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Homemade French Lemon Tart to Beat the Blues

This spring when were house-bound due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it would have been easy to feel down. But, that’s not the way we roll in our home, we start baking and cooking to lift the spirits. When life gives you lemons you might make lemonade. I will always make a French Lemon Tart instead. I have always been an optimistic kind of person. I definitely see the glass as half full rather than half empty. The recipe below uses a pâté sucrée or sweet pastry dough in English, you can also find it in my latest cookbook French Cooking For Beginners. In the original Pistou and Pastis blog post, I included an option for a gluten-free version from Beatrice Peltre’s amazing cookbook La Tartine Gourmande.


Homemade French Lemon Tart Desserts

Classic French Lemon Tart

There are three (3) steps to prepare this lemon tart: make the dough, prepare the filling, and bake. The recipe (below) is the beginner's version of a quick and easy filling that will satisfy everyone in your family.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 1 Tart


For the Sweet Pastry Dough:

  • 1/2 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar (10X fine sugar)
  • 1/2 stick Unsalted Butter (2 ounces - 56 grams)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • 3 large Egg Yolks
  • 1 cup (225 g) All Purpose Flour you may need up to 1/4 more

For the Filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large Egg Yolks
  • 2/3 cup (170 g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Fresh Lemon Juice from about 3 lemons
  • 2 lemons for the zest and juice
  • 3 tbsp Butter Melted
  • 1 pinch of Sea Salt


To Make the Dough:

  • To make the dough, in a food processor, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, and vanilla extract and process until well mixed.
  • Add the egg yolks and process until blended. Add the flour and pulse several times. Do not worry if the dough does not form a ball.
  • Press the dough together and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or, even better, overnight.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin and unwind it over a 9-inch tart pan.
  • Press the dough deep down into the corners, letting 1/4 inch hang over the edges. Crimp the edges tightly, and then let the dough relax for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the tart shell until very lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

To Make the Filling:

  • To make the filling, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, granulated sugar, lemon juice and zest, butter, and salt until smooth.
  • Pour the filling into a pre-baked tart shell and bake at 375°F (190°C) until just set, 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Let the tart cool to room temperature before slicing.


I do not use baking beans or other weights to hold the crust in place when I bake a tart shell blind (empty). Crimping the edges tightly holds the dough in place and then later, I roll a rolling pin over to cut the edges clean.
As mentioned above, the filling in this recipe is the simpler version. If you are up for a challenge, please refer to my original post for the more complicated version involves two (2) steps, first making lemon curd and then finally a lemon mousse.
Keyword Dessert, Lemon, Tartes, Tarts
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Lemon Desserts from France:

Lemon-Frosted Pistachio Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon-Lavender Hearts with Lemon Curd

Lemony Sweet Verbena Ice Cream

Lemon Tart for any Season


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Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François resides in St Albans, Vermont with his wife Lisa and ten-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris. Francois is a professional photographer specializing in food/product photography, real estate photography and shooting rural landscapes of Vermont and France. Explore his work on

Take a look at his website Simple French Cooking filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Also follow Francois on Medium for more tempting dishes Pistou and Pastis.

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