When we were on holiday in France in August, I invited my two young friends, Isabella and Amélie, round for a baking session. We baked a whole load of stuff and these lemon curd macaroons were among the favourites.
The tarts are based on the old Be-ro book recipe that I used to make nearly every week with my mother when I was a little girl. This is how I learned to make pastry with my mum, rubbing the lard into the flour by hand and rolling the pastry out – my mother always used lard, not butter or margarine, in her pastry and it was always delicious. Maybe it’s what you get used to.
You can find the Be-ro recipe on their website here, in the pastry section.
However, in France I used a pack of ready-made, ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, the sweet version called paté sablée, which you can get in all the supermarkets. Amélie cut the circles of pastry and I showed her how to crimp the edges by hand. She’s a very smart little girl and was keen to do a good job.
My mum always made the tarts with Robertson’s strawberry jam, the one where you could send off for a golliwog using a coupon from the label on the jar. This was in the 1950’s, when it never occurred to most of us that such a thing could be offensive to anyone. I had quite a collection of the golliwogs – I wonder what happened to them.
I decided to make the tarts using lemon curd and some lemon rind in the almond filling. We also sprinkled some Perles de Sucre, crushed sugar cubes, on top for decoration.
Isabella was creative with the pastry trimmings. I told her that we usually make them into biscuits for Lulu so she decided to make them into a miniature Lulu. Being a dog, Lulu scoffed it in one go, but I’m sure she appreciated the aesthetics really !!
This month’s Tea Time Treats Challenge, proposed by the lovely Kate of What Kate Baked, and Karen of Lavender and Lovage, is for preserves. Lemon curd is a kind of preserve, in the sense that it comes in a jar and you use it for tarts, hence I am entering our lemon curd macaroons.
Here’s how we made them:
150g shortcrust pastry (either shop-bought or home-made)
50g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
1 egg, beaten
grated rind of ½ a lemon
1 tblsp perles de sucre
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°fan/gas mk 6. Grease a 12-hole patty tin.
Roll out the pastry and cut into 7.5cm (3”) rounds. Line each hole in the tin.
Mix the almonds, sugar, lemon rind and egg together.
Put about half a teaspoon of lemon curd in to each tart. Drop a spoonful of almond mixture on top of each one, dividing it equally between the tarts.
Sprinkle a few perles de sucre on each tart.
Bake for 15 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Cool in the tin for a few minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
(You could also dust with icing sugar or drizzle a little lemon water icing on top and sprinkle with yellow sugar crystals if you like.)
Makes 12 tarts.