Lemon Tart

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

Mr Hong

By Dan Hong

Published 2014

  • About

I was once asked to create a dessert challenge for MasterChef Australia contestants. The mystery ingredient turned out to be lemons, so I came up with this. Immediately after the show, we had queues of people lined up outside the restaurant just to try it. All of the components can be made in advance, making it a good dinner party assembly dessert.

Ingredients

Lemon Granita

  • 350 ml (12 fl oz) lemon juice
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 300 g (10½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) soda water

Lemon Curd

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 250 g (9 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) lemon juice
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 375 g (13 oz) cold butter, diced into cubes

Streusel

  • 150 g ( oz) digestive biscuits
  • 165 g ( oz) butter, softened
  • 150 g ( oz/ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 150 g ( oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

Mascarpone Sorbet

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 600 ml (21 fl oz) sugar syrup (Essentials)
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) lemon juice

Candied Lemon

  • 2 lemons
  • maple syrup

Method

Lemon Granita

Put all the ingredients in a bowl with 670 ml (23 fl oz/2⅔ cups) water and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into a shallow tray or plastic container and freeze until ice crystals form. Remove from the freezer, mix the crystals around with a fork, then return to the freezer. Repeat this process another three or four times.

Lemon Curd

Put the egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk well. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan of boiling water and continue whisking. Add the lemon juice and zest and continue to whisk. After a few minutes you will notice the mixture starting to thicken to a mayonnaise-like consistency. Whisk in the butter (still over the heat) a few cubes at a time, waiting for each addition to melt before adding the next. Once all the butter has been added and emulsified into the curd, take the bowl off the heat and sit it over a sink full of ice until it is cold. The curd should thicken as it cools down.

Streusel

Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2–3) and line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the biscuits into the bowl of a food processor and blitz to create an even crumb. Transfer to a bowl. In a separate bowl, add the butter, sugar and salt and whisk, using electric hand-beaters, until light and fluffy.

Add the flour and baking powder to the digestive biscuits and mix together. Combine the dry ingredients with the butter mixture and mix lightly until crumbly. Be careful not to over-mix as you want to leave some air in the mixture. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared tray and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

Mascarpone Sorbet

In a bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until combined. Transfer to an ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Candied Lemon

Using a vegetable peeler, carefully remove the zest of the lemons in strips, making sure you don’t take off any bitter white pith. Put the strips in a saucepan with just enough maple syrup to cover them and bring the syrup to the boil. As soon as it reaches boiling point, take the pan off the heat and leave the zest to cool in the syrup.

To Serve

Spoon 2 tablespoons of lemon curd into each of six dessert glasses or bowls, then top with 2 tablespoons of the streusel and a scoop of mascarpone sorbet. Top with a few candied lemon peel strips and cover the whole thing in lemon granita.