Tarte Au Citron

July 21, 2009



I dunno about you, but whenever I bake something I have this same order I do things. First, get out all the ingredients. Second, read the directions, and get all the ingredients I forgot in previous step, & prepare the recipe. Then, while the recipe is chilling or baking I always go and write my blog post. I find this is the best time to do it, while you can smell the delicious thing you are baking in the oven! And when they take up to 30 or 40 minutes to bake you have some time on your hands. Today I had a long time between prep and chilling and baking time to write this post.

I had been craving a Lemon tart for some reason, and It’s probably because we’re in the middle of summer and a lemon tart just seems so refreshing and summery to me! I remember when my mom and I would go visit my grandma we would always take her out to lunch, usually chinese food, and afterwards we would get something sweet for dessert. Now my grandma was a diabetic so she really couldn’t, or shouldn’t, have been eating too many sweets. But whenever my mom (her favorite of 6 children as my mom always joked) visited her, she would spoil her and get her a little lemon tart from the IGA (grocery store.) She loved lemon tarts! When she was younger my grandma always made preserves and always canned things. She made the best canned fruits and my mom said she loved her bread pudding (something on my list of To-Do’s!) So in memory of my Grandma today I baked a Lemon tart. I’m sure she would have loved a slice!



Tarte Au Citron – Adapted from Dorie Greenspans Baking: From My Home To Yours

You Will Need:

One 9-inch fluted tart pan, with a removable bottom.

For the Tart Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbs. very cold butter, cut into small pieces ( once cut into pieces, place in freezer to chill for a few minutes)
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 lemons, washed
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup butter

To Make the Dough

In a shallow bowl combine flour and confectioners’ sugar using a pastry blender sift and incorporate the two.

Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour mixture and using the pastry blender coarsely cut in the butter so that the mix resembles oatmeal. Stir the yolk to break it up and drizzle over the mixture. Using the pastry blender combine all the ingredients until it looks granular and clumps together. While still in the bowl, using your hands softly knead the dough to incorporate the ingredients further.

Butter the tart pan and press the dough evenly  over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. You may wish to reserve a small amount of the dough in case you need to touch up the crust once baked. Don’t press too hard against the bottom, just enough to stick together. Once you’ve finished, place the pan into the freezer and chill the dough for 30 minutes before baking.

Once you’ve chilled the dough you need to partially bake the crust.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 and center a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter the shiny side of aluminum foil and place buttered side down on top of crust. Place the tart pan onto a large cookie sheet and bake for 22 minutes.

Once baked, if needed patch it and let cool on cooling rack.

To Make the Tart

Preheat oven to 325. Place the partially baked tart shell on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.

Slice the whole lemons in half and and take out the seeds from the whole lemon and the other half a lemon. Then, like you would an orange, peel the lemon rind away and cut the pieces into smaller segments.

In a blender, I used my KitchenAid Blender my aunt bought me last year for my birthday! and in fact the tart pan she bought me for Christmas a couple years ago, or if you don’t have a blender a mixer or processor will work just fine.

Place the lemons and the sugar into the blender and pulse until you get a smooth consistency. Add the remaining filling ingredients and continue to pulse/blend until the mixture is homogeneous. Once combined, slam the bowl on the counter to get rid of the bubbles as much as possible.

Pour the filling into the partially baked crust. If, like me, you have some extra filling left over you can pour it into some pre-made mini tart shells.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Then increase the oven to 350 and continue to bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. It’s ok if the filling bubbles up and over the edge of the tart.

When fully baked, it should be set and a little shaky in the center but the top will have formed a light sugary crust.

Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Chill if you like in the refrigerator before serving with whipped cream.

You can keep it in the fridge for a couple days, lightly covered.

While you are waiting for it to cool you can make some Whipped Cream to go on top!

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Chill mixing bowl and beaters in freezer prior to making. Pour cream into mixer and mix on medium until thick, add confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form. I like to put mine into a pastry bag with a large star tip attached and keep it in the fridge until needed.

I got this recipe from the new Tasty Kitchen website by The Pioneer Woman.


Ps. I just snuck a semi-warm mini tart and whipped cream… heaven!

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  • Reply Melissa July 22, 2009 at 10:49 AM

    As soon as I saw your picture of the Lemon Tart I instantly thought “GRANDMA!!!!” She sure did love her lemon tarts didn’t she! I used to stop by after work and bring her the tiny bite-sized lemon tarts from Whole Foods. She would pop the whole thing in her mouth with a smile! Thanks for reminding me of Grandma today. Your lemon tart looks delicious. I’ll definately have to make that. I think I inherited Grandma’s love of lemon too! 🙂

  • Reply Karen July 22, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    I need a tart pan. It is an item in my kitchen that I can’t really substitute for easily. And I agree. Summer just begs for citrus!

  • Reply Alicia July 22, 2009 at 4:28 PM

    Melissa: I know! I thought of grandma too =) She just loved lemon tarts, or lemon meringue pie haha. Thanks 🙂 Yea I inherited it too definitely, i love it!

    Karen: Yes it is hard to substitute! But i did see a neat blog entry about a lemon tart that was made in a big almost wok looking pan with the crust on the bottom pressed against it and then the filling in the middle. If i can find the link i’ll send it to ya!

  • Reply Alicia July 22, 2009 at 4:29 PM

    here! http://kitchen-notebook.blogspot.com/2006/09/tarte-au-citron.html

    it’s super cool. check it out

  • Reply Katie July 23, 2009 at 8:06 AM

    I find the best time to blog about what I’ve cooked/baked is directly afterwards also. I actually use my pictures to guide me as they are in order.

    I have been craving lemon as well! Must be summer – last week I made Lemon Cheesecake Muffins with homemade lemon curd to dollop on them!

    This tart looks absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Kitchenaid Blender 4 July 23, 2009 at 9:18 AM

    […] Bakeaholic » Blog Archive » Tarte Au Citron […]

  • Reply ingrid July 23, 2009 at 9:33 AM

    Looks good! Love the matching dishes and silverware…very pretty.

    Btw, THANKS for the tip on how to use my wait time….just need to get the kids to leave me alone during it! 🙂

  • Reply Alicia July 23, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    Katie : good idea~ pictures definitely help a lot. I usually have an excessive amount to choose from..haha. Lemon Cheesecake Muffins!?? two of my favorite things – lemon and cheesecake..MMMmm.. bet they were good!

    Ingrid: thanks =) hahaha send the kids to their room for a nap?… or how about put them to work on all those dirty dishes! haha

  • Reply Paula July 24, 2009 at 1:05 PM

    Your tart looks divine!

  • Reply Alicia July 26, 2009 at 9:04 AM

    thanks paula =)

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