Today’s dessert is a classic French summer pudding. A light and tangy lemon tart served drizzled with a blackcurrant (cassis) sauce.
This looks very elegant on the plate and tastes wonderful. The tartness of the lemon makes an excellent antidote to an excess of meat in a barbecue too.
Tart au Citron with Cassis Sauce
For the Pastry:
150g (5 oz) plain flour
50g (2 oz) caster sugar
75g (3 oz) unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Filling:
3 small lemons
110g (4 oz) caster sugar
50g (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Sauce:
300g (2/3 lb) fresh blackcurrants
2 tbsp Cassis (blackcurrant cordial)
sugar, to taste
icing sugar, for dusting
crème fraîche, to serve
Begin with the pastry. Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the sugar. Add the butter and rub into the mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the egg yolks and vanilla essence and still using your fingertips work these into the other ingredients. Finally bring the mixture together to form a dough.
Press the mixture into the base and sides of a greased 23cm (9 in) diameter loose-bottomed flan dish (this should be 2.5cm [1 in] deep). Lightly prick all over the base with a fork. Place the lined flan tin in the freezer for 15 minutes and allow to set until very firm.
Set the flan tin on a rigid baking tray then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 200ºC (400ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake blind for between 12 and 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4).
Allow the pastry to cool as you prepare the filling.
Scrub the lemons and then finely grate the zest. Extract the juice and strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Mix the lemon zest, sugar and melted butter in with the lemon juice. Beat the eggs together in a separate bowl, then pass through a sieve into the lemon mixture. Stir well to combine.
Pour the resultant custard filling into the pastry case. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin then carefully remove the tart from the tin and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
For the sauce, combine the blackcurrants and cordial in a small pan. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the blackcurrants are soft. Sweeten to taste then pass through a fine-meshed sieve to remove the pips and skins.
To serve, slice the tart into wedges. Arrange these on chilled serving dishes, dust with icing sugar and drizzle over the cassis sauce.
Serve immediately, accompanied by crème fraîche.