Pistachio and Lemon Bakewell Tarts

These bakewells have been on my ‘to bake’ list for ages and so I decided it was about time to give them a go! My mum really doesn’t like the flavour of almond (explaining why I have only just gotten round to making the Matcha Macarons as well) so every attempt in the past to make them has ultimately failed. However, instead of letting her be a complete party pooper I decided to have an experiment with them instead. She absolutely loves lemon curd and I read somewhere that pistachios can work as a substitute for almonds because they both have an oily texture. So once we had chance to plough through our Wensleydale and Cranberry Scones and make some vague attempt not to get fat in the process, we had these!

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Being completely modest, I have to admit they weren’t bad at all! The flavours unsurprisingly work really well, especially if you make the lemon curd and the pastry yourself. I would strongly recommend at least making the curd yourself, but this is coming from a self-confessed curd snob (if there is such a thing). For mine I used some fairly simple recipes from the BBC, but there’s nothing to say you can’t experiment with these too. I also based the frangipane on another recipe from BBC Good Food, substituting the almonds for pistachios. However I had a lot of excess frangipane and curd, so you may want to reduce the quantities by half as this would still give you enough for about 24 small tarts. Either way I hope you enjoy!

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Lemon and Pistachio Bakewell Tarts (makes approx. 24 small tarts)

For the pastry:

  • 115g plain flour
  • 55g butter
  • 40g sugar
  • 1/2 large egg

For the filling:

  • 75g unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 eggs , beaten
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75g pistachios
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the curd:

  • 4 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
  • 200g unrefined caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 free-range eggs, plus 1 free-range egg yolk

For the icing:

  • Icing sugar
  • Water

Method

  1. To make the lemon curd put the lemon zest, juice, sugar and butter into a heatproof bowl. Gently heat the mixture over a bain marie until the butter is melted, stirring every now and again. Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir into the lemon mix until thoroughly combined. Leave to cook for about 10-13 minutes, again stirring occasionally. The curd is cooked when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Leave the mixture to cool. This can easily be done in advance and stored in sterilised jars.
  2. To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and blitz until it forms a breadcrumb like texture. Add the egg gradually until it becomes a firm dough. Tip out onto a surface and knead just until it comes together. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160 Fan/ 320F.
  4. Blitz the pistachios in the food processor. The smaller you can get them the better.
  5. For the filling cream together the butter and the sugar until pale. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and the egg yolk, then add gradually to the butter and sugar. Fold in the blitzed pistachios and the lemon zest.
  6. Grease a cupcake tin. Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll out and cut into rounds. Push the pastry discs into the tin, spread with a layer of the lemon curd and top with the filling. Although the filling does not rise a huge amount, be careful not to overfill.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning the tray after 20. They are done when they are golden and set. Leave to cool slightly and then transfer the tarts to a wire rack.
  8. Make a thick water icing by stirring a few drops of water into a small amount of icing sugar.  Once the tarts are cool drizzle the icing over with a fork.

 

 

 

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