A tart Lemon tart that’s exceptionally sharp…ZESTY !!

Goes lovely with berries and cream

Lemons…one of the perennial flavours of all seasons, everyone loves Lemon !

Now like most of my flavours I like a lot of kick…if its peppery I want a LOT of pepper, if there’s chilli involved well its got to make my nose run faster than Niagara and blow my brains outta my ears ! So anything lemony has to be sharp and tart and make me go OOOOOHH with a shudder and a tingle.

Now Lemon tart I think is like a benchmark for all pastry chefs, I have been asked out right in interviews for jobs if I can make a decent one and also been asked to make them in trade tests for jobs to see if I am up to scratch. Thankfully I got the job in all cases so must have done something right ๐Ÿ™‚

Now for years I used a recipe based on a Roux brothers recipe that used double cream, it served me well but as my palate demanded more and more sharpness I have finally settled on one based on a recipe by famous french patissier Gerard Mulot It doesn’t have any cream and is in fact a lemon curd base just using eggs, lemon juice and butter, In fact I have found you can even just make the filling and store it in a jar and use for filling cakes or whatever takes your fancy, it’s quite safe as the mix is cooked out on the stove and only goes in the oven for a few minutes to set it in the case and give it a smooth finish.

Now rightly so Lemon tarts are seen mainly as a french speciality, but on my travels in Italy I have seen many versions there too, especially along the Amalfi coast which is a major lemon producing area, so as a nod to this and because I like the flavour and texture provided I have added some ground pine nuts & Almonds to the pastry recipe.

So have a go and see if it is as sharp as I say..post pictures of your “lemon face” as you try a slice please ๐Ÿ™‚

Its great served with fresh berries and cream in the summer, & in the winter with grilled fresh figs and honey, Or just serve caramelized on top by dusting with icing sugar and placing under the grill or giving a quick blast with chefs blow torch … marvelous !

NOTE : Pastry best made in advance & chilled


An 8-9 inch tart ring

A decent lemon squeezer

An oven pre-heated to 160c


400g plain flour

150g caster sugar

50g ground almonds

30g ground pine nuts

200g unsalted butter

2 medium eggs


Rub all dry ingredients and butter together in a bowl with butter, add the eggs and mix until dough is formed ( don’t worry if it seems sticky) wrap in clingfilm and chill for a couple of hours.

Any unused pastry can be frozen for 1 month to use later


350 ml fresh lemon juice ย ( approx 8-9 medium size lemons )

200g unsalted butter

250g caster sugar

4 whole medium eggs

4 egg yolks


Follow the method gallery below, click on any image to enlarge

ยฉ The cake-shaker


2 thoughts on “A tart Lemon tart that’s exceptionally sharp…ZESTY !!

  1. Hello

    What a wonderful recipe – so zesty. I tried using Doveโ€™s Farm gluten free flour and found that the pastry shrank around the edges. Would this have been due to the flour possibly? Or do you have any tips to stop that happening anyway when making pastry?

    many thanks.

    • Hi kaie, so pleased you liked the recipe , it’s a favourite of mine too.
      Doves farm gluten free flour is a favourite of mine, i use it all the time as i make and sell all our tarts at the biscuiteers gluten free.
      I find their recipes for pastry are all a little dry, which is where i think the shrinkage comes from as the flours involved in the product are not the best for holding in moisture… i have come up with my own which I will share on here very soon.
      thank you for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

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