I love the combination of pine nuts and lemon. The crunchy, yet still buttery texture of pine nuts goes so well with the sharpness of lemon.
This is a fantastic dessert to serve at a dinner party as it can be made ahead of time (the day before even) and after a rich meal it can be nice to have a dessert that is both sweet, but somewhat refreshing.
A note about gelatine. It can be tricky to work with gelatine with so many variations in the brands and strengths available. This recipe was developed using a titanium strength leaf that measures 23 cm x 7 cm. A popular supermarket brand (McKenzies) gelatine leaves for example are about half this size and so you would want to use two of them.
1tbls caster sugar
65 ml cold water
1 tsp vinegar
250 g plain flour
1 tsp salt
150 g butter, cut into 1 cm cubes
345 g caster sugar
320 ml lemon juice
3 tbls lemon zest
Good pinch salt
320 g unsalted butter, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 x sheet of gelatine
2 tbls pine nuts
2 tsp thyme leaves (optional)
MAKE THE PASTRY
1. Place the sugar, water and vinegar into a small bowl and stir to partially dissolve.
2.Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Rub the butter into flour mix and then tip the mixture onto your workbench. Give the sugar water mixture another stir to completely dissolve the sugar and then sprinkle the mixture over the flour.
3. Using the palms of your hands bring the mix together by smearing the mixture together. Form the pastry into a disc, wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
4. Roll out the pastry and line a 24 cm tart tin. Blind bake the pastry for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and continue baking for another 15 – 20 minutes, or until the pastry has become golden brown. Set aside to cool.
MAKE THE LEMON FILLING
5. In a bowl mix the sugar, eggs, lemon juice and zest. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and the mixture reaches 75 C.
6. Soak gelatine leaf in cold water for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and squeeze out any excess water before placing softened leaf into the lemon mixture and mix to combine.
7. Stir in salt and slowly whisk in butter.
8. Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature pour through a sieve into the cooked pastry case. Place in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set.
9. Toast the pine nuts in a dry fry pan over a medium heat for about 7 minutes, watching to make sure the nuts do not burn. Allow them to cool and then sprinkle over the lemon tart.
10. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves if using and serve.