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Lemon Tart

What makes this Lemon Tart so perfect? It’s the lemon curd filling. It’s not too sweet but not mouth-puckeringly sour either, and so custardy it just melts in the mouth. This is a classic French tart that’s elegant and pretty as a picture, yet the filling is as simple as can be: just eggs, sugar, butter and fresh lemon!

About this French Lemon Tart

The filling in this Lemon Tart is a brilliantly yellow, beautifully fresh lemon curd that’s completely smooth. It sets enough that you can cut neat slices as pictured throughout this post, yet soft enough that it melts alluringly in your mouth just like custard.

As for the taste, it’s a Goldilocks bullseye: not overly sweet, not overly sour, just right. I found that other Lemon Tart recipes I’ve tried veer too far in one direction or the other. A perfect balance between the two is my ideal!

The crust I’ve used is a sweet French Tart Crust called Pâte Sucrée. This is an excellent master pastry for all sorts of sweet tarts. It’s buttery and not too sweet, and flaky without being so crumbly that it’s difficult to eat with a fork. Bonus: The dough is extremely easy to work with – even easier than Shortcrust Pastry.

Feel free to use sweet shortcrust if you prefer, or if you’re pressed for time just buy a pastry case! Who’s going to know?

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What to serve with Lemon Tart

This tart is terrific eaten plain (2 seconds after snapping the above photos I was buzzing around the shoot room, cleaning up with one hand and devouring the pictured slice with the other!) When serving people, I think it’s nice to add a dollop of something on the side to complete the plate.


1 cup (240 ml) fresh lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks (additional to the eggs above)
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Pinch of salt
Store-bought or homemade tart crusts
Fresh raspberries for garnish
Whipped cream for garnish
Mint leaves for garnish
Powdered sugar for dusting
Lemon curd or a simple lemon glaze (optional for drizzle)
Raspberry puree or a raspberry sauce (optional for drizzle)


Preheat your oven to the temperature specified by your tart crust recipe or the store-bought crust’s instructions.
Prepare your tart crust (homemade or store-bought) in a tart pan and bake it until it’s golden. Let it cool completely.
In a heatproof bowl, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and egg yolks.
Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (double boiler method) and add the butter pieces and a pinch of salt.
Stir the mixture constantly until the butter has melted and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (around 10 minutes). It should reach about 170°F (77°C) without letting it boil, or it might curdle.
Once thickened, strain the lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to remove any lumps and the zest.
Pour the strained lemon curd into the cooled tart crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
Refrigerate the tart until the filling is set, about 4 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, garnish your lemon tart. Arrange fresh raspberries on top, add a few dollops of whipped cream, and place a slice of lemon for a visual flair. If you like, add a mint leaf or two for color and freshness.
Dust lightly with powdered sugar for a snow-like effect.
Optionally, you can drizzle lemon curd or a lemon glaze in a zigzag pattern across the tart and around the plate for extra lemony flavor, and add a few dots of raspberry puree or sauce for a touch of color and tartness.
Slice and serve your beautiful lemon tart chilled.
Enjoy your exquisite lemon tart with a balance of tangy and sweet, adorned with fresh raspberries and a hint of mint!

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