spring, summer, desserts

lemon cheesecake tart

lemon cheesecake tart

lemon cheesecake tart

Pastry:

130g butter, out of the fridge for 20 minutes, softened

1/3 cup icing sugar

1 1/2 cups plain flour

2 tsp lemon juice

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

 

You will need a 25cm round tart tin with a removable base for this recipe. Whiz butter, icing sugar flour and zest until it forms breadcrumbs, add juice and pulse to form bigger clumpy breadcrumbs. Tip onto the bench and squash and pat into a big round fat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. 

Remove the pastry from the fridge, sit for 5 minutes, then roll out between two pieces of baking paper. Spray the tin lightly with Rice bran oil or similar then ease the pastry into the tin - squish the base well into the edge of the base and up the sides. Chill in the fridge for half an hour while the oven preheats to 180˚C (350˚F).

 

Filling:

125g cream cheese, roughly chopped,  at room temperature

1 tbsp custard powder

3/4 cup caster sugar

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

2eggs

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup cream

1/2 cup lemon juice

Now - do not skip this bit - it makes all the difference, gently prick the base of the pastry with a fork and cut out a circle of baking paper, a little larger than the tin. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice - it must come at least some way up the sides of the pastry, what you want is to pre-cook it so it doesn't shrink or go soggy. Cook for 12 minutes, carefully remove paper and beans/rice and cook a further 10 minutes until lightly golden. While this is cooking put cream cheese, custard powder, caster sugar and lemon zest into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add cream and lemon juice and pulse to combine then finally add eggs and yolks and blend for a just few more seconds until smooth.


Once pastry is ready (baked 'blind') remove it from the oven, place on  a baking tray and gently pour in the filling - by my calculations you should be just about spot on with the amount - you want it to come almost to the top. Reduce oven temperature to 150˚C (300˚F) then very gently pop tart back into the oven and cook a further 30 minutes until set but still with a bit of wobble in the middle. Turn the oven off, open the door wide and let it sit there for half an hour  before removing to cool on the bench, then in the fridge. 
The tart can be made the day before or in the morning of the day you want to serve it. Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving. Slather about 3/4 cup of the lemon curd on top of the tart to serve. Serves 8-10


LemonCurd:

3/4 cup caster sugar

110g butter, chopped into chunks

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 fresh eggs, ideally organic, free range, lightly whisked

Have 2x 1 cup capacity sterilised jars at the ready. Heat sugar, butter, zest and lemon juice in the top of a double boiler, or in a large glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the butter has melted, whisk the eggs into it. Continue whisking over the heat for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon - don't keep waiting for it to get really thick or it will start getting cooked eggy. Pour into jars and seal. Cool and use within two weeks.