Friday, 24 August 2018

Lovely Frying Pan Lemon Tart

This Lemon Tart is packed with delightful lemon citrus flavours and is luscious and light to eat, at the same time reminding me of a Lemon Delicious Dessert cheesecake, without the lemon sauce. The only equipment requirement is to have a 20 cm frying pan with an oven proof handle, and a good oven mit, which is needed to lift the pan from the oven. This is originally David Herbert's recipe, cooking columnist in the Saturday Weekend Australian which I found a long time ago, and it continues to be a favourite.

I have guest baker for this post, my Mahjong and tennis friend Lou, who made this tart for us. Mahjong is a regular Tuesday afternoon event for me. There are regularly 6 ladies in our Mahjong circle, and we take it in turns to host the Mahjong afternoon at our own homes, and also bake a cake or something sweet and delicious to have with coffee or tea, after we play a couple of games. Then we enthusiastically play some more games. Often our husbands are on hand to make us the coffee, especially Mr. HRK who roasts his own beans which are imported from quality overseas coffee farms, such as in Ethiopia. He can also manage some very nice coffee art which quite impresses the Mahjong ladies.

We really enjoy our Mahjong, but let's be honest, the cake and coffee is a highlight of the afternoon and a longstanding tradition. All of the ladies are good cake and dessert bakers.  This one is one of Lou's specialties, and whilst I have made it with success, I thought I would showcase this one as Lou's "masterpiece"  as I first enjoyed it at her place.  She works part-time still, and has been known to make this at 6.30 am in the morning, go to work, and then be home in time for Mahjong at 1pm in the afternoon. That's dedication for you. We aren't terribly competitive, in that we don't score each game with points, however we all like to win and enjoy having a good chat and a catch up as well.

Interestingly, we seem adept at talking and playing Mahjong at the same time. Mahjong is played with tiles, and originated in China during the Qing dynasty but has spread throughout the Western World during the 20th Century. In China, I believe it has always been mainly played by men, and they gamble, and play it as a very fast game. Each game is meant to be played with four people, however on the Tuesday we played at Lou's home and enjoyed this tart, only three of us could come hence the tile arrangement in the photo in the form of a triangle. The rules are slightly different for three players.


4 medium free-range eggs
125g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
pinch of salt
30g unsalted butter
50g ground almonds
125ml (1/2cup) single cream
50g flaked almonds
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
icing sugar for dusting

You will need a 20cm frying pan with an ovenproof handle.

Let's Cook:

Preheat the oven to 210 deg. C (fan-forced 190 deg. C). Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
Add the sugar, a pinch of salt, the ground almonds, cream, flaked almonds, lemon zest and juice, beating well to combine.

Melt the butter in a 20cm frying pan with an ovenproof handle, over a low heat.

When the foam subsides and it is sizzling nicely, add the egg mixture, tilting the pan so it spreads evenly.

Cook over a low heat until the edges begin to set, then transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

It should be golden brown, so if necessary pop the pan under the grill for a moment or two longer.

Leave to cool, then transfer to a serving plate using a palette knife.

Dust with icing sugar before serving and accompany with ice cream or yoghurt.

Serves 6-8.

David Herbert suggests that If you are having this for dessert, serve with a late harvest sweet wine such as a riesling. Very nice. Dan Murphys will help you out there and they are often very reasonably priced in the discount bin.

I also recently read a great book called A Kiss from Mr. Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester, an Australian historical fiction author, where Evie the heroine, in 1920's New York, often enjoyed a game of Mahjong with her young friends. It's been a little while since I read it, however I was surprised and thrilled to read the descriptions of some of the hands they played similar to the ones we now play as well, such as "Four Blessings Hovering Over the Door", and a Mahjong Special Hand which is always played in one suit with Pungs and Chows plus Winds and Dragons. If I ever find a traditional and old Mahjong set, which were often made from bone and bamboo I would love to buy it, however for now I will play with my modern set which does the same job.

Enjoy your weekend, and I will catch up with you next week.

Bye for now



  1. Pauline, today I made chicken tagine. I added both dried apricots and dates, so it was a bit too sweet. Still really delicious with couscous.
    Thank you for posting the recipe.

    1. Thanks for letting me know Nil and I'm glad you enjoyed it.. I think I will try it again just with Apricots very soon. Such a versatile and tasty recipe. Pauline

  2. This tart sounds delicious. I do love citrus flavours in food. I’ve never played mah-jong but I remember seeing people play in Hong Kong The tiles make a great sound don’t they? Cheers sherry

    1. Sherry, The tiles do make a great sound, and are nice and cool to the touch. We call it "twittering the birds" when we mix them all up at the beginning of each hand before dealing. I would like to see the Chinese actually playing it.Thanks, Pauline

  3. Pauline I thought you were playing Scrabble for a minute. Sounds like an interesting game. Love the tart! It must taste amazing.

    1. It was an amazing tart Chel. Mahjong is a lot of fun.


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