Lemon Tartlets

I am in Paris! It is beautiful! The weather is lovely, the streets are beautiful, the French Onion Soup is delicious and the Pain au Chocolat are absolutely to die for. TO DIE FOR.

We have a huge day of walking, sightseeing, shopping and croissant-eating ahead so more about Paris later. For now, we have lemon tartlets.

I really like lemon tart. I like lemon tartlets, lemon coconut bars, lemon bars, lemon curd, lemon meringue pie, and lots of lemony things.

I don’t make any of these things very often, if at all. Because no one else in my house will eat them, and then I’m left with a whole lemon tart I have to eat all by myself.

Which is a great thing for my face but horrible thing for my thighs.

So when my girlfriend hinted she’d like a lemon tart for her birthday, I jumped at the idea.

I went through all my lemon tart recipes I had stored away for my baking “to do” list and decided on the one I thought was best.

And I’m so glad I chose this recipe! The pastry is short and lemony and crumbly and delicious. The filling is creamy, tangy, lemony (but not too lemony), custard-y and smooth. The pastry and the filling marry together perfectly and make a beautiful tart.

I made little tartlets so that they were easier to box up and give as a gift. I think I like them better than a big lemon tart too, because you get more pastry in each little portion. Yum.

To wish my friend a happy birthday, we went for a lovely brunch at a cafe called Three Bags Full. I love Three Bags. None of us could decide what to order. Everything looks so good there, that I would happily have one of everything on the menu.

We ate and chatted and caught up on everything. It was nice.

Another girlfriend of mine came over for apple pie a few days ago and bought me the beautiful orange roses in my photos. Thanks Z! You’re the best!

Adapted from Ellie’s recipe in Masterchef magazine.

You can make little tartlets like I have, or a single large lemon tart out of this recipe.

For the pastry
55g icing sugar (1/3 cup)
150g plain flour (1 cup)
100g cold unsalted butter, cubed
Zest of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks

For the filling
5 eggs
165g caster sugar (3/4 cup)
Zest of 2 lemons
125ml lemon juice (1/2 cup)
125ml thickened cream (1/2 cup)
Blueberries, to serve (optional)

To make the pastry, process the icing sugar, flour and butter in a food processor or stand mixer until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the lemon zest and egg yolks and process until a dough forms. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 160 C and grease a 12-hole muffin tin or 23cm round tart pan.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry to a 32cm round. If you are making tartlets, use a cookie cutter or upside down glass to cut 12 rounds out of the dough. You may need to gather together the excess and re-roll it.

Line your tart pan with the pastry, pressing it into the corners and edges. Trim any excess. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes to prevent pastry from shrinking in the oven.

Line your tart shells with baking paper by first scrunching it together and then unfolding it and lining the pastry. Fill with dried beans or rice and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove beans and baking paper and bake tart shells for a further 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make your filling.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and juice, then stir in the cream.

Place a sheet of paper towel flat over the surface of the custard filling and lift it to remove the bubbles and foam.

Strain the custard into a jug through a fine sieve.

Once the pastry shells are done, reduce the oven temperature to 120 C and place your tart pan or muffin tin on to an oven tray and back into the oven.

Pour custard into the tart shells. Do not overfill the shells or they will stick to the pan. If you have any leftover lemon custard filling, you can bake it in individual ramekins.

Bake 15-20 minutes for tartlets and 25 minutes for a larger tart. The filling should be almost set, with the very centre of the tart still a little wobbly.

Cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Top with blueberries to serve. Makes 12 little tartlets or one large tart.

7 Thoughts on “Lemon Tartlets

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  4. Mary Kinney on August 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm said:

    Whst is caster and icing sugar?

    • Hi Mary. Caster sugar is superfine sugar and icing sugar is powdered sugar. I’ve got a baking conversions page that can help you out with that kinda stuff :-)

  5. Eilidh Johnstone on April 23, 2015 at 4:01 pm said:

    I made these tartlets for dessert the first time I met my boyfriend’s parents, and everyone loved them – his dad ate 3! And they made a great icebreaker too. Thanks, Natasha! (I love your website :) )

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