It is fair to say that a friend and I have this slight obsession with baking and food. We wanted to join our forces and create something extraordinary…… No more needed to be said as our thoughts were clearly identical – we had to host an afternoon tea. Not just a boring old tea with some scones and clotted cream. We had to go all out. And we did – with the following result:
It was a raving success and boy, did we have a bit too much fun planning and preparing. We might even start making this an annual treat for our friends … I’m sure none of them would object.
Now, 7 recipes are a tad much for one post, so I thought I’d start with one of the winners: Lemon Tarts. Refreshingly light and perfect for a Summer Sunday. Admittedly also quite a bit of work with all the little cases and blind baking, but definitely worth it.
makes 24 little Tarts
For the Pastry
200g butter, cold, cubed
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp cold water
For the Filling
65 ml double cream
115g caster sugar
2 lemons, juice and zest
icing sugar, for dusting
- For the pastry, rub together the flour, butter and icing sugar until you have a crumb-like mixture. Add the egg and water and bring together with your hands. Knead on a clean surface a few times until you have a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
- Butter your cases/tin’s (I used a small cupcake tray) and dust with flour. Roll out your pastry on a lightly floured surface and line your tin’s with it. It should be about 5mm thick. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (Fan). Prick your cases all over with a fork (the alternative to actually lining little tart cases with foil and baking beans) and bake in the oven 12-15 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 170 C.
- For the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk thoroughly until well combined.
- Pour the filling into the cooled cases. To prevent it spilling, it might be easier to place the cases on the oven shelf and then pour the filling. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until just set with a slightly wobbly centre.
- Take the tin out of the oven and set aside to cool. Once you feel the pastry is firm enough, remove from the tins. Dust with icing sugar, top with some berries and indulge.
P.S. you can also make one large tart with this recipe. For a 27cm tart tin keep the same amount of pastry, but use 5 eggs, 125ml cream, 225g sugar and 4 lemons for the filling. Also blind bake your case properly with beans and foil.
A tea party guest actually commented they tasted like from a patisserie in France. That clearly made our afternoon more than worth while.