130 grams butter, room temp
⅓ cup icing sugar, sifted if lumpy
180g plain flour
2 tsp lemon juice
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
23-25cm round tart tin or pie dish (a removeable base is helpful but not a deal breaker if you're happy to serve straight from the dish)
125 grams cream cheese, roughly chopped, at room temperature
1 tbsp custard powder
170g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks
½ cup cream
½ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
2 large eggs at room temperature
60g butter at room temperature
PASTRY: Whiz butter, icing sugar, flour and zest in a food processor until the mixture looks like large breadcrumbs. Add the juice and process again until larger lumps of pastry form. Don't go the full way until you have one large ball of pastry as it will be tough. Sometimes I need to add 1-2 tbsp of iced water to encourage the pastry to come together. Tip onto a very lightly floured bench and pat/form into a large round disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the fridge, sit for 5 minutes, then roll out between two pieces of baking paper. Spray your tin lightly with a neutral oil and line the base with a circle of baking paper then ease the pastry into the tin, easing the pastry right into the corners and up the sides. Return to the fridge and chill for 30 mins. Heat your oven to 180C.
FILLING: Dock your pastry by pricking it all over the base with a fork then line with baking paper, fill with baking beads (or rice) and blind bake for 12 minutes then remove the baking paper and beads and return to the oven for further 10 mins.
While this is cooking put cream cheese, custard powder, caster sugar and lemon zest into your food processor and blend until smooth. Add cream and lemon juice and pulse to combine. Finally, add eggs and yolks and blend for a just few more seconds until smooth. Pour into a jug ready for filling your tart shell.
Once the pastry has had it's second baking remove it from the oven, place on a baking tray and gently pour in the filling (to come almost to the top). Reduce oven temperature to 150˚C then very gently pop tart back into the oven and cook a further 30 minutes until set but still with a bit of wobble in the middle. Turn the oven off, open the door wide and let it sit there for half an hour before removing to cool on the bench, then in the fridge.
The tart can be made the day before or in the morning of the day you want to serve it. Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving. Slather with lemon curd just before serving.
LEMON CURD: In a small saucepan combine sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Add the butter and cook over a very low heat, stirring continuously initially with a whisk, then with a rubber or silicone spatula, just until the first bubble appears on the surface of the mixture and the curd hold 'whisk marks', about 6-8 mins. If you can be bothered (I often can't) strain the curd through a fine sieve if you don't want the zest in your curd. Transfer the hot curd to a bowl or jar and store in the fridge. The curd will keep fresh for about a week in the fridge.
Need to know more about how to make and bake the perfect pastry (with nary a soggy bottom in sight)? Check out our Pastry 101 here.