500g plain flour
175g icing sugar
250g unsalted butter, diced
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grains from 1 vanilla pod
50g sieved icing sugar to dust
400g caster sugar
5 lemons (zest of 2 & juice of all 5)
250ml double cream
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to size – just large enough to fill your flat tin, which should be 20cm in diameter & 3.75cm deep with a removable base.
Grease the tin & fold the dough into it, gently easing it into the corners, & ensuring an overhang of no less than 1cm.
Line the flan with greaseproof paper & fill with enough dry baking beans or lentils to ensure the sides as well as the base are weighted. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove the beans & greaseproof paper & trim the overhang. Return the flan to the oven for another 10 minutes.
For the Lemon Filling: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the caster sugar & lemon zest. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the lemon juice & then fold in the cream. Continue to whisk until all the ingredients are thoroughly amalgamated & remove any froth from the top.
Turn the oven down to 120°C. Pour the cold filling into the still hot blind baked pastry case, if the pastry is still hot, it hasn’t shrunk, so no cracks. Consequently the filling won’t leak through the pastry. Bake the tart for 30 minutes.
Once baked, allow the tart to cool for an hour or two before serving. You really can’t beat a caramelised sugar coating.
Sieve 50g icing sugar over the tart & flash it briefly under a very hot grill until the sugar caramelises.