A Very Summery Lemon & Raspberry Tart

This tart was actually made three days ago, and the last sliver eaten tonight.  It has a really rich biscuity pastry and the filling is light, lemony and not too sweet. I had meant to glaze it with sieved raspberry jam, but discovered that there was hardly any left, and what there was had lumps of butter in it (although when melted, that might have been no bad thing…), so I split a vanilla pod and scraped the seeds into a little maple syrup, then daubed it with that instead.  You can see that my pastry isn’t perfectly even, but I love the way the light glows through it.  You want perfect, you go to a shop.  You want divine light lemon cream and tart raspberries, and the knowledge that no weirdies have been added to extend shelf-life, you make it yourself.

If I try this again, I might try using a mild goat’s cheese instead of Philadelphia.  One of my ALL-TIME favourite cookbooks is Paul Gayler’s Passion for Cheese, and it has a fabulous dessert section with such delights as Goat’s Cheese Mousse with Pineapple Confit, Brie Ice Cream with Dates, Walnuts and Butterscotch Sauce, Lemon Blinis with Ricotta and Raspberries, Hot Prune Soufflé with Goat’s Cheese Ice Cream and the tempting Apple & Pecorino Strudel.  I haven’t tried a single one of these, but you just know they’d be good.

Another favourite flirtation with goat’s cheese as a sweet ingredient is in Diva Cooking by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Jennifer Joyce;  Sweet Goat’s Cheese, Orange and Almond Tart, which I have made, and was wonderful, in fact, would have worked with an even goatier goat’s cheese that the one I found in my local supermarket. Maybe one of those next..?

For the Pastry:

200g flour

125g butter

50g icing sugar

3 egg yolks

For the Filling:

375ml full fat milk

5 egg yolks

1 tablespoon of cornflour

75g caster sugar

the juice and zest of 3 lemons

200g full fat cream cheese

150ml double cream

500g raspberries or other favourite soft fruit, such as blueberries or strawberries

Process the butter sugar and flour to breadcrumbs, then add the egg yolks, process again, press into a ball, and chill for an hour.

Heat the milk with the lemon zest over a medium heat, and with a stand mixer (or vigorously by hand) beat the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Pour the hot milk through a sieve onto the egg mixture and whisk to combine, then pour this back into the pan and cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes until it is thick and smooth.  (if it’s not smooth, sieve it again). Pour into a shallow bowl to cool, covered with a piece of dampened greaseproof to stop a skin forming.

Beat the double cream until thick but not too stiff, then add the cream cheese and lemon juice and beat again to combine.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Roll out the chilled pastry and use to line a greased, loose-bottomed tart tin of about 23cm, leaving a little overhang to trim later..  Line with foil or greaseproof and half fill with baking beans (dried or ceramic).  Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and bake for a further 10.  Trim the overhang at this stage with a serrated knife.  If find this easier when it is still warm and not too crispy. Allow to cool completely.

Combine the cream/cheese mixture and the crème patissiere, then spread into the cooled pastry case.  Chill for half an hour to form a firm surface for your fruit.  Arrange this nicely and glaze as you wish.



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