Lemon tart

I love lemon tart and it's quite easy to make. I use a tart tin with a removable base; the wider, flatter tin if the tart has to be served soon after baking or is serving lots of people. But I think the deeper tin gives a nicer result with a higher ratio of curd to pastry. The lemon curd filling I use is pretty much as described in the Cook's Companion. The pastry is super easy, indeed it's not even proper pastry, it's a biscuit crust. I usually make the larger quantity and freeze what I'm not using. Then when I need to make a tart, break off a piece, whack it in the microwave to soften and then press it into the tart tin. However, I've recently realised that if you like a crisp pastry, the filling needs to be added while it's still warm. Either straight out of the oven or baked the day before and warmed up (I'm pretty sure that would work, my theory being that the lemon curd starts to cook quicker and not soak into the pastry if it's already warm).
First, make the base as described here. Then for the filling, you will need:

3 large (or up to six small) lemons
6 eggs
250g casor sugar
200 ml pure cream
  1. Preheat oven to 160 C
  2. Wash the lemons in warm soapy water, rinse and dry well. This is really important if the lemons have supermarket wax on them. Less so if they're from a tree out the back.
  3. Peel the zest (ie the yellow part of the skin) from the lemons being careful not to get any of the white pith. If you do get some pith, cut it out because it's yucky and will add bitterness rather than zing. I use a sharp potato/vegetable peeler with light strokes. It's tedious but worth it.
  4. Chop the lemon rind into pieces and then grind them very finely with some of the caster sugar. I have an old electric coffee grinder that I use for this. A food processor or bamix nut grinder works just as well. If you have neither, then chop the lemon rind as fine as you can with a knife. I dislike pieces of rind in lemon tart, so this is an important step for me.
  5. Juice lemons and strain the pips and pulp out.
  6. Mix juice, lemon rind, sugar, eggs and cream in a big bowl with a ballon whisk or similar. It doesn't have to be beaten, just really well combined.
  7. Taste for sweet/sour balance and add a little more sugar or lemon juice if necessary. I like my lemon tart to hover on the edge of sour and if it tastes just a little sweeter than I'd like raw, it will usually be just right after baking. That said, if I'm baking for people I don't know or for a big group, I might make the filling a teensy bit sweeter than I'd really prefer. G likes it better this way too.
  8. Place the warm baked tart tin on a tray in the oven and pour the filling into the case. When I remember I do this step with the tart base pretty much the oven to stop having to carry it across the kitchen.
  9. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until almost set. Allow to cool for about half an hour before serving or it will fall apart. Yummo.


  1. Me too, me too... just need to find some decent lemons (Ha- get it? decent lemons?! is that an oxymoron or what?!)

  2. I LOVE this! I used to make something very similar a long time ago. I agree about the warm base makes a crispy base. I haven't made it in such a long time: you've inspired me!