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Lemon buttermilk tart, made from scratch!

June 19, 2009

Baking from scratch is always so exciting, but this was not just a cake or cookies which required limited patience on my behalf. Tart dough tends to need more waiting around, much like bread, and therefore deciding on an appropriately mind blowing filling is a matter of great importance to one’s sanity. Of course, I didn’t exactly have the pantry of a French chef, or a freezer full of blueberries to make the tart of my dreams. But sometimes forced simplicity is a good thing.

lemontart-1If you’re looking for something that’s not too involved, and a process that’ll keep your mind off your next exam (or the possible results for the last one you took) but won’t use all your precious stores of resilience, this is the tart for you. Plus you’ll have all the awe of your flatmates or friends to contend with after you announce that no, you did not buy your crust dough from the ruddy supermarket, so take it easy, an 1/8th is all you’re getting.

To be ever more helpful, I shall share the other crusts I was considering using. Of course, my first stop was Smitten Kitchen, where Deb posted Dorie’s unshrinkable pie crust. Now, I always approach fail-proof claims carefully, possibly because I’m insecure about being one of the few people who somehow make a dud. Further, I had a 10″ tart pan, ya know? If it shrinks a little, it’s still pretty impressively big. So I moved on to Manggy’s blog for her poached plum frangipani tart crust, which I was rather tempted by due to the measurement of butter in grams (THANK YOU!). It also catered to my laziness as there was no need to bake the shell before adding the filling!

However, I had a lemon that really needed using, so I didn’t stop there: Jo’s lemon blueberry tart looked perfectly do-able, and I could just skip the blueberries. The resulting 4 egg whites that would be leftover could be used to make this tart. So, away I went, not without some lazy adjustments of my own…

Lemon buttermilk tart

makes one 10″ tart


1 1/3 c plain flour
1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
113g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 2 TBsp super cold water

With a pastry cutter or your fingers, rub butter, sugar, salt, and flour together (or use food processor) until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, but still has some pea-sized chunks of butter in (see picture above). Add egg yolk and water and mix in with a wooden spoon, adding dribbles of cold water if needed to bring the dough together (be very careful with this step as sometimes it looks like it needs more water, but actually it just needs more kneading together). Once you’ve got a dough ball, flatten into a disc and let rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, you can separate the eggs for the filling.

1 c buttermilk (or just under 1c milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice)
3 large egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract (don’t use the imitation stuff here PLEASE)
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp plain flour
2 c blueberries
Icing sugar for sprinkling

Whisk all filling ingredients together in a medium size bowl, but do this while the tart crust is cooling so as to not leave the filling sitting too long.

After your dough has rested, and roll it out to however large the pan you’re using is plus two inches (keep rolling if it’s more than about 7mm thick though, you’ll just have taller sides). Fit into your greased tart pan. Prick all over with a fork, and freeze for about 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) before this 20 minutes. Place into the centre rack of your preheated oven, letting bake for about 25 minutes until lightly golden. If it puffs up, press back down with the back of a spoon. Take out after golden, and let cool almost completely (or completely).

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Pour filling into your cooled, cooked tart, and place in fully preheated oven on the center rack. Let cook for about 30-35 minutes until the top of the filling gets golden spots. Remove, cool completely. Serve with fresh fruit or proper greek yoghurt, and dust with icing sugar! Nom.


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