Tarte Au Citron (Lemon Tart)

This classic lemon tart has a creamy, citrusy filling that balances perfectly with the crisp buttery pastry. Please use a fresh lemon to make it and squeeze the juice fresh - this is not the time for bottled lemon juice. So easy and perfect, a lemon tart is a must-know-how-to-make dessert.


Shortcrust Tart Dough:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp fleur de sel (salt)
  • 6 tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1  egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream
Lemon Curd Filling:
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  1. Tart Dough:  In a medium bowl,, combine flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Add the butter to the flour mixture, and using your fingers or pastry blender, quickly blend everything together until it looks like a sandy, course mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, blend together egg yolk and milk; stir into flour mixture.
  4. Using a fork, start to stir the mixture together then when the fork won’t hold it together anymore, get your hands in there. Grab the dough in your hand and squeeze it together, even knead it a few times (but not too much). As soon as you have it together into a ball, dump it into the tart pan. Spread it around gently so that it covers all of the pan, and then press down firmly with the heel of your hand and your fingertips to pack it down over the surface of the pan and up into the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
  5. Line the crust with parchment paper or foil and fill the shell with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and parchment and return the crust to the oven for 5 to 6 more minutes, or until the shell is cooked through and firm to the touch. (If holes or cracks appear in the shell, patch them by pressing small pieces of excess dough into the area that needs repair and bake until adhered.)
  6. Lemon Filling: In a bowl, combine sugar, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, flour and salt; whisk until smooth.  Pour the filling into the pre-baked tart and bake for 25 minutes or until filling is set.  Cool tart on a wire rack.
  7. Serve at room temperature or chilled, dusting the top of the tart lightly with icing sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.

Additional Fillings:  You can also fill this tart with your favourite jam.  If jam is slightly runny try adding a couple of tablespoons of  dry bread or cookie crumbs to the bottom of the tart shell before spooning over the filling.  You will need about 1 1/2 cups of jam.  Bake as directed above.



Serves 8

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