I have been SO excited about posting this Lemon with Gin and Blackberry Tart recipe. Lemon curd is one of my most favourite things to make and making it into a tart form is even better. For me the colour yellow screams spring and summer and although we are not quite there yet (so cold this January, 2019), we won’t be far off it.
So, for me, the best type of lemon tart should look and taste just like a classic ‘tarte au citron’ from beautiful sunny France. You might have had a slice in your time, it has beautiful crumbly sweet crust that is perfectly baked and contains a delicious lemon curd filling that is perfectly creamy, rich and sweet (but not too sweet that your teeth hurt).
Depending on how much time you have, there are two steps to this recipe.
Step 1: Making the tart crust. You’ll find in this recipe both the curd recipe as well as the tart crust recipe. To start with though, you’ll need to prepare the dough, then fully bake your crust before filling it with your delicious (cooled) lemon curd before you can even think about eating your Lemon with Gin and Blackberry Tart! If you don’t have the time, then you can always buy a shop-bought tart shell.
Step 2: Get making that delicious curd. This will include how to make it, little helpful tips and what to do when made.
Lemon Tart Tips
- I absolutely adore using icing sugar within my baking and the reason why is because I believe it creates a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth texture. If you want super crumbly then granulated sugar is what you’ll need to be using.
- I don’t think you need to use more than one egg in your tart dough. If you prefer, you can simply use just a yolk and some cream but it’s easier to just use one whole egg.
- Using weights when blind baking is one of the most integral methods to perfect dough. If you do not do this, you’ll have a rise in the dough and it will become soggy and not very nice.
- Use a tart tin with a removable bottom, it will make your life MUCH easier. I always bake my tarts using a 9 inch tart pan.
Lemon Curd Tips
- For me, one of the best additions to a lemon curd is extra thick double cream. It adds a delicious richness and creaminess that helps to bind it all together.
- The right amount of butter (for me) is actually key. Using butter really does help to, in a way, bring down the strength of the lemon which can on occasion be too bitter. Using butter is also key to that delicious creamy texture we love so much within our lemon curd.
- I occasionally add a shot of gin to my lemon curd and for me, it really brings out the flavour of the lemons with this zingy taste. I love using Hendricks but any gin with distilled with botanicals will be a great touch. I think this gin makes this Lemon with Gin and Blackberry Tart even more perfect!
- Another tip to really liven up your curd is adding basil leaves (I know, sounds a bit weird), but basil gives it a delicious flavour that I can’t really describe – very fresh. You can do the same with sorrel.
- Lastly, it is SO important to chill your curd before serving. I know it is tempting to eat spoonfuls of delicious warm, runny lemon curd (and believe you me, I do keep a few spoonfuls spare so I can do just that) but if you pour straight into your freshly baked tart – it won’t look great and will be too runny (and no chance of cutting through your pie).
- I have been asked what the difference is between waxed and unwaxed lemons and ultimately. Unwaxed lemons are best for slicing and adding to drinks and when zest is needed but occasionally, the juice from a lemon can be best when waxed as the lemon is preserved.
The Recipe & Method
Lemon with Gin and Blackberry Tart
- 4 eggs 3 whole eggs, 1 yolk
- 170 g granulated sugar
- 140 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice I use unwaxed lemons
- 1 whole lemon zested I use unwaxed lemons
- 60 g butter I use non-salted butter
- 4 tbsp gin I used hendricks
- 2 tbsp cornflour To thicken.
- 1 punnet blackberries To decorate your tart.
- 180 g all-purpose flour
- 60 g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea falt
- 125 g cold butter, cubed I use non-salted butter
Lemon Curd Method
- Grate the lemon zest (and get a fab bicep and shoulder workout) into a heatproof glass bowl with the sugar and butter (cubed) and then add the lemon juice.
- Place the bowl over simmering water and stir, using a whisk until the butter has melted completely.
- Whisk your eggs and stir them into your mixture and whisk for around up to 20 minutes. Towards the end of your mixing, if it hasn't started to thicken up, add in your cornflour. Cornflour will not only thicken it up but also add a beautiful sheen.
- Remove the lemon curd from the heat and let cool. Once cool, place in the fridg before pouring into your tart.
- In a food processor, combine your flour, sugar and salt until combined. Once combined, add in your butter and mix until a sand like mixture is formed. Then add in your egg and keep mixing until your dough starts to come together. It shouldn't be dry or crumbly but a tad sticky.
- Pop your dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. You then want to flatten it until it resembles a flat thick disc. Wrap with clingfilm and pop in the fridge for an hour.
- Take dough out of the fridge and let it rest for around 10 minutes so it becomes a bit easier to roll. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into an 11-inch circle. You can measure this easily and it is important you get this correctly as it fits perfectly into a 9-inch tart pan. Then trim the edges. The key to perfect crust is to then put it in the freezer. I put it in for no more than 15 minutes. Frozen dough stops it from shrinking whilst baking.
- Now you're ready to bake! Preheat your oven to 180C. Use parchment across the edges of the crust so you don't burn those lovely edges. Use dried beans or uncooked rice in the middle of your surface area so that it weighs it down. It is important that you do this or you will have a big rise.
- Bake for 20 minutes and remove your parchment and the weights. Then bake for 10 minutes. You can bake with the filling, but I prefer not to. Let your crust cool before you add in your lemon curd and pop in the fridge for a further hour to let it set.
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