gin and tonic lemon tart

Gin and tonic lemon tart: getting into the Christmas spirit

There’s an old English Christmas rhyme that goes something like this: “Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.”  And while we wholeheartedly endorse the spirit of generosity and kindness that is the hallmark of the festive period, we suspect that it won’t just be the geese that are getting fat.

A time for care, joy, love and laughter

As we prepare our festive feasts, fill our turkeys with fabulous homemade stuffing and bake treats and sweets for the whole family to enjoy, it’s worth thinking about those less fortunate than ourselves.  But it’s also a time to celebrate with joy and laughter after a tough few years for everyone. The streets of Barcelona are lit up to celebrate in elegant Christmas style.  The skies are blue, the sun is bright but there’s a chill in the air that keeps the Christmas spirit alive.

Golden lights, sweet potatoes and Turrón…

In Barcelona, strolling down the elegant Passeig de Gracia past the smart hotels and high end fashion retailers, it’s easy to be entranced by the mile or so of golden lights falling from the sky above you like snow.  The old, atmospheric plazas of the Gothic quarter are strung with decorations and Christmas markets sell mulled wine by the glass. Chestnuts are roasted with sweet potatoes from little roadside grills. Local Christmas delicacies such as sweet, nutty, chewy Turrón are laid out to stuff those stockings with.  Even the stunningly beautiful Sagrada Familia has been adorned with a giant 12-pointed star. It’s 7.5m wide, weighs 5.5 tonnes and has just been hoisted 160 m into the air to shine across the city from its tallest point.

Carols, skaters and stinky Stilton…

In London, the carols will be ringing out, the streets will be ablaze with Christmas lights and the pubs will be packed with revelers.  The Salvation Army will be blasting out Christmas tunes and the pantomimes will be full of kids and adults shouting: “he’s behind you” at the tops of their lungs.  Mince pies and stinky Stilton cheese will be filling the air with rich aromas and skaters will be skating their merry dances across ice rinks around the city.  Christmas markets will be filled with shoppers buying presents and treats and the London will be transformed into an Instagram wonderland.

And it will be the same the whole world over, with different traditions and customs celebrating peace on earth and goodwill to mankind.

Gin is the spirit of Christmas

But one thing’s for sure, eating and drinking will be high up on the agenda this year (like every year).  Gin will be making a prominent appearance in my house as we knock up a few gin Cosmopolitans to celebrate Christmas Eve.  There will be steaming mugs of hot gin toddy available for breakfast on Christmas Day, alongside warm mince pies with sweet brandy butter melting on top. There will be glasses of sloe gin and gin liqueurs and even a delicious gin sherry trifle for Boxing Day and beyond.  We have recipes for all of these delicious Christmas treats but here’s one more delicious gin based dessert that is bound to get your mouth watering.

Light, refreshing gin and tonic lemon tart

After all those sweet, rich, sticky festive flavours such as Christmas pudding and mince pies, sometimes it’s nice to have something a little lighter and sharper to cut through some of that richness. So, here’s a perfect recipe for the Christmas table that can be served at any time over the holidays as a lighter, fresher alternative for the buffet table.  This tangy gin and tonic lemon tart with candied lemon combines gin and tonic with the lemony mix for a double celebration. It’s guaranteed to get your sleigh bells ringing this Christmas. Plus, it has the added benefit of a large helping of our favourite spirit.

Gin and tonic lemon tart recipe

Ingredients:

  • 11/3 cups (295g) caster sugar
  • 8 eggs, plus 4 egg yolks
  • 250g unsalted butter, chopped
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons and 1 lime, plus 1 extra thinly sliced lime to serve
  • 2 tsp juniper berries
  • gelatine leaves

Almond shortcrust:

  • 1/2 cup (50g) almond meal
  • 11/4 cups (185g) plain flour
  • 1/3 cup (40g) pure icing sugar
  • 125g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1-2 tbsp tonic water, chilled

Candied lemon

  • 11/2 cups (330g) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) tonic water, chilled
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) gin

Method:

