This Luscious Lemon Tart recipe has been in my revolving recipe repertoire for years, 22 years to be exact. I first made it when I worked at the Australian Women’s Weekly test kitchen in the heart of downtown Sydney. There I wrote, tested & styled recipes for cookbooks & magazines. I still make many of the recipes I learnt to make there. I’d cook & taste-test so many recipes in a day, most of them really good, but once in awhile there was a stand-out recipe, like this one. I’ve tweaked it here & there over the years to make my own but it was exceptional from its inception. Like me, this lemon tart had its start in a bustling test kitchen, in an old high-rise building, overlooking a beautiful park in a busy city.
I’m not one for garnishes, decorations & food that’s showy but if you feel so inclined then the lemon decoration on top really is quite simple. Make it or not, the tart is good either way. SometimesI’ll serve this with fresh berries. Sometimes a nice berry coulis. Often with a dollop of thick, clotted cream or whipped cream. But it needs little to no embellishing.
And look, if you’re not a pastry maker have no fear, this pastry is easy to work with & if you follow the recipe correctly, you’ll turn out a brilliant pastry shell. Never let fear & common sense hold you back. As the name applies, the filling is luscious – creamy, tart & silky, like a really good lemon curd. It’s also very easy to make with all the filling ingredients simply whisked together in a bowl. That’s it.
Do you have any recipes that you’ve been making for years that still woo the masses? So many memories are folded through many of the recipes I make. Recipes I return to again & again not only because they’re exceptional & they work but because they’re part of who I am. As I make them I think about other times I’ve cooked them for the different people in my life in the countries I’ve lived. And I will continue to make those recipes, creating new memories from old. The circle of life.
LUSCIOUS LEMON TART
- 10-inch tart pan with removeable base
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup ground almonds almond flour/almond meal
- 4 oz cold butter, cubed
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 to 2 tablespoons iced water
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
To make the pastry:
- Grease a 10-inch (25cm) tart pan with a removeable base.
- Place flour, powdered sugar, ground almonds and butter in the bowl of a food processor; blitz until the butter is coarsely chopped. Add egg yolks and only enough water to bring the dough together until it resembles wet sand. Tip the mixture onto a flour counter and press the dough together to form a disc. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the pastry, turning it to ensure it’s evenly rolled and not sticking to the counter. Roll it to fit into the base and side of the tart pan, bringing the pastry a little higher up the side of the pan to allow for shrinkage when it’s blind-baked. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place a piece of parchment paper in the tart pan covering the pastry. Add pastry weight, rice or dried legumes onto the parchment. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the paper and pastry weights. Further bake the pastry for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Let the pastry cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° (180°).
To make the lemon filling:
- In a large bowl; whisk together all the filling ingredients. Let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk again then pour into the pastry shell. Bake for 25 minutes or until the filling is only just set in the middle. Let cool. Carefully cover the tart. Chill for 8 hours or overnight.
To make the candied lemon: (optional)
- Combine the sugar and water in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon slices in a single layer. Cook, uncovered for 10 minutes or until slightly candied and translucent. Remove to an oiled plate to cool. Once cool, arrange over the top of the tart. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Cut into 8 pieces. Serves 8.