What’s better than making custard in a saucepan? Sorry: two saucepans, a sieve, a freestanding mixer and a chopping board if we’re feeling fancy enough to scrape the seeds of a £4 vanilla pod?
Making custard in the oven. With one mixer and four ingredients, thats including the extra flavouring .
And since you only really ever attempt the gruelling custard making task when the sweet liquid occupies some sort of tart (Birds is perfectly acceptable for everything else, don’t let anybody tell you different), we cant exactly omit the ice water bowl, floured worktop and god knows whatever else it takes to actually make pastry all short and buttery instead of soggy bottomed and too-stiff-to-chew (in my case anyway).
But here’s an idea, pastry, how about propping up in my kitchen when I’m in the mood to spend an extra hour by the sink, perhaps when mother hasn’t just had a gallstone the size of an egg yanked out of her? The surgeon said it was like giving birth.
Back to more food blog appropriate dilemmas: tart bases: digestive bases, in particular. This blog is full of them. See this time…not forgetting the first time. Pretty much never looked back after that last time. Just look at this tart disaster, ain’t nobody got time for that.
A grown up and ‘mouldable’ digestive base uses a ratio of 1:2 butter to crushed rubble biscuit, basically, the greasier the easier. I used little disposable trays after seeing this pin and falling in love, so it was harder to get cleaner edges*. But who’s complaining, there are less awkward shaped whisks and bowls to be hand washed!
Back to custard. Three 18cm tarts equal six lemons, so that’s two lemons for every one tart. That’s a damn lot of tang for one tongue; so you can just imagine how much these new age tart's pack a feisty punch. But the creaminess from the baked custard foundation helps to cut through the citrus, every bite you’ll find yourself falling into a trap of sweet, sweet addiction.
*you can avoid this completely by using a tart tin.
Adapted fom From The Kitchen's Ultimate Lemon Tart
3 egg yolks
350ml double cream
1 + 1/3 cup caster sugar
400ml lemon juice (6 lemons)
500g digestive biscuits
250g unsalted butter
Heat the oven to 200 degree C | 400 F.
For the crust, place the digestive biscuits in a food processor and blitz to make fine crumbs. Gently pour in the melted butter and sugar whilst still blitzing. Press into 4 | 18cm foil cases or a 23cm | 9 inch pastry case. Chill for 10 minutes.
Bake the crumb crust for 10 minutes or until browned. Set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 180 degree C.
Make the filling. Juice lemons and set aside. Whisk the eggs and sugar together for 5 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture turns a pale yellow. Slowly add the cream until incorporated and then the lemon juice. The mixture will be abundant, mix until completely incorporated. Skim all of the froth from the custard with a spoon. Discard this, or place in ramekins and bake separately for 20 minutes
Place the pie case/s in the oven with the racks coming out of the oven so that you can easily pour the filling into the case/s. Transfer the filling into two jugs, slowly pour the filling into the pies whilst they are on the oven rack. Bake for 30 minutes for smaller tarts, or 45 minutes for one large tart.
Leave to cool in the case/s on a wire rack for at least half an hour, before transferring to the refrigerator for 1 hour to set completely. The tarts will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator.
A word about Google + comments... If you were thinking about switching over, well, you shouldn't because you will regret it! I switched back in July, and received a few emails from readers telling me they were unable to comment without a gmail account. Those cheeky google marketing boffins, aye?! For the sake of my sanity, I have completely switched over to Disqus, which means that everyone who has commented between now and July, I am really sorry but your comment has been lost!
Love Em xx