  1. For the curd, place sugar, eggs and egg yolks, butter, lemon and lime zest and juice, and juniper berries in a large heatproof bowl. Whisk to combine. Place over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) and cook, whisking constantly, for 6-8 minutes until thickened.
  2. While this is boiling, soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Remove curd from heat, squeeze excess water from the gelatine and add the leaves to the bowl, whisking to combine. Strain into a clean bowl, discarding solids. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until thickened.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 22cm springform cake pan with baking paper. For the almond shortcrust, place the almond meal, flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and whiz until a rough crumb. With the motor running, add the egg yolk and vanilla, then add the tonic water, a little at a time, until the pastry comes together.
  4. Press the dough into the lined cake pan to create a 3mm thick base and sides about 3mm thick. Chill for 30 minutes. Trim the sides of the tart to a straight edge, about 3.5cm deep. Using a fork, prick holes in the bottom of the tart. Line the tart with baking paper and fill with pastry weights.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove pastry weights and baking paper. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the tart. Return tart to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Set aside until cool, then remove from the pan. Spread thickened curd into the tart case and chill for 4 hours or until firm.
  6. For candied lemon, place sugar and tonic water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and add lemon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until soft, then remove the lemon and spread evenly over a wire rack to cool. Cool syrup slightly, then add the gin and cool completely.
  7. Top tart with candied lemon and extra lime slices. Drizzle with gin syrup to serve.

Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

  • UKIYO Japanese Blossom gin: is this my favourite gin ever?
    Banzai! I think I’ve just had the best gin I’ve ever tasted. I wasn’t expecting it. In fact it was a gift at a surprise birthday party. And I wasn’t expecting that either.  But this gin has just blown my Christmas socks off! The thing is, there are so many gins around to try now.  … Continued
  • Merry Gin-mas everybody: 12 tips for a tipsy holiday!
    He’s been getting ready since January and his big moment is coming soon. The Jolly Old Elf (AKA Santa Claus) is already preparing to sprinkle holiday cheer around the world from his festive fleet of flying reindeer. Christmas is almost here and we’re all looking forward to welcoming Santa down the chimney as we celebrate … Continued
  • Gin and tonic lemon tart: getting into the Christmas spirit
    There’s an old English Christmas rhyme that goes something like this: “Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.”  And while we wholeheartedly endorse the spirit of generosity and kindness that is the hallmark of the festive period, we suspect that it won’t just be the … Continued
  • Entropia Gin: lift your spirits with a little ginseng and guarana
    Entropia Gin is back in my life. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Looking back, it was probably always inevitable that I would fall in love with gin and tonic. I was born in post-colonial Malaysia, where G&Ts were sipped on whitewashed verandahs by men in Panama hats and linen suits. Later on, as a … Continued

RECENT POSTS

  • UKIYO Japanese Blossom gin: is this my favourite gin ever?
    Banzai! I think I’ve just had the best gin I’ve ever tasted. I wasn’t expecting it. In fact it was a gift at a surprise birthday party. And I wasn’t expecting that either.  But this gin has just blown my Christmas socks off! The thing is, there are so many gins around to try now.  … Continued
  • Merry Gin-mas everybody: 12 tips for a tipsy holiday!
    He’s been getting ready since January and his big moment is coming soon. The Jolly Old Elf (AKA Santa Claus) is already preparing to sprinkle holiday cheer around the world from his festive fleet of flying reindeer. Christmas is almost here and we’re all looking forward to welcoming Santa down the chimney as we celebrate … Continued
  • Gin and tonic lemon tart: getting into the Christmas spirit
    There’s an old English Christmas rhyme that goes something like this: “Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.”  And while we wholeheartedly endorse the spirit of generosity and kindness that is the hallmark of the festive period, we suspect that it won’t just be the … Continued
  • Entropia Gin: lift your spirits with a little ginseng and guarana
    Entropia Gin is back in my life. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Looking back, it was probably always inevitable that I would fall in love with gin and tonic. I was born in post-colonial Malaysia, where G&Ts were sipped on whitewashed verandahs by men in Panama hats and linen suits. Later on, as a … Continued

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *