind bake at 200C for 20 minutes.
- Reset oven to 160C
- In a large bowl, mix sugar and eggs until well combined.
- Add zest, juice and gin and stir well.
- Add cream and mix thoroughly.
- Pour into the just-baked (or chilled) pastry case and bake at 160C for 35-45 minutes until almost set.
- Cool in the tin on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- The tart will slice more cleanly if popped in the fridge for a while.
- When completely cool, dust with icing sugar and decorate with berries or flowers.
- Serve with thick cream.
So tangy, with the slight bitterness of gin to cut the sweetness – not too shabby for a first go. I even managed to make it an excuse for a cheeky day-time G&T treat for myself!
Thanks to Safari Living for the loan of their beautiful servingware and glassware.