This Delicious Lemon Tart is a French Classic
Author, chef, and journalist Susan Herrmann Loomis shares her recipe (below) for a delicious lemon tart. One of the recipes in her cookbook Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy, this French classic tarte au citron is the perfect balance of sweet and sour. The recipe is straightforward, and the sweet result will convince a non-dessert lover to try a bite.
In addition to publishing 14 best-selling books, Susan Herrmann Loomis founded the Dancing Tomatoes website, where you can read more about this talented lady. Based in Paris, with 20 years of teaching experience, Loomis offers live cooking classes via video link and a collection of traditional six four-course menus in the Plat du Jour video archive.
The wonderful thing about a lemon tart for dessert is that it perfectly suits every season, from spring to winter. When the citrus is fresh in late fall and early winter, this recipe is a bright finish to any menu.
Classic and Amazing Lemon Tart
For the Pastry:
- 1-1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 7 tbsp Unsalted Butter chilled, cut into 7 pieces
- 1/3-1/2 cup Chilled Water
For the Lemon Cream:
- 7 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 cup Sugar
- 4 large Eggs
- 3/4 cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice from 3 large lemons
- 2 tsp Lemon Zest just the yellow part of the peel of one lemon, minced
- To make the pastry, place the flour and the salt in the work bowl of a food processor and process to mix. Add the butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. With the food processor running, drizzle in the water and process just until the mixture comes together, but not until it forms a ball. The pastry should be quite damp. Turn it out onto a work surface, form it into a flat disk, cover and let sit for 1 hour. Roll it out to fit a 10-1/2 inch (26.5cm) tart pan, refrigerate for 1 hour, or freeze for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Prick the bottom of the pastry with the tines of a fork, then line it with aluminium foil and weigh it down with pastry weights. Bake in the centre of the oven until the pastry is golden around the edges and bottom, roughly 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the aluminium foil and the weights from the pastry and return to the oven to bake until the pastry is golden (all over about 10 additional minutes. Remove the pastry from the oven and let cool.
- To make the lemon cream, place the butter and the sugar in a double boiler set over medium heat, so the water is gently boiling, and stir until the butter melts. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition, so they are thoroughly blended into the butter and sugar. Add the lemon juice, whisk and cook, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the double boiler from the heat, remove the lemon cream container from the double boiler, and let it cool to room temperature. Finally, stir in the lemon zest. If you have made this the night before, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- If you have made this the day you’re planning to serve it, spread the pastry with the lemon mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 3 hours before serving it.
Additional Tarts to Try: