This is an incredibly luscious tart. The lemon curd and pastry crust can be made ahead and the tart assembled just before you eat it.
Lemon (lime, grapefruit or orange) curd will keep for about 10 days in sterilized jars in the fridge and the quantity suggested below is twice what you’ll need for this recipe, so go ahead – make the full amount and enjoy what’s left slathered on warm croissants, brioche or toast.
This is one of my favorite sweet pastry (pâte sucrée) recipes; tender, light, melt-in-the-mouth – and a perfectly complement for any type of fruit filling.
You need a 13inch / 33cm (approx) loose-based tart tin and you’ll also need a good sized carton of blackberries. Strawberries or raspberries would also be wonderful once they’re in season and at their ripest. Any unlikely leftover tart will keep covered in the fridge for a day or two.
BLACKBERRY & LEMON CURD TART
Ingredients for the lemon curd (can be made several days ahead):
4 medium sized thin-skinned lemons, preferably organic
1 and 1/2 cups of fine white sugar
4 oz (114g) of unsalted butter at room temp (I like Kerrygold Irish butter as it comes from grass-fed cows)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
A pinch of sea salt (omit this if you use salted butter)
Finely grate then chop the zest from the lemons and squeeze all the juice.
Start by melting the butter with the sugar in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water, then add everything else.
Whisk gently until smooth and thick – this can take about 15-20 minutes.
Strain the lemon curd through a sieve into a clean bowl then transfer it to two sterilized jars and allow to cool before securing the lids.
Ingredients for the pastry crust (can be made 24 hrs ahead):
1 and 2/3 cups (400ml measure) of all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tablespoons of fine white sugar
Pinch of salt
1 ¼ sticks (5 oz/142g) of chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Approx 3 tablespoons of iced water
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Start by making the pastry at least 2 hours ahead. Put the flour, sugar and salt in the food processor and pulse. Add the butter and pulse again until it’s the consistency of coarse meal.
Add a couple of tablespoons of water, the egg yolk and vanilla. Pulse until you have big moist clumps, adding a tiny bit more water if it seems too dry.
Carefully scoop out the dough, lightly press it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
To make the pie crust, take the dough out of the fridge and allow it to soften slightly. On a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin or your wine bottle, roll the dough out until you have a round that’s approx 14ins/36cm across.
Drape the pastry over your rolling pin/wine bottle and fit it carefully into the tart tin. Cut the overhang to about ¾ inch/2cm and fold that back in, pressing the pastry evenly in the tin so that you have about ¼ inch/½ cm poking up above the rim. Prick the base all over with a fork and stick it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 375F/190C.
Bake the pie crust for 25-30 mins then cool it completely on a rack.
To assemble the tart, spread half of the lemon curd over the base of the cooled pastry case then top with the blackberries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or whatever you prefer). Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
This tart is perfect on it’s own but I could be persuaded to add a good blob of crème fraîche on the side.