I’m feeling pretty heroic. Yesterday evening I broke up a fight between two fully grown men. Yes, that’s right, little ol’ me, at 5ft 3 1/2 inches, stopped two men from fighting to death. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration as they were clearly in Savile Row suits and were probably called Henry and Crispin.
So, let me begin my tale. As I was ambling my way through Green Park I saw a cyclist pass me, having peddled past the sign which clearly said ‘NO CYLING’. Behind me I heard a gentleman, aka Hooray Henry, shout ‘NO CYCLING HERE…. IT IS ILLEGAL!!!’ As I turned around Hooray Henry had thrown the poor cyclist off his bike and had him pinned to the railings. Unfortunately for Hooray Henry the cyclist, aka Crispin, was much bigger, fitter and younger and it didn’t take much for him to have the braying Henry by the scruff of his neck. As Crispin starting shouting various obscenities, which I shall not repeat here for the more delicate of readers, Meek Gone Wild stepped in. ‘ALRIGHT GUYS STAND BACK’ I declared. Initially, they completely ignored me, but just as I thought Crispin was going to lamp Hooray Henry I plucked up my courage and in full Peggy Mitchell style said ‘OIIIIIIII! You there (Crispin) keep pushing your bike and move along, and YOOOOOUUUUU (to HH) walk in the opposite direction and KEEP WALKING.’ Amazingly, they stopped in their tracks, brushed down their suits and did keep walking. Of course Hooray Henry, feeling slightly perturbed, continued to shout ‘IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO CYCLE ON PAVEMENTS,’ all the way through Green Park at anyone who happened to look at him.
And there we have it, Meek Gone Wild saved the day! If you’re looking for a pudding which you can make without a fight this lemon tart is the one for you. It’s easy and a guaranteed crowd pleaser and will make you feel that little bit heroic.
Recipe by Greg Wallace. Serves 8.
For the pastry:
- 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 140g icing sugar
- 250g unsalted butter, cubed
- 4 egg yolk
For the filling:
- 5 eggs
- 140g caster sugar
- 150ml double cream
- juice 2-3 lemons
(about 100ml/3½ fl oz) and 2 tbsp lemon zest
- To make the pastry, mix the flour and icing sugar in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until crumbly. Mix in the egg yolks. If the pastry is still too dry, add 1-2 tbsp water until it comes together. Roll into a ball and divide in half (freeze one half for another recipe). Flatten out the pastry with your hands, wrap the dough in cling film, then chill for at least 30 mins. While the pastry is chilling, make the filling. Beat all the ingredients, except for the zest, together. Sieve the mixture, then stir in the zest.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a £1 coin, then lift into a 23cm tart tin. Press down gently on the bottom and sides, then trim off any excess pastry. Stab a few holes in the bottom with a fork and put back in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line the tart with foil and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake for 10 mins, then remove the tart tin from the oven, discard the foil, and bake for another 20 mins until biscuity. When the pastry is ready, remove it from the oven, pour in the lemon mixture and bake again for 30-35 mins until just set. Leave to cool, then remove the tart from the tin and serve at room temperature or chilled.
Directions for use: Top with raspberries or any other summer fruit.