Lemon Tart for Easter

Are you still looking for the perfect Easter dessert? Look no further, I've got just the thing for you: a refreshing, delicious lemon tart.

The original Christian Easter tradition features a number of culinary guidelines: on the Thursday before Easter, Maundy Thursday, you're supposed to eat green things like kale, green salads, herbs and spinach.

On Good Friday you'll generally serve fish and other simple dishes. This tradition has developed because the day Jesus Christ died on the Cross is a day of repentance and prayer for Christians and is often used for fasting. Instead of meat, most families serve fish on that day.

On Holy Saturday people prepare for their Easter celebrations and bake sundry prettily decorated items made from yeast dough as well as the so-called Pinzen or Easter Lamb pastries. This tradition harks back to Holy Saturday being a day of confession, which was followed by a reward of sweet baked goods.

On Easter Sunday the feast is on. Fasting is over, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the day usually starts with a very opulent breakfast involving beautifully coloured eggs, chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs in Easter nests hidden for kids and adults alike. And of course a juicy, yummy lemon tart.

Photo (c) Julia Stix for maxima Gourmet Extra, august 2016 issue

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Easter Lemon Tart
12 Servings

Ingredients:

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 120g soft butter
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 200g farina flour

 

Ingredients for the lemon cream and garnish:

  • 5 untreated lemons
  • 110g sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 120ml lemon juice
  • 120g sugar
  • 3 medium-sized eggs
  • 180g butter
  • 100g finely strained apricot jam

Preparation:

  1. For the dough, combine the butter, icing sugar, vanilla sugar, ground almonds and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add the egg and mix well. Sift the flour into the mixture and combine. Wrap the resulting dough into some tin foil and let it rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  3. In the meantime, wash the lemons with hot water and finely slice 3 of them. In a pot, bring some water to the boil, add the sugar and lemon slices and steep them for around 10 minutes until they're candied. Remove from the water and let them cool on some paper towels.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) or 200°C (upper/lower). Remove the dough from the fridge, lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough out with a rolling pin, then gently wrap it around the pin and put into a greased and floured tart mould (best to use one with a removable base). Use your fingers to gently press the dough into the form, a bit more firmly at the edges. Punch some holes into the dough with a fork and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  5. For the lemon cream, wash the remaining 2 lemons with hot water and peel and juice them. In a pan, combine the lemon juice, eggs, sugar and lemon peel and simmer over a medium heat while stirring continuously with a whisk. Cut the butter into pieces and put in a bowl. Add the lemon cream, straining it through a sieve. With a hand blender, mix the cream for 2-3 minutes until you have a smooth batter. Pour the lemon cream onto the now cool pastry dough and let it set for an hour in the fridge. Garnish with candied lemon. Gently heat the apricot jam in a separate pan and apply to the tart using a brush. Put the tart back in the fridge and remove just before serving.