So again I am experimenting with spices. I took this lemon tart recipe from Comfort a marie claire recipe book by Michele Cranston and have added a few special touches in the form of green cardamom, allspice and vanilla bean seeds.
Green cardamom adds a lovely freshness. And allspice adds a delicious cinnamon and clove like fragrance to the pastry.
On my recent trip to Herbies in Rozelle I bought the most beautifully fragrant vanilla pods. You can small them through the plastic. They are amazing. In this recipe I split open a pod with a sharp knife, scrape out the vanilla seeds and mix them with the whipped cream to serve. Delicious!
In the picture I have served the tart with the vanilla cream and blackberries which I have whizzed in the food processor with a little lemon juice and sugar. Enjoy!
1 2/3 cups plain flour
100g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons allspice
2-3 tablespoons chilled water
I made my pastry in my food processor. If you do not have a food processor, combine the flour, butter, sugar and allspice in a bowl and rub butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Then add the water slowly and knead until the pastry forms.
If using a food processor, add the flour, butter, sugar and allspice and process until combined. Add the water slowly until the mixture comes together.
In both cases, wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
Grease a 25 cm tart tin or pie dish. Roll out the pastry until very thin (I found that I had far too much pastry - you can store the extra in the freezer for later use) and line the tin / dish with the pastry. Chill for another 30 minutes (I put this in the freezer for 15 minutes instead).
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork, line with baking paper and fill with rice or pastry weights. Bake for 10-15 minutes until dry and slightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Prebaked pastry tart case (see above)
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground green cardamom
250ml whipping cream (unwhipped)
300ml cream, whipped to serve
1 vanilla pod, split in half and seeds removed
Icing sugar to serve
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
Finely grate the zest of 2 lemons and place in a large bowl. Juice all of the lemons (you should have about 185ml lemon juice). Add to the lemon zest along with eggs, egg yolks, caster sugar and green cardamom. Whisk to combine. Add the cream and whisk once more before pouring the mixture into the tart case.
Place the tart case (carefully!) into the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes (I found that I needed 50 minutes). The filling should be set but still a bit wobbly in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate to enhance the lemon flavour.
Add the vanilla seeds to the whipped cream. Serve tart with vanilla cream, fresh berries and dusted with icing sugar.