Simple elegance defines this luscious French Lemon Tart with a buttery tart shell baked around a silky lemon curd. It’s a dessert for all seasons!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an absolutely insatiable, and times insufferable, sweet tooth. My philosophy regarding dessert runs roughly “Life is already too sour to ‘learn’ to like mature desserts.” I don’t want to have to ‘appreciate’ the biscuit-like qualities of ‘black coffee cookies,’ or ‘acquire the taste’ for faux-brownies or imposter-cupcakes whose sole source of ‘true’ deliciousness is the supposedly healthy qualities blended into them from whatever the day’s ‘super vegetable’ or ‘miracle oil’ happens to be.
Instead, dessert should be like an ardent admirer who’s constantly in pursuit of your affection. There should be tempting qualities to dessert, qualities that embody the culinary variant of nigh-irresistible seduction that requires virtuous fortitude to resist rather than to consume. Dessert should be that after dinner pleasure that you anticipate with each savory bite of your nightly meal, or that forbidden pleasure that you sneak away to indulge during the day. Dessert should leave you feeling guilty yet satisfied, as opposed to ‘superior’ for your supposedly ‘mature’ taste.
In other words, if you have to ‘learn’ to like your dessert – it isn’t worth your attention in the first place.
Naturally, that brings us to today’s dessert – French Lemon Tart.
To start things off, we begin by sifting about two cups of all-purpose flour into a bowl, and then cutting up about half a cup of butter into the sifted flour. Then, using your hands, work the mixture until you achieve ‘breadcrumb like’ bits. Once that’s done, add in powdered sugar and work the mixture again. No, you can’t just throw in the sugar with the butter and then work it all at once. Follow directions!
Next, add in the egg, a bit of vanilla, a tablespoon of cold water, and mix again. Yes, all this mixing will eventually be worth it, I promise.
Now, roll out the resulting pastry dough on a thoroughly floured surface until it’s no more than a quarter of an inch thick, and then fit it into a 9-inch pie tin that is lined with parchment paper and bake it for about ten minutes.
Finally, the filling. We begin by whisking together six eggs, and then adding a cup and a half of sugar, half a cup of unsalted butter. Stir this mixture over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Add in the lemon juice and rind. For this recipe, I’m using Living the Gourmet’s lemon of choice – Limoniera, whose delicious, organic, ultra-high quality lemons are a recurring guest on my site. Continue cooking over a low heat, stirring continuously, until the lemon curd has thickened slightly.
Pour the lemon curd into the pie shell and bake for twenty minutes until the mixture has just set. Then remove from the oven, set on a wire rack to cool, and dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Living the Gourmet
Yields 1 tart
Serves 8 pieces
10 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
5 based on 16 review(s)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2 tbs. powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 6 eggs – beaten
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- Grated rind and juice of 4 lemons
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat Oven 400 degrees F.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl and cut the butter into pieces and add to the flour.
- Using your fingers, crumble the mixture into fine breadcrumb like pieces. Add the powdered sugar and work again into the pieces.
- Add the egg, vanilla and a tablespoon of cold water and continue to work into a dough.
- Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a ¼ inch thickness and to fit into a 9-inch pie tin prepared with parchment paper.
- To make the curd beat the eggs and put the eggs, sugar and butter into a small pan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Add the lemon juice and the lemon rind and continue cooking until the curd has thickened slightly. Pour the curd into the pastry shell.
- Bake 20 – 25 minutes until the mixture has set.
- Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- Dust with powdered sugar when ready to serve.
And just like that, you’ve got a decadent, bitingly sweet dessert that you’ll love indulging in.
Enjoy with Love!