I am not a baker. Really I’m not. My enthusiastic and entrepreneurial approach to life and by extension to baking makes it a dangerous undertaking. My baking projects are as likely to fail as to succeed. In fact, they mostly fail. My versions are always a bit more aggressive, a bit messier than they should be.
But with basic ingredients like butter, lemon, eggs and cream it’s hard to go wrong. Well actually you can go wrong but it still tastes great! So for all you avid, and even not so avid bakers out there, I would suggest you ditch the time consuming lemon meringue pie and replace it with this super easy but fantastically delicious lemon tort I found in the Globe and Mail. There is nothing wrong with this tort and everything right. Buttery crust, tart lemon with little bits of lemon rind (mine were a bit too large) and cream. Did i mention cream? Yes, cream. As my mom would say, you could make a shit taste good with ingredients like that. Thanks Globe for the fantastic recipe!
So here goes:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water or lemon juice
1 cup superfine sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup whipping cream
¼ cup icing sugar
Sprigs of fresh mint
Sift flour, sugar and salt together into a bowl. Add butter and rub together with fingertips or cut in with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Combine egg yolk with water or lemon juice. Drizzle over flour mixture and blend in with a fork. Gather dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Grease a 9-inch x 1 ½-inch tart pan. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface into a disc large enough to line the interior of the pan, about 12 inches. Lift dough into pan and gently press into edges. Trim off excess. Freeze tart shell for 30 minutes.
Whisk eggs with sugar and zest in a bowl until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and cream. Reserve.
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Place tart pan on a baking sheet. Line the inside of the pan with parchment paper then fill with baking weights. Dried beans are good for this. Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove beans and parchment and prick the bottom of the tart with a fork to make air holes. Reduce oven to 350 F and bake for 10 more minutes or until crust appears dry.
Pour lemon filling into hot crust to ensure the tart is sealed and crust does not leak.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is set. Leave to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Sift icing sugar over tart. Alternatively, preheat broiler when ready to serve. Sift icing sugar over tart and place under the broiler, watching carefully not to burn, until sugar is light golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Cut into slices and serve with mint.