Dessert, Easter, Tarts

Lemons & Sugar

April 8, 2010




This Easter I was lucky enough to go to two easter dinners. And, both were different and unique. On Sunday I feasted on a traditional Italian dinner of Lasagna, Lamb, Smelt, Salad, Fried Artichoke hearts, Shrimp, Fennel etc. and delicious Italian desserts such as Torta Di Riso and Zuppa Inglese. On Saturday, I went to my boyfriends parents house for a turkey dinner! I love love love turkey dinners. It felt like christmas all over again, and the stormy weather made it feel even more like winter than spring! Even so, I felt like I wanted to make a truly spring-like dessert, and I had decided a week or so ago that it would be something with lemons. I think a lemon dessert is the epitome of spring, its tangy and sweet and usually on top of a delicious crust, be it graham or pastry.

This crust however, is a different story. I had decided on a recipe early on, thinking I would try something new, as I had made the Tarte Au Citron by Dorie before, I thought I would give something else a go. The ‘You Could Be in Paris’ Lemon Tart seemed promising, and looked even better. I was all ready to go, with a little distraction helper in the kitchen, and readied all the ingredients like a pro. I thought “this tart is going to be perfect!” I was right, ish.


You see, I had read all the ingredients and set them out on the counter, I began first with the crust, of course, and continued on my way. As I was making the crust I thought, how simple! I should tell you, I have never been a crust maker, not pies or tarts. For some reason It always turns out hard, even when I try to work it as little as possible. Now, this tart shell was appealing to me because I had never used melted butter, instead of cold butter to make the pastry. This intrigued me because I thought how could you possibly over work it. Well, you see I’m sure you can’t, but, you can however add about a cup too much of sugar, thus leaving you with a hardened tart shell.


Now I’m usually pretty careful when it comes to ingredients, but to no fault but my own, I didn’t realize all the ingredients were lumped into one, no differentiating between crust and filling. So, I measured out all my sugar and plopped it into the crust. When really, there was only supposed to be a 1/4 cup in the crust, and reserved the 1 cup for the filling. I did think to myself as I baked it “my, thats a shiny crust!” Oh well. It was delicious all the same, the filling was just tangy enough and smooth and creamy. I would recommend it if you love lemon, as I do, and you can even pretend you were in Paris.


I also had a smaller tart pan, so I moulded the rest of the dough into my tiny muffin tin and made mini ones. They were an excellent pre-dinner appy.


‘You Could Be In Paris’ Lemon Tart

from Luscious Lemon Desserts via Not so humble pie
serves 10

For The Crust:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs. lemon zest

For the Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1  cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350°F and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.


  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir in one tablespoon of the lemon zest and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl or your food processor. Pour the butter into the bowl in a fine stream, mixing with a fork until well blended and it holds together when pinched. If using a food processor, blend the ingredients and then pour the butter into the feed tube and blend for roughly a minute.
  2. Empty the mixture into an 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom and press it with your fingertips to evenly line the sides and bottom.
  3. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, or until it is a light golden brown. Allow the crust to cool on a wire rack while making the filling.


  1. Process the remaining one cup of sugar with the remaining one tablespoon of lemon zest in your food processor for about 2-3 minutes, until the zest is finely ground.
  2. Pour the sugar into a bowl and add the eggs, lemon juice and whisk until smooth.
  3. Beat the 1/2 cup of heavy cream to soft peaks and then whisk the cream into the sugar/egg mixture until just blended. Pour this mixture into your still warm crust and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the filling is just set in the center.
  4. Allow the tart to cool completely.
  5. Just before serving, dust generously with powdered sugar, cut into wedges and enjoy.

Enter distraction.


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