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My little lemon tree is a real survivor. When I planted my tree some five years ago, it was placed in a hole strewn with old roots, in a garden that has major drainage issues, and all through winter my little lemon tree has sat in it’s very own swimming pool. It really has fought hard to establish itself. It’s first year it produced one hard lemon, then nothing the following two years. But this year, little suns popped up in the corner of my garden, and lifted my spirits. The only problem was I had to swim across the lawn to get them. So this food fight is in celebration of my tough little lemon tree and soggy Ugg boots.

What you need


125g butter (cold, and cut into cubes)
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 x egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest (grated finely)
250g  (2 cups) flour

How to make

In a food processor, blitz the butter and sugar until just combined. Add beaten egg, vanilla and zest, lightly mix. Add flour and process until crumbly. Don’t over mix. Should only need a few seconds. Knead lightly on a floured surface, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30mins.
Roll pastry on floured surface until large enough to fit loosed based flan tin 24cm. Grease tin. Lift pastry into tin. Press into sides. Trim edge. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 30 mins.
Preheat oven to to 200C or 180C fan forced oven. Remove plastic wrap, and line with foil, making sure the foil goes over the edges. Add rice or beans for blind baking. Blind bake for 10mins. Remove rice or beans and foil and bake for another 5 mins. Reduce oven temp to 160C / 140 fan forced. Let cool.

Lemon and lime zest filling

What you need

5 eggs (3 whole, 2 yolks only)
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 x lemon (juice) approx 50mls plus zest
1 x lime (juice) approx 50mls]
200mls cream
50g butter (melted)

How to make

Whisk eggs, yolks and sugar until creamy. Add cream and melted butter. Mix in lemon and lime juice and lemon zest. Whisk. Pour into cooled pastry.

Bake for 40 mins until filling has set. It should have a slight wobble in the centre when ready. Cool.

Candied lemons

What you need

1 1/2 cup of caster sugar
2/3 cup water
3 lemons (sliced thinly) (My candied limes weren’t so successful, so just stick to lemons.)

How to make

Put sugar and water in a pot on medium heat, and stir until sugar dissolved. Add sliced lemons and bring to the boil. Cook until the liquid thickens. Around 10 mins. Let cool and place lemon and lime candied slices on tart. Pour syrup into a jug. Serve with yoghurt and warmed up lemon syrup.

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