Whole-Lemon Tart

A recent special insert in the Sunday Times was all about baking. In each recipe, there is something inventive or innovative, whether it be in the technique or ingredients. Out of the 24, I want to try at least half of them. To start, I chose this tart made from an entire lemon.

The recipe is one Dorie Greenspan received and adapted from a former owner of the Maison Pradier patisserie, which was founded 160 years ago (!). I started with the all-butter crust, a pâte sablée, that came together in the food processor very quickly. I didn’t bother to roll it out, and decided to just try and press it into my false-bottom pan. The oven browned the top edges too much, so you should keep an eye on it.

What makes this recipe “inventive” is that it incorporates the whole lemon: zest, pith, pulp, and juice! It’s blitzed to a smooth consistency in the food processor and can be poured right into the blind baked shell. No double boiler, no constant stirring, no straining. During baking, it puffed up and turned a pale brown. At the suggested time, it still was a bit wobbly in the centre.

Whole Lemon Tart

What a delight this tart was: faintly grainy yet creamy, tart and sweet, without any strong bitterness. The crust was a bit too thick on the bottom of my 9” pan, so I would not use the full dough to line this pan next time. For a fancy garnish, I candied some pink lemon slices in concentrated simple syrup. I love anything lemon, and love that I now have another recipe in my repertoire.

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