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When I saw this dessert (Valli Little of Delicious fame recipe)  I just knew it was the ultimate and I had to make it.  We all know how much I love a drink and that I am not much of a sweet tooth.  I do however like anything custardy, citrusy and boozy.  This to me looked like the perfect compromise……and it was!

I am not going to put a time on this one.  It can be made in stages and requires a little bit of effort (it is actually really easy) but should also be enjoyed and will respond well to a bit of love and care.  It also depends on how many sneaky G&T’s you have while making it!

$$ Medium budget…….super cheap if you have a lemon tree in the back yard and a bottle of gin in the cupboard!

Serves 8

For the Pastry

200gm of plain flour, sifted

1/4 cup of icing sugar, sifted

75gm of super cold butter, chopped

2 tsp of lemon zest

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup of tonic water

For the custard:

4 free range eggs

3/4 cup of caster sugar

1 tbs of finely grated lemon zest

3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

150ml of thickened cream

1/4 cup of gin

For the G & T syrup

1/2 cup of caster sugar

1 cup of tonic water

Very finely sliced zest and juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup of gin

5  juniper berries, lightly bruised with the flat of your knife

To prepare the pastry, place the flour, icing sugar, butter and lemon zest in a food processor and whizz until you have a fine breadcrumb like mix.  Add the yolk and tonic water and continue to process until the mixture comes together in a smooth ball.  Wrap the  ball of dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Pre heat the oven to 180°C.  Lightly grease a loose-bottomed 23cm tart pan.  Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to approximately 5mm thick.  Roll it up onto your rolling pin and gently roll it out over the tart case.  Gently press the pastry right down into the creases and roll your rolling pin across the top of the tart case to get rid of any excess pastry and to neaten it up.  Line with baking paper and cover the paper with rice or baking weights and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the rice (it will be fine to use) and baking paper and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is golden and dry.  Allow to cool.

For the custard filling, whisk the eggs, caster sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cream and gin together until combined and then pour into the cooled pastry shell.  Bake for 25 minutes or until just set.

While the tart is baking combine the sugar, tonic, and lemon juice in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the gin and juniper berries and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes.  Blanch the lemon zest in a little boiled water from the kettle for a minute, drain and add to the syrup,  cooking for another 5 minutes.  Take off the heat and allow to cool.

Slice the tart into 8 even slices and serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or ice cream.  Spoon over the cooled syrup and waste not a single moment before indulging!

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