These small lemon tarts will really pep up your tea table and you may even want to include them in a kind of pudding mezze with cupcakes, chocolate crispies, fresh fruit and cheese… The tarts are made simply with just shortcrust tart cases and a generous teaspoonful of zingy lemon curd.
The shortcrust pastry recipe is from our step-by-step for the perfect jam tarts. All we did was to bake the pastry cases blind. The lemon curd is an old family favourite and the quantity here will make a couple of jars, leaving you plenty to swirl in whipped cream, spread on crumpets or toast, or just use to sandwich together a Victoria sponge.
What you need to make the lemon curd
- Juice and zest of 6 small / medium lemons
- 4 eggs – beaten
- 450g granulated sugar
- 100g butter
Plus a wooden spoon, a double boiler or a bowl over a pan of simmering water and 2 or 3 jam jars to store it.
Step 1 – preparation
Zest all your lemons using the zesting side of your grater or a special zester such as a fine micro-plane that you can buy from Lakeland. Squeeze all the lemons and strain the juice into a bowl. Beat the eggs well and add to the bowl. Add the sugar and the butter cut into small pieces. Stir.
Step 2 – thickening
Now place the bowl or douible boiler over the simmering water and keep stirring. Essentially, you are making a lemon custard and so you need to watch that it doesn’t curdle or overheat. Just have patience and keep stirring. After 10-15 minutes you will have produced a glossy, thick and zingy lemon curd.
Step 3 – finishing
This quantity will make 2 or three jars and it will keep for up to a month kept sealed in the fridge (if you don’t eat it before that!). It’s seriously delicious and as you’ll discover, very straight forward to make. You can use this in lots of ways, but one of our favourites is to simply spoon it into a feather light shortcrust pastry tart case. The plain but crisp airy pastry, lets the flavour of the lemon really sing.
Making the pastry cases
This quantity is for 24 tart cases.
Follow steps 1-4 on the perfect jam tart page then read on:
Step 5 – blind baking
Now with your tart tins lined, instead of filling them with jam, take a small square of tin foil, scrumple it a bit so it fits softly against the pastry, and put a few baking beans in each foil-lined tart case. NOTE: Real baking beans are a good investment. They are infinitely reusable, will last you a lifetime and cost less than a fiver. Here’s a link to buy from Lakeland. You can use dried beans or chickpeas but it’s wasteful and more expensive in the long run.
Now put a generous teaspoonful of the lemon curd into each tart case – and serve.
Ideally, you’ll want to serve them as soon as they’re cool, but they’ll be OK for a day or so in a sealed box.