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Classic Lemon Tart

Classic Lemon Tart. A French pastry classic dessert with many recipe variations. This one stays creamy with plenty of bright lemon citrus flavour shining through.

Close up overhead photo of classic lemon tart

Classic Lemon Tart.

Originally published October 2007.

This Classic Lemon Tart is one for the lemon addicts and a very easy recipe. There are many versions of this classic French pastry. Some chefs use more sugar, some more cream, etc.

This particular recipe is on the tart side because that is how I love it. Tweak it to suit your taste if necessary.

The sweet butter pastry is one that I love to use for all sorts of tarts. Try using it in your favourite fruit tart or even an no-bake cheesecake tart, with a fruit filling topping.

Close up photo of one slice pf classic lemon tart

Classic Lemon Tart.

Lemon desserts are always popular on Rock Recipes but they always seems to take a leap in popularity in the coldest winter months when a bit of bright citrus flavour is most appreciated. 

Overhead photo of uncut classic lemon tart

Classic Lemon Tart.

For some reason lemon desserts are also very, very popular around Easter time, when I guess the flavour reminds folks of Spring. You can find some of our Most Popular Lemon Desserts right here.

Best Lemon Recipes image collage with title text for Pinterest

Best Lemon Recipes

Like this Classic Lemon Tart recipe?

You’ll find hundreds of other sweet ideas in our Cakes & Pies Category and even more in our Desserts Category.

Uncut classic lemon tart on a flat white plate

Classic Lemon Tart.

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Classic Lemon Tart Photo of uncut tart with title text added for Pinterest
Close up overhead photo of classic lemon tart
Yield: 10 -12 servings

Classic Lemon Tart

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Another one for the lemon addicts and a very easy recipe. There are many versions of this classic French pastry. Some chefs use more sugar, some more cream, etc. This particular recipe is on the tart side because that is how I love it. Tweak it to suit your taste if necessary.

Ingredients

For the Sweet Butter Pastry

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut in small cubes
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce ice water

For the Lemon Filling

  • zest of 2 lemons, finely minced
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 5 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar, use one cup if you like it sweeter rather than tangier
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Instructions

For the Sweet Butter Pastry

  1. Mix together the flour, salt and sugar. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal and pea sized pieces of butter still remain in the mixture. You can also use a food processor to pulse the butter into the flour mixture if you prefer.
  2. Whisk together the water, vanilla and egg yolk. Pour over the dry ingredients and toss together gently with a wooden spoon only until a soft dough forms. Form the dough into a round, wrap in plastic wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before rolling it out to about a 10 inch round and place in a 9 or 10 inch ungreased tart pan. You will need to blind bake the pastry before adding the filling. Blind baking is essential so that the bottom of the pastry will not get soggy.
  3. To blind bake a crust simply place a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil over the dough and fill the pan with baking weights. (Marbles, dry beans, peas, rice or barley work just as well as anything else.) Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes. Remove baking weights and parchment and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce the temperature to 300 degrees F.

For the Lemon Filling

  1. First, zest the lemons and then chop this zest very fine. Squeeze all the juice from the lemons, straining it to remove all the pits.
  2. Whisk together the sugar and eggs. Add juice zest and cream. Whisk together until sugar is completely dissolved. Bake tart at 300 degrees F for about an hour or until filling is just set.
  3. The final step is optional to create a thin brulée sugar layer on top of the tart. Cool slightly, then using a wire sieve, dust the top of the tart with icing sugar. Using a torch, brown the sugar evenly over the top of the tart. Alternatively, protect the crust edges with aluminum foil and brown the sugar by placing the tart on a low rack under the broiler until desired color is reached. Cool completely before serving.

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Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Nutrition Information

Yield

10

Amount Per Serving Calories 325Saturated Fat 12gCholesterol 158mgSodium 122mgCarbohydrates 30gSugar 17gProtein 5g

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Vicoria

Tuesday 27th of August 2019

Does this Classic Lemon Tart freeze well?

Barry C. Parsons

Saturday 5th of October 2019

No.

Shellee

Friday 31st of May 2019

Could I substitute Stevia for the sugar? If so, how much do I use?

Andree

Saturday 20th of September 2014

Very good all around but ensure you have a high tart shell. Mine was too low so filling was not as thick. Cooked the rest of the custard in ramekin in water bath and I will call them lemon creme brulee.

Barry C. Parsons

Sunday 21st of September 2014

Or a wide low one like the one shown which I believe is an 11 inch pan.

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