This classic dessert is given a twist with a sour cream pastry base that adds a delicious, tangy flavour and crisp texture to the creamy lemon curd filling.
A refreshing lemon dessert is the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of the Australian citrus season. Although available in supermarkets all year round, lemons come into peak season from June to October, with lemons from the USA imported to help fill the seasonal gap during summer.
The main lemon varieties grown commercially in Australia are Meyer, Lisbon and Eureka. Meyer lemons are an orange-lemon hybrid and are a popular backyard variety. They can be difficult to find in stores, as they make up only 9 per cent of the commercial trees grown in Australia. However, they are worth seeking out as they have a lovely sweet flavour due to their low acid content.
The recipe below uses the zest of the lemon as well as the juice. This is because the aromatic perfume of lemons lies in oils close to their skin. When grated or cut, small drops of oil are released, bringing an intense lemony flavour to you cooking. Lisbon or Eureka lemons will work well in this dish because they are quite sour, with high acidity levels, but if you would prefer a subtler lemon flavour try using a Meyer.
1.Preheat a fan-forced oven to 175C. Lightly grease a 7 centimetre fluted tart case and arrange on a baking tray.
2. Whisk yolks and sugar in a small saucepan until pale. Place over a low heat, add lemon zest, juice and butter and whisk until frothy. Stir continuously for 5 minutes or until curd coats the back of a spoon. Transfer to a bowl, cover with greaseproof paper and allow to cool.
3. Make the Sour Cream Pastry as instructed in the method below. Place a pastry disk between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and roll to 1 millimetre thick. Cut a 9 centimetre disc and gently press into prepared tart cases. Place into fridge and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
4. Remove pastry from the fridge, prick base with a fork and cover with a small square of greaseproof paper. Fill with a tablespoon of dried chickpeas or baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove paper and rice, return to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until pastry is golden. Set aside and allow to cool.
5. Fill with 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon curd and dust with icing sugar. Using a blowtorch, gently crisp the top of the tart until sugar begins to caramelise and turn golden. You will need to do this process three times to achieve good caramelisation. If you dont have a blowtorch you can also place under a grill.