Lemon Curd Tarts

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This is a baked lemon tart filling that we cook in a double-boiler, resulting in a silky smooth curd. To make passionfruit curd instead, the lemon juice can be replaced with strained passionfruit juice.

Ingredients

  • 10 eggs
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) pouring (whipping) cream (35% fat)
  • 1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry

Method

To make the lemon curd filling, put the eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a stainless steel bowl. Use a whisk to mix together for 2–4 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves. Pour in the cream and mix well to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and use a whisk to stir continuously for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and thick. Have a rubber spatula on hand to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you work. The curd should transform as it cooks, starting off as a very thin cream with froth on top that will then become thick with bubbles. These bubbles will disappear altogether about 5 minutes before cooking is complete. Most importantly, keep stirring at all times or you may end up with a grainy texture in the finished curd. When the mixture is cooked, remove from the heat, stir for about 1 minute longer to cool a little, then place plastic wrap directly onto the top of the curd and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Follow the instructions to roll out the pastry and use it to line twenty 8 cm ( inch) round fluted loose-based tart tins. Set the pastry cases in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.

Blind bake the tart cases in a preheated 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Using a piping (icing) bag fitted with a small plain nozzle, pipe about 2 tablespoons of the lemon curd into each tart shell and serve.

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