Lemon and Basil Tart made the true french way with Pate Sucree and Lemon Cream. Its been two years since I had my first Tarte Citron at Jacques Genin in Paris. It was love at first taste, and I immediately bought Monsieur Genin’s little recipe book “Le Meilleur de La Tarte Citron”, even though I cant speak a word of French. Have a look at my post on Chocolates and Pastries In Paris from that trip. There are some amazing places to visit on your next trip to Paris.
I rushed home and translated it with my trusty Google translator thinking I was going to make it immediately, but the years have passed and I have only just got to make them. I was pretty chuffed with my efforts, and decided to make the Basil and Lemon Tart as something slightly different. The taste of Basil is so subtle you can hardly notice it, which is perfect for such a delicate tart. I used my own Pate Sucree (sweet shortcrust) recipe.
Everything seems to taste so much better when you can pick lemons off your own tree and raid your herb garden for the tenderest basil leaves. Once again my lemon tree is over achieving – I have so many lemons I don’t know what to make next. If you want to make any other lemon recipes try my Lemon Drop Cookies , Lemon Curd , Limoncello , and Crema di Limoncello .
If you follow the instructions step by step you are guaranteed of a delicate citrus cream to be proud of.
1. In a thick based pan put 3 large eggs, 170g castor sugar, zest of 3 lemons and mix together.
2. Add 20g chopped basil leaves and 180g lemon juice and stir over low heat with a rubber spatula.
3. Continue stirring making sure not to allow lumps to form.
4.Stir until the cream begins to thicken and become syrupy.
5.Remove any lumps that may have formed and the basil leaves by sieving the mixture into a cold bowl.
6.Stir in the chopped soft butter while the mixture is still hot.
7.Put the golden delicious lemon basil cream into the the fridge for at least 3 hrs before pouring into the pie crust.
Recipe and ingredients for the complete tart below
- FOR THE LEMON BASIL CREAM
- 180 g juice of limes (citron vert) or 6-10 lemons
- the zest of 3 lemons
- 20 g basil
- 3 large eggs
- 170 g castor sugar
- 200 g soft butter
- FOR THE PATE SUCREE
- 150 g butter , cubed at room temperature
- 95 g icing sugar
- 30 g almond flour (grind your own if you cant get almond flour)
- 1/2 vanilla bean scrapped
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 250 g all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
FOR THE LEMON BASIL CREAM
In a thick based pan put eggs, castor sugar, zest of lemons and mix together.
Add chopped basil leaves and lemon juice and stir over low heat with a rubber spatula.
Continue stirring making sure not to allow lumps to form.
Stir until the cream begins to thicken and become syrupy.
Remove any lumps that may have formed and the basil leaves by sieving the mixture into a cold bowl.
Stir in the chopped soft butter while the mixture is still hot.
Put the golden lemon basil cream into the the fridge for at least 3 hrs before pouring into the pie crust.
FOR THE PATE SUCREE
Put butter in a mixing bowl and cream until smooth (paddle attachment)
Add sugar, vanilla bean seeds and almond flour. Mix until combined.
Add eggs one at a time and make sure you incorporate each one before adding the next.
Combine the flour and salt and add to the dough in three additions. Do not overmix. Its better to have a few lumps of butter in it , than an overworked dough.
Roll the dough into a sausage shape. If making tartlets, divide the dough into disks the size of your tins. Wrap each one individually and store in the fridge for a few hours or freeze at this stage if you are freezing them.
When ready to bake remove the disks from the fridge and roll between two sheets of clingwrap. The dough needs to be firm so don't over work it.
Line the greased tart tins with the dough , cover each one with baking paper and fill with beans or rice and put back in the fridge until firm.
Heat your oven to 175ºC/350ºF and bake for 10mins. Remove beans and paper from the tarts and cook for a further 5 mins or until your tarts are golden.
Take them out of their tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.
ASSEMBLING THE TARTS
When cool pour the chilled lemon cream into the tarts and decorate with lemon zest and basil leaves.