Lemon Cream Tart
Hello friends! I’m back on my old recipe refurbishment train and this time it’s with a golden oldie: Lemon Cream Tart. Making its blog debut way back in May 2013, this recipe was first introduced to me by my ex-boyfriend’s mom. She used to make a variation of this Lemon Cream Tart all the time for family gatherings and I remember being mildly obsessed with it. My love of all things lemon often meant that I’d be halfway through my second slice while everyone else was still on their first. At first, that was kind of embarrassing.. but it ended up being totally worth it because it resulted in my ex’s mom giving me the recipe. Silver lining? I think so.
So, Lemon Cream Tart – let’s do it.
How is the recipe different from before?
Here’s the thing: there was very little about this recipe that needed updating! There are only 1.5 differences between its former self and this new & improved version:
• the tart shell has been updated from a biscuit base to a pâté sucrée. Pâté sucrée is a sweet and crumbly French pastry that makes this tart feel more fancy and less cheesecake-ey. Yes, there’s a teeny bit more work involved, but it’s so worth it.
• the Lemon Cream Tart now has a garnish. Does this even count as a difference? Regardless, it’s now garnished with sliced strawberries, spirals of lemon zest, and dots of leftover whipped cream. A little pop of colour really adds to the wow-factor.
Why make Lemon Cream Tart?
I have always had such a soft spot for lemon flavoured desserts, but if you need convincing, let me break it down for you.
• the filling is very similar to a cheesecake – except lighter and creamier. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s lusciously light and somehow extra creamy? It’s magical.
• it’s lemony – but not overpoweringly so. Boyfriend isn’t the biggest lemon fan and yet he gave this a 10/10. Truly, such a win for this tart.
• there are only three ingredients in the filling! Condensed milk, double cream, and lemon zest/juice – all of which you probably have right now.
• the base is divine. French, sweet, crumbly and buttery – the perfect accompaniment to the lemon filling. Alternatively, if you wanted to make this even easier: buy a tart shell and just make the filling!
• it seems fancier than it really is. I tested this recipe out on five different people and they were all bowled over. Definitely an easy dinner party dessert!
How to make Lemon Cream Tart
You know the drill – step by step photos below!
Part I: make the pâté sucrée
First up: our mise en place. Butter, icing sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks, and flour. I know that 30g is an annoying amount of egg yolks – it was 1.5 yolks worth for me – but keep any additional egg in a bowl to the side, we’ll use that later.
In a bowl, we beat together the butter, sugar, yolks, and lemon zest until fluffy. I used my electric whisk, but you can use your stand mixer if you like.
Add the egg yolks, beat until combined, and then add the flour and beat until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of cling film, lightly shape it into a disc, and chill in the fridge for 20-minutes.
I used this time to play New Super Mario Bros and drink coffee, but you do you.
Prepare the tart tin! I lightly greased mine with butter beforehand, but if you have faith in your tin’s non-stick capability then you don’t need to. When chilled, we roll our dough out and line our tart tin with it. Mine fell apart in a few different places, but I patched it up as best I could and that’s really okay. Place the lined tart tin into the freezer for at least 15-minutes, and preheat the oven.
Before baking, cover the now semi-frozen dough with baking parchment, fill with baking weights, and bake until the edges are golden. When they’re golden, remove the parchment/weights and bake until the base is golden. For more blind baking instructions: BBC Good Food.
Nearly there! After the tart has been out of the oven and cooling for 3/4-minutes, brush the inside with the leftover egg yolk/white. This will seal the pastry off and keep it from getting soggy when we add our filling. Into the oven for another 4-minutes, and now we’re DONE!
Tah-dah – our beautifully baked pâté sucrée is finished! We have to leave it to cool completely – about 30/40-minutes – but basically all of the hard work is over and done with.
Part II: make the filling & assemble
Filling mise en place: double cream, condensed milk, lemon juice + zest. Three ingredients is all it takes!
Whip the double cream until stiff peaks form. I used an electric whisk because I’m growing fond of my bingo wings.
Add the remaining ingredients, whip them all together, and we’re done! The mixture will be creamy and luscious and if you sneak a little taster I won’t tell anyone.
Dollop the filling into the cooled tart shell, smooth the top over and pop it in the fridge for a few hours.
I sliced up some strawberries, twisted some lemon zest into spirals, and piped dots of leftover whipped cream onto my set tart.
Enjoy in extra large slices with a cup of coffee – at least, that’s what we did.
I hope you love it! xo
Lemon Cream Tart
for the pate sucree/pastry
- 112.5 g salted butter, soft
- 50 g icing sugar, sifted
- 1/4 lemon, zested
- 30 g egg yolks *with any remaining egg measurement kept aside.
- 175 g plain flour
for the lemon cream filling
- 150 g double cream
- 300 g condensed milk
- juice of 2 lemons
- zest of 1 lemon
- strawberries, sliced
- lemon zest, thinly sliced and twirled into spirals
- leftover whipped cream
for the pate sucree/pastry
- In a bowl with an electric whisk – or a stand mixer – cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest until fluffy, about 1-2-minutes.
- Add the egg yolks into the batter and beat to combine fully. Add the flour & beat until a dough forms. Use your hands to form it into a disc shape, squeezing any loose crumbs together, and wrap it tightly in a layer of cling film. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 20-minutes.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch tart tin with butter and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Once chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, to about 4mm thick, turning the pastry often. Line your prepared tin with the pastry, trimming off any excess, and pop in the freezer for 15-minutes or until very cold.
- Cover the frozen pastry with a layer of baking parchment, fill with baking beans/rice/etc, and blind bake in the preheated oven for 15/20-minutes, or until you see the edges of the tart shell go lightly golden in colour. Remove the parchment paper + baking beans and return the tart shell to the oven for a further 15/20-minutes, or until the base of the tart is golden brown. Leave to cool for 5-minutes before brushing with remaining egg measurement and returning to the oven for a further 4-minutes. Leave to cool completely.
for the filling
- In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the cream and beat until fully incorporated.
- Pour the lemon cream filling into the cooled pastry shell and use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 3-hours.
- Garnish with sliced strawberries, lemon zest, and leftover whipped cream, if desired.
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment & a rating below, or tag me on Instagram @imvcki. Thank you so much for supporting Passionate Baker!
*RECIPE UPDATED MARCH 2021