I was going to call this “the best lemon tart recipe” but calling something “the best” annoys me when others do it so I opted for “a really good lemon tart recipe”. As dicky as the title might sound, it’s true. It is a good recipe and one I’ve made at least 100 times. I’ve been making this lemon tart recipe for years – decades actually. I first made it when I was working for the Australian Women’s Weekly in their test kitchen writing for their magazines and cookbooks many moons ago.It quickly became a favourite of all of us working there. It’s one of the best go-to desserts for me because it’s relatively quick and simple to make plus it’s make-ahead. And everyone I’ve served it to loves it. Even those annoying “I don’t eat dessert” people who lurk among us like it too.
The humble lemon transcends almost all other ingredients. Think about it – in can wow everyone in this sumptuous tart recipe and then be less of a show-off in…say…a risotto adding a little brightness right at the end of cooking. It goes from sweet to savory effortlessly. If someone were to ask me what I consider an essential ingredient in a cleverly stocked kitchen the lemon would definitely be close to if not top of my list.
Although this seems a little spring and summer like, I tend to make it any time of year. You can always find lemons in the stores or if you’re lucky enough like I was growing up, you have some on a tree in your back yard. Frozen berries are available year-round and would be magic boiled up with a little sugar then strained to make a quick berry sauce. Or forgo fruit and have it with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream…problem – solved!
a really good lemon tart recipe
This recipe is best made a day ahead and is delicious served with fresh berries and/or a dusting of powdered sugar.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1/2 cup powdered (icing) sugar
- 1/4 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
- 1/2 cup chopped cold butter
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 – 2 tablespoons iced water
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 5 large eggs
- To make the pastry, process pastry ingredients in a food processor until mixture just comes together; do not over process. Press dough into a disc shape. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until pastry is large enough to fit inside a 10-inch (25cm) tart pan with a removable base. Carefully lift pastry into pan. Press into pan and trim edge. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Alternatively, you can cut butter into pastry using a pastry cutter and mix by hand. I use the food processor because it’s faster.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place a sheet of parchment paper onto pastry bring paper up higher than side of pastry. Half fill with dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake on bottom rack for 15 minutes. Carefully remove paper and beans. Cook pastry a further 10 minutes or until light golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Reduce oven temp to 350°F (180°C). Place tart pan on a baking tray.
- To make the lemon filling, whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined; pour filling into cooled pastry case. Bake on bottom rack of oven about 25 minutes or until just set. Filling will set more on cooling. Cover and chill for 6 hours or overnight. Cut into wedges to serve. Serves 8.