A Proper Tarte au Citron | Recipe {Baking}

Sunday, 16 February 2014

When he was younger, my brother would only eat lemon tart as a desert. That was the best thing in the world as far as he was concerned, as long as they were lemoney, and not a version of custard with lemon zest. My brother is super picky, but I am sure this recipe would meet his approval.

I could say that I have worked on this recipe forever - but I have not... and the only reason why I made a Lemon Tart is that I had some ready-made pastry and lemons, and thought I would have a go.

There are a couple of things I should mention. This is not a sweet version of the lemon tart - if that is what you prefer, you may need to adjust some of the ingredients (e.g. the pastry and the number of lemons used).  It is best to prepare it the night before leave it in the fridge overnight - it may be hard but it is worth it.

So this is how I made it...

  • 4 lemons (3 small and one big - this is what I had) - juiced
  • The lemon zest of one lemon
  • 1 ready-made shortcrust pastry (I bought this French one)
  • 3 eggs
  • 130 g fine caster sugar
  • 100 g of butter
  • 2 tbsp of half fat creme fraiche
(optional meringue)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 175 g icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Bake the pastry blind for 15 minutes in the preheated oven until pale golden-brown. Remove from the oven and remove the baking beans and paper. Carefully trim the excess pastry off around the sides using a sharp knife. Return the empty pastry shell to the oven for another 10-12 minutes or until it is completely dry. Set aside to cool.
3.  Put the butter and sugar into a pan with the juice and zest and place the pan over a medium heat. Stir continuously for 10-15 minutes (do not allow to simmer) until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir until it begins to simmer, and remove from the heat.
4. Beat the three eggs to pale on the side.
5. Add the eggs to the lemon mixture, and place the pan over a low heat. Stir until it thickens, add the creme fraiche. Stir until it begins to simmer. Remove from the heat.
6. Pour the lemon filling into the centre of the pastry case allowing the lemon curd to flow evenly to the edges. 
7.  Put back in the oven for another 10 minutes, take it out and leave it to cool
8. Make the meringue topping
9. Spread the meringue topping on the lemon tart, and put it under the grill until it gets golden.
10. And it goes in the fridge..

Here it is, one of my new favourite recipe. It is much less complicated that what it may sound, and totally worth the effort! As always let me know if you have used the recipe and what you think!


  1. Yum! Your brother has good taste and that recipe sounds great!

  2. Nice results. I love lemony sweets.

  3. lemon tart is my favourite too - I can never not eat it if it's on the menu!

  4. Tarte au citron is, without a doubt, my favourite dessert. Since leaving Paris - and our apartment with three patisseries that made it within a block - I have not had nearly enough of it in my diet. I think this means I shall have to not-so-subtly pass this recipe on to my chef husband and put him to work ;)

  5. Looks so delish. I have to try it out someday soon! Thanks for sharing!