Tarte au Citron (AKA Yummy Lemon Tart!)
A classic lemon tart is always popular. Rich and redolent with eggs & cream and generous with sharp citrus, lemon tart was a staple on menus in the early noughties.
So I planned to take one to a family get together last weekend until it was announced that I was catering for a vegan!.. At a barbeque!
OK…..so never one to renounce a challenge, I set about modifying my plans and started experimenting!
I have previously posted a raw vegan lemon tart but that recipe wasn’t what I wanted in the traditional sense and I wanted something that was easily transported and would cut into many slices.
For a citrus tart to achieve greatness, the filling has to be exactly the right texture – not too soft but not too firm either. When you are working with custard, this is relatively easy if you have the right proportions of eggs to cream but eggs and cream were not an option this time!
Lemons are available all year round but their flavour excels in the winter months. The Eureka lemon is the most common variety found in the supermarket and popular in back gardens because of its ability to produce fruit and flowers together throughout the year. It has a thicker rind and many more seeds (often lots!) than the Lisbon which has a thinner skin and is bred to have no seeds. Lisbon lemons are rounder and softer and tend not to have a knobbly end as do the former.
The sweetest lemon is the Meyer lemon which is a cross between a lemon and possibly an orange or a mandarin. Thin-skinned and slightly less acidic than the Lisbon and Eureka lemons, Meyer lemons are harder to zest, have only a couple of seeds and are harder to find. They are great for making lemonade as they are sweeter.
For the tart, I like to use an acidic lemon like the Eureka but the proliferant seeds can be pesky! They also yield more zest which shouldn’t be skimped because the flavour of the volatile oils are integral.
I have glazed the tart more for presentation than taste. When making a lemon tart without butter or eggs, the colour can be quite insipid and not very appealing. Adding a pinch of turmeric helps but doesn’t quite cut the mustard! A glaze with orange juice gives the tart a more attractive hue without overriding the lemon-i-ness, but feel free to skip this step if it doesn’t matter to you. Alternatively, you could cover it with sliced strawberries or whipped cream!
Base 120g almonds 70g dates 60g coconut butter 60g whole buckwheat Blitz together on SP 8 until a fine crumble and press thinly into a lined 24cm tart pan. Add a little water if it is too dry. Put into the oven and turn on to 165ºC for 15 – 20 mins until lightly golden. Cool. Filling 70g water 70g almond milk (or water) 2 tabs agar agar flakes (or 2 teas agar powder) 160 lemon juice rind of 2 lemons 160g coconut oil 90g brown rice syrup 90g coconut sugar (I used Natvia) 2 teas maize cornflour pinch turmeric Mill the rind and sugar on SP 8 for 10 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and heat to 80ºC on SP 1 for 3 minutes to dissolve the agar flakes. Don’t be tempted to increase the speed as the agar will stick to the sides of the bowl and not dissolve. Cook further for 8 minutes on SP 4 at 90ºC, then blitz on SP 7 for 10 seconds to ensure its smooth & thick. Pour into the tart shell and allow to cool while you make the glaze. Glaze (Optional) 70g water 100g orange juice (strained) juice of half a lemon 1 teas agar flakes (or 1/2 teas agar powder) 1 tab brown rice syrup Add all of the ingredients to the TM and heat to 90ºC on SP 1 for 8 minutes. When dissolved and smooth, pour over the tart and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to firm up.