Chef Cat Sheppard shares her best tips on improving shortcrust party skills and how to make one of their most popular, demanded dishes- a lemon tart.
250g plain white flour
175g caster sugar
200ml double cream
4 eggs + 1 yolk
10ml cold water if necessary
1 egg yolk (keep white for brushing over pastry)
A pinch of salt
75g icing sugar
Ideally the day before – grate the zest of lemons into the measured sugar and give a good shake.
Store in an air-tight container.
Make the pastry. Mix icing sugar and flour. Rub in butter to produce fine breadcrumbs. Make a well, add the egg and stir with a table knife to combine. If too dry add the cold water. Knead briefly, then wrap tightly in clingfilm and chill in fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
Roll out the pastry, dusting with a little flour and ease into the tart case. Line with clingfilm in both directions and fill centre with rice. Wrap clingfilm round to form a weight. Chill for another 10 minutes.
Blind bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, then remove the bag, paint egg white over it and replace for a further 5 mins.
While pastry is blind baking, make the filling. Whisk the eggs and lemon sugar until paler and light. Mix in the cream gently.
Juice the lemons and then very, very slowly pour in the lemon juice, whisking all the time. You don’t want it to curdle at this stage.
Pour into the pastry case (while it is still in the oven) very carefully and turn the heat down to 160°C. Bake for 30 minutes or until the centre just wobbles. Remove and cool in the tin until ready to serve.