The Best Classic Lemon Tart

April 27, 2019
This traditional French lemon tart recipe has been a favorite in my family for years! It's made of a classic sweet tart crust and a creamy, dreamy lemon curd filling.

My favorite lemon tart tastes just like a classic ‘tarte au citron’ from France. It has shallow sides, a crumbly, sweet, cookie-like crust, and classic lemon curd filling with just enough butter to make it creamy and not too sour. Since the filling is quite rich, the lemon layer isn’t very thick.


Ingredients:

For the pastry (makes double)

  • 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 egg yolks

For the filling

  • 5 eggs
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • juice 2-3 lemon
  • (about 100ml/3½ fl oz) and 2 tbsp lemon zest

Instructions:



  1. To make the lemon curd: In a medium heatproof bowl, place eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and heavy cream and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (bain-marie). Cook on moderate heat, whisking constantly, until mixture becomes thick (mine was ready in 10 minutes, but it can take up to 20). If you have a thermometer, it should register 170°F/75°C; otherwise, it should coat the back of a wooden spoon and leave a clear pass if you run your finger through it. The curd will thicken more once cooled.
  2. Remove from heat and immediately strain mixture through a sieve. Add butter, a few cubes at a time, and whisk until completely melted and incorporated, and mixture is smooth. Take your time with it—the whisking makes for an airy and light texture. Allow to cool to room temperature before filling the tart. (Lemon curd can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or can be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, place overnight in the fridge. Whisk the mixture to smoothen it before using.)
  3. Fill the tart shell with lemon curd, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours until chilled. Serve with berries and whipped cream if you like. The tart is rich, so cut your servings small.

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