Lemon tarts are one of my favourite desserts. Chef James Henry from the restaurant Bones in Paris has perfected the lemon tart, according to Garance Doré and her team who visited the restaurant while in Paris. He shares his recipe which is big enough for a large dinner party, or to last you a while if you’d prefer not to share.
2 ¾ cups of pastry flour (preferably *type 55 bio which is an organic lump-free wheat flour from France – which is what they used for this recipe). You can use all-purpose.
5 oz. malted barley powder
2 ¾ cups butter
2 ¾ cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
5 oz. milk
Mix dry ingredients, stir. Add butter and fold in. Finish with wet ingredients, stirring to an even consistency.
For Frangipane (filling):
1 1/8 cup almond powder
1 1/8 cup soft butter
1 1/8 cup icing sugar
Zest of two lemons
Mix sugar, flour and butter until combined to a good consistency
Add eggs and stir to finish
Plus: 10 meyer lemons for slicing
Roll out pastry and fit evenly to a large tart shell, put in fridge to rest for two hours
Slice 10 meyer lemons finely crosswise and remove all seeds
Blind bake shell until golden, let cool and then fill with frangipane
Layer thin lemon slices on top of frangipane
Bake in oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes uncovered, then cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes
Check regularly by inserting a small knife – if it comes out dry, tart is ready
Voila ! Bon appetit !
Bones / 43, Rue Godefroy Cavaignac – 75011 Paris, France
A lesson in numbers – for popular European flour types:
French flour type numbers indicate the ash content (in milligrams) per 10 g flour. The numbers are a factor 10 lower than the German types. Type 55 is the standard, hard-wheat white flour for baking, including puff pastries (“pâte feuilletée”). Type 45 is often called pastry flour, and is generally from a softer wheat (this corresponds to what older French texts call “farine de gruau”). Some recipes use Type 45 for croissants although many French bakers use Type 55 or a combination of Types 45 and 55. Types 65, 80, and 110 are strong bread flours of increasing darkness, and type 150 is a wholemeal flour. Note that there is no type 40 French flour like the German type 405, the closest is type 45.