Moy House in County Clare is one of the most delightful places to stay in Ireland. It is a charming country manor hotel, a little isolated, that has majestic views of the sea.
The level of hospitality is top notch and the food out of this world. It is the sort of place you could sink into and happily not emerge from for three days – a real haven. For those who prefer a more active vacation, it is also near two of the best golf courses in Ireland, both at the Lahinch Golf Club.
The restaurant has two young chefs, Matthew Strefford and Connor Madigan, who both farm in their spare time. The menu is always local and seasonal. The chefs grow all the vegetables and all the dairy products and meats come from their farms or other ones nearby. If you are going to be travelling in this part of Ireland, I highly recommend a stop here.
Their lemon tart is spectacular.
It is truly lemony with a very smooth curd and a more delicate texture than most. The very tasty pastry is easy to make. It will become a standard in your repertoire.
Ready time: 3 hours
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water or lemon juice
1 cup superfine sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup whipping cream
¼ cup icing sugar
Sprigs of fresh mint
Sift flour, sugar and salt together into a bowl. Add butter and rub together with fingertips or cut in with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Combine egg yolk with water or lemon juice. Drizzle over flour mixture and blend in with a fork. Gather dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Grease a 9-inch x 1 ½-inch tart pan. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface into a disc large enough to line the interior of the pan, about 12 inches. Lift dough into pan and gently press into edges. Trim off excess. Freeze tart shell for 30 minutes.
Whisk eggs with sugar and zest in a bowl until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and cream. Reserve.
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Place tart pan on a baking sheet. Line the inside of the pan with parchment paper then fill with baking weights. Dried beans are good for this. Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove beans and parchment and prick the bottom of the tart with a fork to make air holes. Reduce oven to 350 F and bake for 10 more minutes or until crust appears dry.
Pour lemon filling into hot crust to ensure the tart is sealed and crust does not leak.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is set. Leave to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Sift icing sugar over tart. Alternatively, preheat broiler when ready to serve. Sift icing sugar over tart and place under the broiler, watching carefully not to burn, until sugar is light golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Cut into slices and serve with mint.