Lemon tart

(118 ratings)
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  • Serves: 8-10

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

    (plus chilling time)
  • Costs: Mid-price

  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Child friendly
  • Romantic
  • Make in advance

Lemon tart, or 'tarte au citron', is the perfect melt-in-the-mouth dessert for sharing with friends and family. Lemon tart recipe is traditionally French and is made with a crumbly shortcrust pastry that contracts against the sharp lemon flavours. By using the rind of the lemons you will get the fullest citrus flavours! We recommend not making the dish too far in advance, it tastes best served just after cooking and doesn't keep for too long even in the fridge. This delicious lemon tart recipe serves 8-10 people and takes around 1hr and 25 mins to make and bake.

Try to keep the pastry very cool, and handle it as little as possible to make it really short, crumbly and melt-in-the mouth.


For the pastry:

  • 150g (5oz) plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g (3oz) unsalted butter
  • 50g (1oz) caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • Few drops of vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 142ml carton double cream
  • Finely zested rind and juice of 3 lemons
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • 23cm (9in) fluted flan tin


  1. To make the pastry: Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and whizz until the mixture starts to bind together. Alternatively, tip the flour and salt into a bowl, and add the butter, cut into chunks. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and then add the egg and vanilla extract, and mix to bind the ingredients together.
  2. Tip the dough out on to a floured worktop and knead it very lightly to give a smooth surface, then roll it out and use it to line the flan tin. Chill the pastry case for at least 15 minutes. Set the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 190C and place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
  3. Line pastry case with a sheet of baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 12 minutes, then carefully lift out the parchment paper with the baking beans and return the case to the oven for a further 3-5 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to Gas Mark 4 or 180C.
  4. To make the filling: Beat the eggs, then add sugar, cream and lemon rind and juice, and mix well. Pour mixture into the pastry case, filling it almost to the top.
  5. Bake the tart in the centre of the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the edges of the filling have set and it is just slightly wobbly in the centre. Remove from the oven, slide the flan tin on to a wire rack and leave the tart to cool in the tin for about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely. Chill the tart well, and dust it with icing sugar just before serving.

Top tip: Try to keep the pastry very cool, and handle it as little as possible to make it really short, crumbly and melt-in-the mouth.Feature: Sue McMahon. Photos: Props stylist: Sue Radcliffe.

Nutritional information per portion

  • Low
  • Med
  • High
  • Calories 290(kcal)
  • Fat 18.0g

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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Average rating

  • 4
(118 ratings)

Your comments

Kat Hale

Hi i have made this before and it was great. I am about to make it again however i am only using small tart cases so was wondering would the tarts be ok to freeze for a later date? thanks

Kat Hale

Hi do you know if the tart would be ok to freeze?

Katy goodtoknow Recipes

Hi there - hope this helps - the pastry only needs handling very lightly, and you can try chilling it in the fridge for longer - either in the pastry case or in a ball wrapped in cling film. Re: the icing sugar, try waiting until the tart has completely cooled, make sure there are no lumps in your icing sugar and use a sieve with very small holes. We wouldn't recommend halving this recipe as the ingredients won't all scale down exactly the same, but you could spread the mixture between two small tins...


Made this for yesterday's dessert, delicious! need advice on a couple of things though. 1. I found the pastry quite difficult to handle, it kept breaking up when I was rolling it out and when I tried to lift it into the flan tin, is this normal? 2. I must have overcooked it because it cracked a little bit when I took it out of the oven, I sprinkled icing sugar over it but it just soaked in, didn't look "snowy" like the pic above! And how can I reduce the ingredients to make a small one, maybe to serve just 4?


Hello! I LOVED this recipe! I chose it as my first bake in my Around the World in EIghty Bakes challenge and I'm blogging about all of my bakes here... I definitely recommend this recipe! Beautiful!

Charlotte Deputy Editor

I love nothing better than a lemon dessert - delish!


I made this for Boxing Day this year - it went down a treat. I took an educated guess and froze it, and there didn't seem to be any issues with it at all. Was very yummy and I will make it again!


Does this tart freeze well? Cheers, K

noreen pape

i made this tart for dessert on new years eve, and it went down a storm,i followed the instructions taking the tart out of the oven when still a slight wobble in the middle it was perfect, i will add this to my recipe book, it was the perfect....

Sue McMahon

Glad you enjoyed the recipe! The tart will crack if it's overcooked - it needs to be removed from the oven when it's still slightly wobbly as it will finish cooking from the residual heat. The reason that eggs are used is to set the filling and the eggs contain protein, which when overcooked will shrink and cause the top to crack. If it does crack, then I'd suggest piling some fresh raspberries on top and dusting some icing sugar over them - this will then hide any cracks.

J Carke

This tart was delicious,but can you tell me anyone why the top cracks a bit as it spoilt the look of it

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