Thursday, 14 February 2013

LUCIA'S LITTLE LEMON TARTS - By Lucia O

Hello everyone.

My name is Lucia and I'm an 18 year old baker from Sydney. I have a passion for all things sweet and delicious and couldn't imagine life without baked goods. I graduated from high school at the end of last year and am now working as a full time baker at a Patisserie in Randwick.

In March, by beautiful older sister Rosie is getting married. Being the baker of the family I have been assigned as the wedding cake maker. Needless to say I'm incredibly excited and have had so much fun playing around with different recipes for her big day.

This month we celebrated her bridal tea. It was a wonderful day filled with tea, cakes and everything vintage. 

Today I'm sharing with you my favourite recipe of the day... Little Lemon Tarts. 
These fun sized treats were perfect for the occasion and packed a huge lemoney punch for such small morsels. This recipe makes enough for approximately 35 tarts. 

Lemon Curd
What you will need:
4 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
330g caster sugar
160g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
4 lemons

What you will do:
Whisk eggs and egg yolks with sugar in a saucepan until smooth.

Place over a low heat and continue whisking until sugar has dissolved (the best way to tell if the sugar has dissolved is to pinch some of the mixture and rub it between your thumb and fore finger. If the mixture does not feel grainy then it is ready)

Add the butter to the mixture one cube at a time, continuously whisking until the butter has melted into the mixture.

Add the zest and juice from the lemons (don't worry about lumps and seeds) and continue whisking for a few minutes over a gentle heat until it thickens and becomes the consistency of custard.

Pour the mixture through a sieve into a jar or container and leave to cool before sealing and storing in the fridge.

This lemon curd is absolutely amazing even by itself. It will keep for up to a month. You can try it with crepes for breakfast, or even fill cupcakes with it for afternoon tea.  

Basic Sweet Pastry
What you will need:
300g plain flour
70g caster sugar
160g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
30ml chilled water

What you will do:
Preheat the oven to 160C.

Using a food processor, process flour, sugar and butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add egg yolk and water and process again until the dough just comes together. 

Bring the dough together on a floured surface and shape into a disc (the secret to perfect pastry is to keep it very cold, so avoid over working the dough as the heat from your hands will warm it).

Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for around 20-30 minutes so that the gluten can relax.

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper (you may need to cut the disc in half and roll it out in two batches if you don't have room) until it is about 2mm thick.

To make my bite sized tarts, I used a 7cm scone cuter with frilled edges. However, feel free to make whatever sized tarts you would prefer. You can even make one large one (just make sure you adjust the cooking times).

Using a greased cupcake tin, fit the rounds of pastry into the bottom of each case and edge the pastry evenly up the sides of the tin until they are around 1/2 a cm tall.

Prick the bottom of each tart with a fork and place in the oven to blind bake for 7-10 minutes until the edges are slightly golden and the centre no longer looks wet.

If you are making one large tart, then you will need to place baking paper in the bottom and fill with pie weights or uncooked rice for the first half of the baking process. 

Remove tarts from oven and allow to cool completely.

Assembly
What you will need:
Lemon curd
Pastry cases
Blueberries

What you will do:
Spoon around 2 teaspoons of lemon curd into each pastry case and top with a blueberry (be creative with your garnish, you can even top them with all different types of fruit and berries).

I hope you enjoy my recipe,

Stay sweet little bakers! 

Lucia xo

- Lucia is guest blogging as Alissa sails to the bottom of the planet

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