Cooking Heston’s Lemon Tart recipe from the Heston at Home cook book
Quickie post: We made this as a dessert to serve after Heston’s slow-cooked pork belly recipe.Our attention was focused on the main course, so we didn’t really document the dessert. Afraid you guys will have to settle for just the one photo and a brief run-down.
As well as several Lemons this recipe requires a phenomenal thirteen eggs (3 yolks for the pastry and a further 10 for the custard). You might think all the Heston at Home recipes were developed specifically for the book, but this particular one dates back to the early days of the Fat Duck, a version of the Heston at Home Lemon Tart recipe was published in the Guardian in 2003.
This is vastly different to the contentious Waitrose Heston Lemon Tart recipe, which is just filled with a mixture of eggs, lemons, butter and sugar. Neither is good for dieters.
The Heston at Home Lemon Tart recipe is a very demanding affair. Just making the pastry is a lengthy process of mixing, resting, rolling, resting, blind baking and browning the tart case. A couple of hours all told.
The custard filling, meanwhile, requires a lot of mixing and then careful cooking in a bain marie. The recipe makes an awful lot of lemon custard, well over a litre and a half. We had to resort to using our largest plastic bowl for this, which somehow got wedged into the pan of simmering water and nearly resulted in a catastrophic spill when we tried to prize it out. Please, please don’t use a plastic bowl.
Obviously, you simply cannot get all 1.5 litres of custard into the tart case. There was well over a pint left over, which froze very well for use a month later (the tart pictured). Our best advice would be to make double the amount of pastry, then freeze half of that alongside it. Both elements can be prepared as normal once thawed.
It’s a really good lemon tart. We didn’t quite get the “wobble” the recipe promises, but we think this was down to certain oven inaccuracies (the first one was still liquid after an hour’s cooking). However, if you are cooking a complicated dish to serve beforehand, as we were with Heston’s slow cooked pork belly recipe, we’d advise sticking to the Waitrose version.