Lemon and Chocolate Tarts

Prep Time

1 hour + cooling

Cooking Time

10 minutes

Makes

8 tarts

I adore lemon tart, and when I discovered a French patisserie that made a selection of fruit tarts with a layer of chocolate I couldn’t resist trying the combination. It works!

Ingredients

For the sweet pastry
  • 175g plain flour
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ½ to 2 tbsp cold water
  • 90g Divine dark chocolate
For the filling
  • The grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 125ml lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150g unsalted butter, diced
To decorate
  • Extra Divine 70% Dark Chocolate, melted
Cook's tip
  • You will need eight 9cm (3½ inch) individual tart tins.

Method

1

Make the pastry in the food processor: put the flour, salt, icing sugar and diced butter into the bowl of the processor. Run the machine until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add the yolk and one and a half tablespoons of water and ‘pulse’ the machine until the dough comes together in a ball. If there are dry crumbs or the dough seems stiff and dry add a little extra water. Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

2

Divide the pastry into 8 pieces and roll out one piece on a lightly floured work-surface to a circle about 4mm thick and 9cm across. Lift the pastry onto the tartlet tin and gently press the pastry onto the base and sides of the tin. Trim off the excess pastry, repeat with the remaining tins. Prick the base well with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.

3

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

4

Line the pastry cases each with a piece of crumpled greaseproof paper and fill with fried beans, ceramic beans or coins then bake in the heated oven for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the paper and beans and cook the pastry case for another 5 minutes until firm and barely coloured. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Break up the chocolate, put it into a heatproof bowl and melt gently. Brush the chocolate inside each pastry case to evenly cover the base and sides. Leave to set while making the filling.

5

Put the lemon zest and juice, sugar, beaten eggs and diced butter into a heatproof mixing bowl. Set over a pan of steaming water and stir gently until melted and smooth. Continue stirring for about 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens and looks like lemon curd.

6

Remove the bowl from the heat and pour the mixture into a clean bowl (to prevent overcooking and scrambling the filling). Leave to cool completely, and then spoon the filling equally into the pastry cases.

7

Chill for at least 4 hours then decorate with piped swirls or spirals of melted chocolate. (using a piping bag or plastic bag with the corner snipped off)