Classic French Lemon Tart Recipe

by katerina on May 10, 2006

I am afraid I have had a very busy couple of weeks and gotten behind on my posting. One of the causes of this was my Mum’s birthday last weekend. We had a large not-birthday party for her and I helped make a few treats. The first was my all-time favorite dessert – lemon tart.


This is the classic tarte au citron or French Lemon Tart. It is one of my all time favorites sweets – if you can even call it sweet, if done properly it should be a bit the teeniest bit sour. After my first year of university, I worked in a Mediterranean restaurant clearing tables and hostessing. It was owned by a husband and wife team who made excellent food. This was where I had my first exposure to lemon tart. Perfect. I have very fond memories of making designs on the plates with the raspberry coulis and stealing little slivers.

Since then I have tried a few recipes but this one was by far the best, it is based on a recipe from this site. The only thing to mention is that I used organic eggs and their super bright yolks made for a slightly more orange then yellow colour. I would recommend finding a more medicated bird for your yolks if you are concerned by such a thing. I served it with raspberries.

[print_this]Classic French Lemon Tart
(makes 1 pie)

Classic French Lemon Tart RecipePastry:
2 C flour
1/4 t salt
1/4C sugar
1/2C not soft butter
1 egg yolk
5 to 6 tablespoons of cold water
(pie weights or dried beans)

Lemon Curd:
8 fresh lemons (1 for zesting, 8 worth of juice)
12 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3C butter

Pastry:
1. Put flour, salt, sugar and butter in a food processor, combine until butter is smooth. Add cold water and yolk. Stop processing as soon as the dough becomes a ball. Do not overwork. Remove the dough and form it into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

2. Melt 1T butter and use it to grease a 12″ tart pan. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and line the tart pan. Cover with aluminum foil and pie weights or beans, make sure weights are spread all the way to the edges.

3. Bake for 25 minutes in a 400º F oven, checking after 15 minutes (make sure edges aren’t too brown). Remove foil and weights and bake an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Set a side to cool. It should be completely cooled before you add lemon curd.

Lemon Curd:
1. Grate the zest of 1 lemon and set zest aside. Squeeze the lemons and strain the juice.

2. In a saucepan over low heat melt butter and whisk in sugar. Once combined whisk in lemon zest, lemon juice and egg yolks.

3. Cook over medium heat whisking continuously until custard becomes thick – about 5-8 minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

4. Pour into made tart and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.[/print_this]

More Dessert Recipes:
Tiramisu
Raspberry Coulis
Raspberry Tartlets with Zabaglione
Chocolate Lavender Cake



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