Lemon Basil Tart

RECIPE: We had friends coming for tea on a school night so I needed a dessert that was special but could be made with a minimum of fuss and stress. I haven’t made a custard-based dessert for a while and being mid-summer berries are at their cheapest and best flavour, so a fruit flan was the perfect solution. I simplified the recipe a little to make my life easier – this is what I provide below.

COMPONENTS: The night before I made up the pastry dough, rolled it out between two sheets of baking paper and stored it that way on a tray in the fridge overnight. I didn’t have a tart ring, so I used a springform cake pan without the base and upside down so there was a smooth finish. The next day I put it straight in the oven and cooked until it was just starting to turn golden. For the raspberry gelee I blended frozen raspberries into a puree then followed the recipe. While this was setting I made up the lemon basil cream, which is basically a lemon butter. It’s important to reduce the temperature to 40 degrees because you don’t want the butter to melt as soon as it hits the curd, it should just blend easily. The fruit glaze literally takes five minutes to make. I made a very small quantity that was exactly the right amount for one tart.

ASSEMBLY: The tart pastry once baked didn’t need to be cooled for long before I added the raspberries and raspberry gelee. This then went into the fridge to set. By the time I had made the lemon cream the raspberry layer had set and I could gently pipe the lemon layer over it. This then went back in the fridge to set while I made the glaze and prepared the berries. I cut the strawberries in half and removed the pith along with the hull (the top and the tasteless bit in the middle of the strawberry). Once the lemon layer had achieved a soft set, a spread the berries over the top and topped it with the microgreens (I had mini basil leaves on my plant so I used them).

IMPRESSION: This is a simple tart that repays your efforts tenfold with flavour and freshness. Loved it.

Recipe by Antonio Bachour for Savour Online Classes

Lemon Basil Tart

Brush the inside of a 17cm tart ring with melted unsalted butter and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. I used a 20cm springform tin without the base, placed upside down on the baking sheet to avoid the indent for the base and it worked fine.

Sable Dough
60g (2.1oz) unsalted butter, cubed
130g (4.65oz) plain (all purpose) flour
32g (1.15oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
pinch of salt
15g (0.53oz) almond meal
24g (0.83oz) whole eggs

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the cold butter, flour, sugar, salt and almond meal and beat until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the eggs and continue mixing. Bring the mixture together by hand until it forms a ball. Remove the dough from the bowl and roll it to 5mm thickness between two layers of acetate paper. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-5 hours.

Remove the dough from fridge and cut strips of dough to fit and line the tart ring. If using a higher ring, cut a strip about 3cm high to place around the edge of the tin. Cut the base of the tart and set it into the tart rings. Place the tart rings into the fridge for five minutes to cool. Once cool, remove from the fridge and if necessary trim the sides of the tart using a knife. Bake at 165°C for 20 minutes. Remove the tarts from the oven.

Raspberry Gelee
2.2g (0.1oz) gold gelatine sheets
100g (3.5oz) raspberry puree*
21g (0.75oz) caster (superfine) sugar
10g (0.37oz) water
Fresh raspberries

Bring half the puree, and the full amount of sugar and water to a boil in a small pot. Soak the gelatine in ice water until softened, squeeze out excess water and set aside. Once the puree mixture has come to a boil, stir in the gelatine to dissolve. Add the remaining puree and transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cut fresh raspberries in half and place them onto the tart. Pour the gelee over the fresh raspberries. Place the tarts in the fridge until the gelee sets.

*While raspberry puree is usually 10% sugar and strained to remove the seeds, I simply blended frozen raspberries with nothing added and nothing removed and was very happy with the result.

Lemon Basil Cream
1.5g (0.05oz) gold gelatine sheets
100g (3.5oz) whole eggs
75g (2.65oz) caster (superfine) sugar
75g (2.65oz) fresh lemon juice
1.5g (0.05oz) lemon zest
75g (2.65oz) unsalted butter, soft
2g (0.07oz) basil leaves, chopped

Soak the gelatine in ice water until softened, squeeze out excess water and set aside. Place the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a bowl and mix using a whisk. Place the bowl over a Bain Marie and cook until 82°C, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the drained gelatine. Cool the mixture to 40°C over an ice bath. Add the chopped basil leaves and emulsify using a stick blender, adding the butter in stages.

Fruit glaze
This recipe makes enough glaze for the fruit on one tart.
1g gold gelatine sheet
20g sugar
15ml still mineral water
Zest from half a lemon, removed with a peeler.
Drop of vanilla paste.

Dissolve the gelatine in a small bowl of iced water. Combine all the other ingredients in a small pan over medium heat, bring to the boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Squeeze the softened gelatine to remove excess water and add to the pan, stirring until it’s dissolved. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve into a bowl and allow it to cool slightly. Don’t allow it to cool completely as it will set. If it does set, it can be warmed in the microwave for a few seconds until it is liquid again.

75g (2.65oz) fruit glaze (see above)
200g (7.05oz) fresh blueberries
200g (7.05oz) fresh raspberries
100g (3.5oz) fresh strawberries

Remove the tart with the raspberry layer from the fridge. Transfer the lemon basil cream to a piping bag and cover the tart with the cream. Use a palette knife to smooth out the top and ensure the raspberries are completely covered. Place the tart in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes to set.

Place the fruit glaze in a clear mixing bowl and toss the blueberries in it to coat them. Return the blueberries to a clean bowl and repeat the process for the strawberries and raspberries. Decorate the tarts with the blueberries, raspberries then the strawberries. Finish with microgreens.

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