CARAMELISED LEMON TART WITH LAVENDER
Preparation 35 minutes, plus chilling Cooking 1 hour 15 minutes Serves 6-8 Toasted-hazelnut pastry, a caramelised brûléed top and lavender flowers make this lemon tart extra special.
FOR THE PASTRY 25g hazelnuts 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 110g chilled butter, cut into cubes 1 large egg, lightly beaten FOR THE FILLING 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
125g caster sugar 150ml double cream juice of 4 lemons and the zest of 3 icing sugar, for dusting dried edible lavender* flowers, plus extra sprigs, to decorate 1 Heat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan oven) gas mark 5. Spread the hazelnuts over a baking tray and cook in the oven for 7-10 minutes until the skins have darkened and the nuts are golden underneath. Rub them between two clean tea towels to loosen the skins and pick the nuts out. Leave to cool, then grind to a powder in a food processor. 2 To make the pastry, put the flour and butter in a food processor and blend until you get a breadcrumb texture. (Or rub the flour and butter together using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.) Stir in the ground hazelnuts and enough egg to make a smooth dough. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured worksurface until it is large enough to line a 23cm round tart tin. Lay the pastry over the tin, press it into the edges and up the side, then prick the base. Trim the edges and chill for another 15 minutes. 3 Heat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan oven) gas mark 5 again. Line the pastry case with baking parchment and add baking beans to cover the base. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and return the pastry case to the oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden. 4 Meanwhile, to make the filling, put the eggs in a bowl and add the sugar. Beat together using an electric beater until the mixture leaves a thin ribbon trail when the whisk is lifted. Stir in the cream and lemon juice. Strain the mixture into a jug and stir in the lemon zest. 5 Turn the oven down to 170°C (150°C fan oven) gas mark 3. Carefully pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is set but a bit wobbly. Dust the top with icing sugar and, with a kitchen blowtorch or under a preheated grill, brown the top until the sugar melts and caramelises. Scatter a few lavender flowers over the top and decorate with a sprig or two. Serve warm or cold.