Everyone loves a lemon tart, and this one is made even more special by using a toasted-hazelnut pastry, a caramelised brûléed top and finished with a sprinkling of lavender flowers. Make sure you buy edible lavender, which hasn’t been sprayed with any chemicals, before you use it.
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
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 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. Turn off the oven.
- Rub the nuts between two clean tea towels to loosen the skins. Pick the hazelnuts out from the skins. Leave to cool, then grind them to a powder in a food processor.
- To make the pastry, put the flour and butter in a food processor and blend until you get a breadcrumb texture. (Alternatively, rub the flour and butter together using your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.) Stir in the ground hazelnuts and enough of the egg to make a smooth dough.
- Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is large enough to line a 23cm round tart tin.
- Lay the pastry over the tin and press it into the edges and up the side, then prick the base all over with a fork, trim the edges and chill in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven again to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5.
- Line the pastry case with a piece of baking parchment and add enough 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 to bake for another 10–15 minutes until light golden.
- 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.
- Turn the oven temperature down to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3½.
- Carefully pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 30–35 minutes until the filling is set but is still a bit wobbly.
- Dust the top of the tart with a layer of icing sugar and, with a kitchen blowtorch or in 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 of lavender.
- Serve warm or cold.
In 2011 chef Simon Stallard and his partner Gemma took up the lease on a dilapidated wooden hut perched above a remote sandy beach in Cornwall – accessible only on foot – and turned it into one of the most acclaimed outdoor restaurants in the country. Tickets to Simon’s evening feasts at The Hidden Hut now sell out within minutes of release, attracting eager diners from far and wide. Here he shares some of the mouthwatering recipes that have made him famous.
Recipes and photographs are from The Hidden Hut, by Simon Stallard, with photographs by Susan Bell. Published by Harper Collins.