It was yet another horrible day weather wise. Well it had turned into one, the morning had been dry and cloudy and I did manage to get over to the allotment for a few hours, but by lunchtime the rain had come and looked as though it was here for the day. Sigh! When is spring going to come!
Looking through my cupboard I found a packet of ground almonds. I knew there would be some more hiding somewhere! I also had an abundance of lemons, so decided on this recipe and thought it would be good forour puddingtoday too.
The first thing to do was to make the pâte sucrée (sweet pastry). Into a bowl (yes I decided to do this by hand this time and not in the food processor!) went 175g plain flour and 75g softened butter. This was rubbed in with my fingertips until it resembled fine breadcrumbs. Next 75g of sugar was stirred through and 3 large egg yolks were added (the whites put into another bowl with which I’ll probably make some meringues). I used a rounded knife to bring the mixture together at first, but soon resorted to using my fingertips to form a dough. This was kneaded very gently until smooth and then wrapped in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
After 30 minutes the pastry was removed from the fridge and rolled out on a lightly floured work surface and used to line a 23cm (9″) loose-bottomed flan tin. I wasn’t sure whether or not to use a fluted tin but looking at other recipes Mary does normally state to use a ‘fluted’ flan tin, so I opted for a round unfluted one. I’m not sure that makes sense, but I hope it does! Once the tin was lined with the pastry it was pricked all over with a fork and put back into the fridge to chill whilst I made the filling.
The oven was put on to preheat at Fan 160°C.
Into a bowl I put two large eggs (lightly beaten), together with 90g caster sugar, 150g ground almonds and 85ml double cream. These were all beaten together. Finally the finely grated rind from 4 lemons and the juice of two lemons was added to the mixture. The filling was poured into the chilled pastry case and put in the oven for 30-35 minutes. After 35 minutes the top was golden in colour and firm to the touch.
To finish the tart, Mary’ prepares some lemons to put on the top. If I’d read the recipe through to start with instead of just the ingredients, I would have done this part first as they have to soak for at least 2 hours. Oh well, hopefully no-one would want an early evening meal!
Two lemons were sliced thinly (I used the ones I had taken the rind from so I didn’t waste them, as I thought if they were thinly sliced you wouldn’t be able to see anyway whether or not they had the rind on). Into a saucepan I measured 150g caster sugar and added 135ml water. This was put on a gentle heat until the sugar had dissolved. Once it had dissolved the mixture was boiled for one minute. The thinly sliced lemons were added to the syrup and the mixture brought back to the boil. Once boiling it was removed from the heat and the syrup and lemons were poured into a bowl where they were to soak for at least 2 hours.
I think I actually soaked the lemons for about 1 1/2 hours, we were all getting hungry by then. The lemon slices were drained and arranged overlapping on the pie.
The final stage was to brush the whole of the pie with some melted apricot jam. I looked in the fridge for some jam, but remembered that I had used it all up when I made the Sachertorte the other day. Whoops, by now it was too late to pop along to the shop at the end of the road and I didn’t really feel like taking the car out just to get some jam, so I decide to use 3 tblsp lemon curd instead. I must admit I wasn’t too sure whether or not it would work, but it didn’t look too bad once I’d brushed it over the top (after warming it up slightly).
When it came to tasting the tart, I was really disappointed. I love anything lemony, so I was looking forward to this, the rind of 4 lemons and the juice of 2, together with the lemon slices on top, it should have been right up my street. However, it wasn’t, you could hardly taste the lemon at all, all I could taste was almonds! The lemon slices on the top weren’t that pleasant either and I actually took them off and put them to one side. The only bit I can honestly say I really liked about it was the pastry! My son didn’t have any – he had the last slice of Sachertorte (which he now says is his favourite cake/pudding), my daughter wasn’t that keen on it, she said she didn’t not like it, but didn’t like it either, it was rather nondescript. I had to agree with her. My husband on the other hand thought it was really nice and he’s the one who’s been eating it all!
Will I make it again, sadly I don’t think I will, I’ve made far nicer lemon tarts than this in the past.
Quick update, I’ve ate the last slice yesterday evening (two days after making it) and it tasted rather good! The lemon flavour had develope more and I couldn’t really taste the almonds. It was quite enjoyable. So I take it back, I may make it again after all!!