The combination of white chocolate and limoncello together is like crack for me. Something about the sweetness, the slight tartness, the creaminess is just addictive. It’s my go to when I want to make something fancy. These little tarts are just perfection, even if I do say so myself.
The recipe is from John Whaite Bakes, which is a great book. You might remember John winning Great British Bake Off a couple of years ago, and this book is a testament to the fact that the right man won (although my money was on James Morton, who also has a fab book about bread baking). The recipes are comforting and relatively easy to make, and most of them are things that you’ll actually eat on a regular basis – no fancy, swirly cakes only fit for special occasions, just sweet and savoury goodies that will feed your heart as well as your stomach.
I usually wouldn’t make pastry myself – I’m lazy that way – but this sweet shortcrust is so simple and since it’s not something you can easily get your hands on in the shops (a simple shortcrust just won’t do) it’s worth a little bit of extra effort.
For the pastry, you’ll need:
- 1 egg
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g plain flour
- 125g salted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
For the filling, you’ll need:
- 150g white chocolate, chopped
- 60ml double cream
- Zest of one lemon
- 2 tbsp. Limoncello
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar and vanilla for a minute until fully combined.
2. Sift the flour into the mixture and stir together using a wooden spoon. The resulting mixture should look like small crumbs.
3. Add in the cubed butter and ‘cut in’ to the mixture using a butter knife or pastry cutter. I sometimes find using a fork as well speeds the process along.
4. Once the mixture has come together into a dough, tip onto a clean chopping board and knead gently for 30 seconds. Wrap in baking paper and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If you leave it in for much longer than that, it may need to sit out for 5 minutes before you can roll it – mine was rock solid after 5 hours in there!
5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry to around 4-5mm thickness. Cut out 12 circles with a 3-inch cookie cutter.
6. Grease a cupcake tray and place the pastry circles into it. Prick the bottom of each tart with a fork. Line with baking paper and fill with baking beans (or rice if you don’t have any) and bake for 12 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and take out the paper and baking beans. Bake for a further 5 minutes and then leave to cool completely.
8. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it’s just too hot to touch. It shouldn’t boil or simmer. Stir in the zest and limoncello.
9. Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl or jug (I find a jug easier because you can pour the filling more easily). Pour the cream over the chocolate and mix until smooth.
10. Pour into the pastry cases and leave to chill in the fridge until set. Top with extra lemon zest or a sprinkle of dark chocolate if you’re feeling fancy.