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  • Writer's pictureLisa Nell

Lemon Curd Tarts

In our house, we love lemon. I mean really really love lemon. For example, when a recipe calls for lemon, whether that's a dressing, homemade hummus, lemon cake... we're quite well known for adding in extra lemon just for more lemony-ness. So any opportunity to make and eat lemon curd tarts is way up there on my top 5 things to do!

For this recipe, you will be making the lemon curd in a bowl placed over a pot of boiling water - what is called a Bain Marie.

You'll need to sterilise a jar for your curd (the recipe below makes 500ml). To sterilise your jar/s, I just put mine in the dishwasher on a hot cycle.

You will also need a muffin tin for the tarts.


For the Lemon Curd

3 Eggs

200g Caster Sugar

Juice of 4 Lemons; you need 125ml

2 Tbsp of Lemon Zest

125g Unsalted Butter, Cubed

For the Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

250g Plain Flour

50g Icing Sugar

Pinch of Salt

150g Unsalted Butter (Softened)

2 Egg Yolks

2 Tbsp Cold Water

How I make my lemon curd:

  1. Place a small saucepan filled a third to a half full of water onto your stove top and bring to a simmer.

  2. In the meantime, place the eggs, caster sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest into a heatproof bowl and whisk together.

  3. Place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water - ensuring that the bowl does not touch the water!

  4. Whisk the mixture continuously until it is hot, then add the butter. Keep whisking until all of the butter has been incorporated.

  5. Continue to whisk and cook over a low heat for at least 10 minutes. Don't stop whisking and don't be tempted to turn up the heat - cooking at a low temperature, slowly, means that the eggs don't cook too quickly. If you don't do this part slowly and low, you'll end up with scrambled eggs. No one wants that.

  6. When the mixture eventually becomes glossy and thick, it's time for the spoon test. If the mixture coats the back of a spoon thickly and evenly, it is done! Remove from the heat and allow it to cool a little before pouring into your sterilised jar/s. If you're not using the curd straight away, cover the top with some greaseproof paper and seal. It will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. Any leftovers will be delicious on toast for breakfast!

If you are going on to make lemon curd tarts, here is how I make mine:

  1. First make the pastry. I have a recipe here on how to make it:

  2. Once you've rolled out your pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin, cut it into rounds (I use a 9cm cutter for my muffin tin), grease your muffin tin, insert your pastry discs into your tin and gently push down into the space. Here you can also overlay with another tin on top to push the pastry into the holes gently or use the end of your rolling pin. Be gentle!

  3. I blind bake my pastry cakes first, using baking beans for the first 10 minutes and without for the last 5 minutes. I bake these at 160ºc Fan. If you don't have baking beans, rice or any other beans will be perfectly fine. Also make sure to line your pastry cases with greaseproof paper before adding the beans :-)

  4. Once you're happy that the pastry cakes are cooked but not overly brown, take out of the oven and spoon in the curd until halfway full. You don't want to completely fill the tart cases otherwise you'll end up with a gloopy mess later.

  5. Bake for a further 5 minutes (the curd is already cooked so really just needs to mingle with the pastry and 'gel') until the pastry is nice and brown, and the curd is warmed through.

  6. All ovens will be different so keep an eye on timings. The above are guides and how my oven works. If you're unsure just watch the pastry cases and remove the baking beans as soon as they start to change colour. You want to make sure the pastry is mostly cooked through before adding the curd.

  7. Goes really well with a cup of tea!

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