Lemon tart on sweet short-crust pastry


  • sweet shortcrust pastry:
  • 175 g (6oz/1 1/2 cups) white flour
  • 75 g (3oz/3/4 stick) butter
  • 1 dsp (2 american teaspoons) of castor or icing sugar
  • 1 beaten egg to bind
  • filling:
  • 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • zest of 2 lemons (washed well)
  • juice of 3 lemons (200ml/7fl oz/1 cup) and juice of 1 orange (150mls/1/4 pint/1/2 cup)
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint/generous 1/2 cup) double cream
  • 155 g (5 1/2 ozs/scant 3/4 cup) sugar
  • lemon ice-cream:
  • 1 free range egg
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/generous 1 cup) milk
  • 130 g (5oz/1/2 cup) castor sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 good lemon
  • garnish:
  • candied julienne of lemon peel
  • 2 lemons
  • stock syrup made with 6 ozs (170g/3/4 cup) sugar and 6 fl ozs (175ml/3/4 cup) water, cooked together for 2 minutes (see recipe).
  • mint or lemon balm leaves
  • 1 x 9 inch (22.5cm) tin


  • First, make the tart.
  • This pastry can be made by various methods. Method A is our preferred method.
  • A) In a food processor, pulse together the butter, sugar and flour to give coarse, “flat” breadcrumb texture. Add the egg and pulse again until the pastry comes together. Tip onto a sheet of cling film, form into a flat round and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • B)Make by pâté brisée method. Flatten, wrap and chill overnight if possible.
  • C)Make by the rubbing-in method. Flatten, wrap and chill for several hours if possible (may take more egg to bind).
  • If the pastry is needed urgently, divide into 2-3 equal parts. Flatten and chill for minimum 30 minutes, better still an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  • First line the tin.
  • Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface, under a sheet of cling film. Slip the base of the tart tin under the pastry, lift into the tin and mould into ring. Cover with cling film and let rest in fridge for 30 minutes or freeze until needed.
  • Bake blind for 20-25 minutes until it is pale golden and almost fully cooked. Remove the beans, paint the base with a little beaten egg or egg white and replace in the oven for 2-3 minutes. When it is cooked, let it cool while the filling is prepared. Lower the oven temperatures to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
  • Grate the lemon zest finely, (careful not to get any pith).
  • Whisk all the ingredients for the tart filling together - the eggs, orange and lemon juice, lemon zest, cream and sugar. When the mixture is nice and frothy, pour most of it into the tart shell. The mixture needs to come right to the top, but to avoid spilling it, put the partly filled tart into the oven (with the temperature now reduced). Finish filling it with a spoon.
  • Bake the tart until the filling has become firm. This should take about 35 minutes. Check by giving the tin a little shake. When the tart is lukewarm, take the tart out of the tin and leave it on a wire rack to cool (best eaten on the day it’s made).
  • Meanwhile make the ice-cream.
  • Separate the egg, whisk the yolk with the milk and keep the white aside. Gradually mix in the sugar. Carefully grate the zest from the lemon on the finest part of a stainless steel grater. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and add with the zest to the liquid. Whisk the egg white until quite stiff and fold into the other ingredients. Freeze in a sorbetiere according to the manufacturer’s instructions or put in a freezer in a covered plastic container.
  • When the mixture starts to freeze, remove from the freezer and whisk again, or break up in a food processor. Then put it back in the freezer until it is frozen completely.
  • To Serve:
  • Choose a rectangular or square plate, arrange a slice of lemon tart on the plate with a scoop of lemon ice-cream either directly on the plate or in a little bowl. Garnish with julienne of lemon peel (see recipe) and fresh mint or lemon balm leaves.
  • Candied Julienne of Lemon Peel
  • Peel 2 lemons very thinly with a swivel top peeler, be careful not to include the white pith, cut the strips into a fine julienne. Put in a saucepan with 16fl ozs (2 cups) of cold water and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot, refresh in cold water and repeat the process again. Put the julienne in a saucepan with the syrup and cook gently until the lemon julienne looks translucent. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to cool on bakewell paper or a cake rack. When cold sprinkle with castor sugar.

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