Recipe video above. This is an elegant, classic French Lemon Tart recipe that's totally straightforward to make. The lemon tart filling is my ideal version: smooth and melt-in-your-mouth creamy, and not too sweet or too sour (like so many recipes seem to be??!). It's set just enough so you can cut neat slices.The tart crust is a French Sweet Tart Crust called Pâte Sucrée. It's tastier and easier than the usual shortcrust. This is the only tart crust recipe you will ever need!IMPORTANT: Readers have had problems with butter splitting in the lemon curd. This occurs if heat is too strong. Please use low heat, as per recipe directions! :)
Course: Sweet, Sweet Baking
Cuisine: French, Western
Keyword: lemon curd, lemon tart, lemon tart filling, tart au citron
Make tart crust per linked recipe, including blind baking the empty tart crust. Allow to fully cool before filling (to ensure it won't go soggy).
Lemon Tart filling:
Preheat oven: Preheat oven to 180℃/350℉ (160℃ fan)
Whisk ingredients together: Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine.
Thicken on stove: Place the saucepan on the stove over low / medium low heat. Whisk constantly, especially as the butter is melting, to ensure it doesn't split. Keeping stirring until the mixture thickens enough to visibly mound (ie. holds its shape briefly) on the surface when dolloped – about 5 minutes, though it might take longer depending on stove strength, saucepan heat retention etc. See video and photos for thickness guide. Don't take it off the stove until it's thick enough otherwise the Filling won't set.
Strain into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer.
Fill tart: Pour into tart shell and smooth the filling surface using an offset spatula or similar.
Bake: Bake for 5 minutes. It will still be a soft custard when you touch it but not liquidity. It will set more when cooled so it's sliceable.
Cool: Cool tart fully to allow it to set before slicing to serve. Pictured with a dollop of creme fraiche (a thick, rich cream that has a slight tartness, and goes very well with the lemon tart) or whipped cream and even vanilla ice cream.
Decorate if desired with lemon slices, edible flowers, raspberries. Else pipe on dollops of whipped cream or dust with icing sugar!
1. Large eggs: 50 – 55g / 2 oz per egg is the industry standard of sizes sold as “large eggs” in Australia and the US, as labelled on the carton.If your eggs are significantly larger or smaller in size, just weigh different eggs and use 150 - 165g / 6 oz in total (including shell) or 135 - 150g / 5.4 oz in total excluding shell (this is useful if you need to use a partial egg to make up the total required weigh)t. Crack eggs, beat whites and yolks together, THEN pour into a bowl to measure out what you need).This recipe requires 3 whole eggs (ie. whites + yolk) PLUS 3 egg yolks in addition.2. Filling depth – The filling fills a 24 x 3cm / 9.5 x 1.2" tart crust so the lemon filling is about 1.5cm / 0.6" deep. Traditionally the filling of French lemon tarts is quite thin - not as thick as, for example, Lemon Meringue Pie. For a tart, a thinner filling looks more elegant. There's also the right ratio of filling to tart crust in each bite, bearing in mind this is a plain lemon tart. 3. Source: Recipe adapted from this Lemon Tart recipe by David Lebovitz. This is an excellent recipe, but I found Lebovitz's recipe to be a bit too tart and too sweet for my taste, so have adjusted it accordingly.4. Storage - Keeps up to 4 days in the fridge in a sealed container. Eat cold or better still, at room temperature.5. Nutrition per serving, filling only.