Raymond Blanc has recipe to halt French cuisine s decline

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Raymond Blanc appears on ITV tonight to host the popular cooking show Simply Raymond Blanc. The Frenchman is one of Europe’s top chefs and owns a slew of restaurants across the UK after moving to the country in the 1970s.

A lemon tart is the perfect dessert choice that’s both impressive-looking and easy to make.

According to Raymond, his lemon tart is one of the most popular recipes on his website.

He said: “It is relatively simple to make and so worth it for the zesty lemon tang and creamy custard – a delicious sweet and sour experience that cannot fail to delight your guests.

“Perhaps this is why it has always been one of the most popular recipes on my website.”


For the sweet pastry

120g unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced

75g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting

Three egg yolks

250g plain flour

Two tablespoon of water

For the lemon cream

Five medium organic or free range eggs

150g caster sugar

85ml lemon juice

Two tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated

150ml double cream


The lemon tart can be made in eight easy steps and serves four to six people.

It takes only 55 minutes to cook.

Step One

Raymond recommended starting with the sweet pastry.

In a large bowl, with a spatula or wooden spoon, mix the soft butter and icing sugar to a cream, then beat in two of the egg yolks.

Add the flour and, with your fingertips, and rub the butter mixture and flour together to achieve a crumbly texture.

Add the water and press the mixture together to form a ball.

Step Two

With the palms of your hands, knead the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until it is blended.

Flatten the pastry slightly with the palm of your hand, wrap in cling film, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Step Three

Next, make the lemon cream.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest and whisk for a few seconds.

Add the cream and whisk it in, then place it in the fridge.

Step Four

On a lightly floured work surface, evenly roll out the pastry into a circle 3mm thick.

Roll the pastry over the rolling pin and unroll it over a 24cm loose-bottomed tart tin.

With one hand, lift the pastry, and with the other gently tuck it into the bottom edge of the tin so that it fits tightly. Be careful not to stretch it.

Step Five

Cut off the excess pastry by rolling the pin over the top edge of the tin. Take a small ball of pastry and gently press it all around the base of the tart to ensure a snug fit.

Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 160°C/ 325°F/Gas Mark 3.

Step Six

Now cook the pastry.

Line the pastry case with aluminium foil and fill with dried beans, pushing them against the side.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and lift out both foil and beans.

Step Seven

Return the tart tin to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Brush the inside of the pastry with the remaining egg yolk and return to the oven for one minute.

Turn the oven down to 140°C/ 275°F/Gas Mark 1.

Step Eight

Now to cook the lemon tart.

Pour the lemon cream mixture into a saucepan and warm it gently to a maximum of 40°C, being careful not to heat it too much, or it will scramble.

Pour the warm mixture into the pastry case and bake for 25 minutes, until barely set.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least an hour, then dredge icing sugar around the edge of the tart.

Remove the tart from the tin and place on a serving plate.

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