Hmm….. bit of an epic fail this one really! Some combination of warm filling, raw and very thin pastry and loose bottomed tart tins resulted in all of our carefully crafted custard being spread over the baking tray (thank GOODNESS we put them on a baking tray!) within approximately 3 seconds of the tarts going in the oven. We didn’t even manage to close the oven door before they sprung a leak – probably a very good thing in hindsight! Wish we’d taken a photo, it was so comically tragic but we were too busy having a strop (Bird) and rescuing what was left of the precious custard (Fats).
However our evening was not lost, in what can only be described as fate (not a word we use lightly) Tesco had our favourite biscuit/cookie type affair (these bad boys) on offer for £1 and there was only 1 packet left. See? Fate.
When Bird returned triumphantly clutching the cookies Fats had rescued and cooked a good amount of the custard which was cooling in the fridge. So, during The Great British Bake Off although we missed our tarts, an Extremely Chocolatey Cookie dunked in cold custard wasn’t the worst thing in the world…..
Just a mini post tonight, it was of course Great British Bake Off night (how amazing was Christine’s Bavarian clock??) so it was time for another Tart Tuesday! Because we had some simple grilled plaice for dinner we plumped for a lemon tart for dessert. Bird has made a tarte au citron before but it was with a shop bought pastry case and it was a large one – miniature ones made from scratch were untrodden ground!
We used one of the portions of sweet shortcrust pastry that we made last week and froze, you can find the recipe on our Nectarine Frangipane post. Take it out of the freezer 24 hours before you want to use it and put it in the fridge to defrost, then just take it out of the fridge 10-15 minutes before you want to use it – easy! So the same as before, roll out the pastry, place it in mini loose-bottomed tart cases (we greased with butter and then coated in a little flour) and chill it in the fridge for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Prick the pastry with a fork, fill the tart cases with baking beans after lining with foil or greaseproof paper and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or so until firm, then remove the baking beans and bake for 3-5 minutes more until dry and pale gold in colour.
So here’s where this one differs a little from last weeks – the pastry has to be cool before you add the filling. We blind baked our cases before dinner, ate dinner and then filled them afterwards so there wasn’t any unnecessary hanging around. Once they’ve cooled make up the filling.
Ingredients (for 2 mini tarts plus some extra)
50ml double cream
90g caster sugar
zest and juice of 1 and a half lemons
Heat the oven to 150°C. Simply whisk the eggs for a few minutes and then stir in the other ingredients, it’s as easy as that! Pour the mixture into your cooled pastry, the easiest way to do this is to place the tart cases on a tray, fill them most of the way up, carry the tray carefully to the oven and slide it in and then fill them up the rest of the way while they’re in the oven. These need to bake for around 15 minutes but keep an eye on them, we turned the oven down to 100°C as they had coloured on top and were still very wobbly! They’re cooked when they have a very, very slight wobble.
Now what you should do is leave them to cool for at least half an hour, release them from the tins, then chill them down more (partly in the fridge) for another couple of hours so they are set firm with a lovely soft texture. We did not do this. There was Bake Off to be watched, Bird had a blood test earlier, Fats had a hard bike ride home – we were in need of a treat and sharp! So ours were a little… gooeyer (it’s a word!) than they were intended to be but they tasted ah-may-zing. What will we make next week? Dare we attempt a custard tart?