Saturday, February 19, 2011

French Lemon Cream Tart...Yep it's amazing!!

Once again, the citrus is ruling my kitchen right now!  I'm trying to make the best use of the HUGE bag my mom gave me of lemons, limes, and oranges.  The kids are eating up the oranges like crazy, so that leaves lemons and limes of abundance!  
I've been eyeing this recipe for a few weeks now and figured I'd take the time to make it on Valentines Day.  The lemon cream filling is absolutely worth every minute spent me!  The shortbread-like crust looks very crumbly, but don't worry, with all of the butter in the crust, it comes together very nicely.  I especially liked the pat-in-the-pan style!  Next time I make this I may actually try a graham cracker crust.  Oh, and don't forget to make some whipped cream to go on top!  

**Be sure to plan for refrigerating time of the cream and the dough**

Recipe adapted from Ezra Pound Cake  
Original recipe by Dori Greenspan "Baking: From My Home to Yours"

  • 1 cup sugar
  • grated zest of 3 lemons
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice {from 4-5 lemons}
  • 2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons {10 1/2 ounces} unsalted butter, cut into Tbsp. size pieces, room temp.
  • 1 9-inch tart shell made with Sweet Tart Dough, fully baked and cooled {recipe below}

1.  Have an instant read thermometer, a strainer, and a blender at hand.  Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler or a regular saucepan.
2.  Put the sugar and zest in the top of a double boiler OR a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water.  Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic.
3.  Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.  Set the bowl over the pan and whisk until the cream reaches 180 degrees F.  It will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks.  Getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.  {Mine stayed at 160 degrees for a while before it started patient}
4.  Remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the blender; discard the zest in the strainer.  Check the temp of the cream want it to be about 140 degrees.  
5.  Turn the blender to high and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time.  Keep the machine going for another 3 minutes.  The cream will be nice and thick at this point.
6.  Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.  
7.  To assemble the tart, whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell.
**Refrigerate the assembled tart if not serving right away***


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick, plus 1 Tbsp. {9 tablespoons} very cold {or frozen} unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
1.  Put the flour, confectioner's sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine {you can definitely do this by hand too}.  Add the butter and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in-you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size or peas.  Stir the yolk, and add it a little at a time, processing in long pulses, until the dough forms clumps.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients.  
2.  Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom {I didn't have one, so I used a 9-inch pie pan}.  Whatever works!  Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes before baking.
3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust.  Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes.  Carefully removed the foil.  {If the crust has puffed, press it down with the back of a spoon}.  bake for another 8-10 minutes, or longer, until it is firm and golden brown.  Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust completely before filling.  

Ingredients for the lemon cream...don't be afraid of the butter!

Look at my little worker bee

I LOVE my new juicer!!

baked tart shell...I didn't have a tart pan, so I used my pie pan

Oh, this cream is soooo incredibly good!  

Finished product...not too shabby


  1. That tart looks wonderful! We're loaded with lemons so this is definitely going to put them to use!

  2. Hi Peggy! Thanks for stopping by & checking out my recipe! You will LOVE this if you make it! Take care!



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