We were lucky enough to speak to rising baking star Will Torrent in issue 10, where he told us all about his journey from baking with family as a young boy to working in the patisseries of Paris. He kindly shared a recipe from his latest book, Patisserie at Home, for marvellous macarons which we featured in the magazine, and he also treated us to a bonus recipe for tarte au citron! Looks like we’ll be spending this weekend in the kitchen…
For the pastry
- 100g butter, softened
- 100g sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 250g plain flour
For the filling
- 9 eggs
- 390g sugar
- juice and grated zest of 5 lemons
- 275ml plus 2tbsp double cream
“I couldn’t write a book on French pastry without including a recipe for lemon tart. It is so famous in France, but also commonly found on many restaurant dessert menus in London. The recipe was given to me by a great friend of mine, Martin Caws. He was head chef at the Michelin-starred Mirabelle in Mayfair, and this lemon tart was always on his menus and it sold out every night!”
For the pastry
Beat the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes, or until pale.
Split the vanilla bean lengthwise using a small, sharp knife and scrape the seeds into the creamed butter mixture. Add the lemon zest and beat again to incorporate.
Gradually add the eggs, mixing until fully incorporated.
Gently mix in the flour but do not over-work the dough otherwise the gluten will develop and you will end up with tough pastry.
Bring the dough together into a ball with your hands, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate until needed – at least 2 hours.
When ready, place your dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to a rough circle about 25cm in diameter.
Loosely wrap the dough around the rolling pin and transfer it to a prepared 20cm tart pan. Unravel the dough into the pan. Gently coax it neatly into the curves and angles of the pan, press lightly into the sides and trim off any excess.
Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper over the pastry and fill it with baking beans. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (180°C/gas mark 4) for 10-15 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 160°C/gas mark 3. Remove the paper and beans from the tart pan and return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and lower the temperate to 130°C/gas mark 0.5.
For the filling
Put the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest then stir in the cream. Pour the mixture into a jug.
Put the blind-baked tart case back into the oven and pour the filling in slowly and carefully.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until it starts to set in the centre but still wobbles like jelly. It will continue to cook when it comes out of the oven, so don’t be tempted to keep baking until it is fully set of it will curdle and split.
Allow to cool completely then remove from the pan. To serve, dust with icing sugar and serve at room temperature.
This recipe can be found in Patisserie at Home (£18.99, Ryland Peters & Small), along with plenty of other fantastic sweet ideas!