Gin and tonic tart
Gin and tonic tartSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
Imagine a perfect lemon tart, but infused with the feisty flavours of your favourite aperitif. The pastry crust has a nice crunch to it, like a giant biscuit, and is very easy to make because you just whack it in a food processor. Serve the tart with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche
For the pastry crust
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 125g soft unsalted butter
- 3 medium egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1½ tbsp chilled tonic water
- 250g plain flour
For the lemon curd filling
- grated zest and juice of 4 large lemons
- 2 tbsp gin
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs, plus 2 yolks
- 2 tbsp juniper berries, lightly crushed
- 225g soft unsalted butter, diced
- 2 sheets leaf gelatine
For the candied lemon zest (optional)
- 2 lemons
- 125g golden caster sugar plus 5 tbsp, to coat
- 220ml tonic water
- 3 tbsp gin
- Make the pastry in a food processor by pulsing the sugar and butter together until fully combined. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and tonic water and pulse again until fully incorporated. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and pulse quickly until all the flour is incorporated and the pastry looks smooth. Take out of the processor and bring together with your hands. Shape into a flat disc and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the curd by whisking the lemon zest and juice, gin, sugar, eggs and yolks together in a large heatproof bowl. Add the juniper berries and butter and place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Once the butter has melted, let the curd cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water for a few minutes to soften.
- Once the curd has thickened, remove the bowl from the pan and squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine before stirring it into the warm curd. When the gelatine has melted, strain the curd through a sieve into a large bowl to remove the juniper berries. Cover the surface directly with clingfilm and set aside to cool.
- Heavily grease and base-line a deep 23cm tart tin and roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 3mm thick. Lift into the tart tin, pressing into the sides carefully. If any of the pastry breaks, just patch it up in the tin with your hands. Cover and chill for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
- Line the chilled tart case with baking paper and baking beans or rice and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking beans and paper and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Set aside to cool a little before removing the tart case from the tin and cooling completely. Once cooled, spread the lemon curd into the pastry case and chill for at least 4 hours (or overnight) to firm up, covering once the top has set.
- For the candied lemon zest, remove the lemon zest with a veg peeler, scrape off any white pith, then cut the zest into julienne shreds. Put the sugar and tonic water in a saucepan over a medium heat, bring to a simmer and add the lemon zest. Simmer for 5 minutes or until it's softening, then remove from the heat, pour in the gin and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Remove the lemon zest with a slotted spoon to a sheet of baking paper dredged with the extra caster sugar. Toss in the sugar to coat, then spread the strands out to dry overnight on a wire rack. Reserve the gin syrup for serving.
- Before serving, top the tart with the candied lemon and serve drizzled with the gin syrup.