Although summer seems like a distant memory and we are now throttling full-speed towards Christmas, I’m not quite ready to say goodbye completely to summer flavours. Although there are so many great autumnal recipes out there, I wanted to bake something this month a little more refreshing and a little less spicy.
A classic teatime treat, this Lemon Bakewell Tart is a spin on the traditional recipe which is usually made with a cherry or strawberry jam. This version replaces the jam with a layer of lemon frangipane and a tangy lemon curd that has been spiked with a generous glug of Lighthouse Gin.
With its magnificent notes of lemon and juniper, this month’s delivery of Lighthouse Gin from the Craft Gin Club can hold its own in this bake and compliments the lemon curd and almond filling perfectly! Easy-to-make and delicious to eat, you will soon be reminiscing about warm summer nights.
Gin Lemon Bakewell Tarts
For the Sweet Pastry
170g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
Zest of 1 Lemon
100g Icing Sugar
2 Egg Yolk
400g Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp Almond Essence (optional)
For the Lighthouse Gin Lemon Curd
4 unwaxed Lemons, zest and juice
200g Caster Sugar
100g Unsalted Butter, cubed
3 Eggs, plus 1 Egg Yolk
35ml Lighthouse Gin
For the Filling
Zest of 2 Lemons
200g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
200g Caster Sugar
4 large Eggs
190g Ground Almonds
25g Plain Flour
50g Flaked Almonds
For the Icing
250g Icing Sugar
2 tbsp Lighthouse Gin
1tbsp Lemon Juice
Preparation Time – 50 minutes
Baking Time – 15-20 minutes
Makes – Four 10 x 2cm Tarts
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan.
2. To make the pastry, place the butter and lemon zest in a food mixer and blitz until soft. Sieve in the icing sugar and mix until light and creamy. Mix in the egg yolks with 2 tbsp water, then add in the flour until the mixture begins to clump.
3. On a lightly floured surface, bring the pastry together into a ball, then wrap in cling film and flatten lightly to form a disc. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Whilst the pastry chills, make the lemon curd by adding the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and the butter into a heatproof bowl. Stir the owl over a pan of lightly simmer water until all of the butter has melted.
5. Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemon mixture. Whisk until all the ingredients are well combined, then add the Lighthouse Gin. Leave the mixture to cook for 12-15 minutes until the mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
6. Remove the lemon curd from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally as it cools.
7. Once the pastry has chilled, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and use to line four 10x2cm loose-bottom tart tins trimming off any excess. If the pastry breaks of cracks, patch up with any trimmings. Put back in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
8. To make the tart filling, beat together the lemon zest, butter and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, including a spoonful of the ground almonds with each addition. When all the egg has been added, mix in the remaining ground almonds and flour.
9. Remove the pastry from the oven and spread a generous amount of the lemon curd over the bases of the tart cases. Spoon or pipe over the filling and smooth with a palette knife or spatula. Scatter over the flaked almonds and place tarts on a baking tray. Place in the centre of the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.
10. Remove the tarts from the tin and allow to cool. Decorate with either a dusting of icing sugar or mix the icing sugar with Lighthouse Gin to make a nice drizzly icing.