classic lemon tart

Helloooo – if you come here often you will already probably know these things: 1. I love tarts, 2. I particularly love lemon tarts, 3. I am something of a perfectionist (as confirmed by the Fisher & Paykel What’s Your Cooking Style?’ quiz). To that end, the second recipe I thought of when they asked me to participate in their challenge was this – an absolutely perfect, quintessential lemon tart. I have already posted recipes on the blog for a super-deep ultimate lemon tart and a cheesecak-ey, lemon curd twist on the traditional recipe – but this – this is pretty much the best, classic lemon tart I can think of. I have previously said that I hardly ever order lemon tart when I am out and about, because I have been served up too many disappointments – namely in the degree of lemony-ness. Seriously it is a lemon tart! So (errrp), mine is very lemony, if you prefer a more subtle lemon flavour (why?),  just swap the ratios of lemon juice and cream and you will have a milder result. (Again, why?). Actually ignore me – I don’t like oysters, which makes me pretty much a heathen in the culinary world, so who am I to judge if you don’t enjoy mouth-puckering lemon, if you like less, go wild! Just as with the double-baked French onion souffles, all you need do is follow the recipe and you will be guaranteed a gorgeous (I mean look at it) cafe/restaurant/French maman’s style lemon tart 🙂

In other news, the sun is actually shining outside my window, I am in this moment up-to-date with my workload (long may it last) and I am going to a film festival movie tonight (The First Monday in May) with a couple of lovely girlfriends, so hurrah to that. Rich has ditched criminology in favour of political science at uni (he is seriously politically-minded, and currently looks like the kind of long-haired semi-radical, peace activist who will one day do good for the world), so it will be interesting to see if philosophy retains the top spot in his subject choices. Meanwhile it’s Henry’s turn to look after Will who now has a rotten cold – not surprising given he works such long hours and the weather in Melbourne has been outrageously bitter (get well soon Will!). Right then, if I am to keep up to date, I better get to it – next lot of Dish Magazine recipe-testing coming up…

PS – little shout out to Fisher & Paykel who have kindly (obviously) sponsored this post (thanks so much guys) and an aside to confirm that I am indeed the proud owner of an F&P fridge and dishwasher, and they are actually seriously easy to clean – I always said I would only ever partner with products I believe in, so it is a treat to be doing this little series together – one more Perfectionist recipe coming your way very soon 🙂


110g cold butter, chopped
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 1/3 cups plain flour
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 egg yolk plus 2 egg yolks (reserve 1 egg white and lightly whisk)
1 teaspoon iced water
4 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar (1 cup for extra- sweet-tooths)
200mls cream
250mls freshly squeezed lemon juice

baking spray

Put the cold butter in a food processor and add flour, icing sugar and lemon zest. Pulse to combine then add 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of iced water. Pulse until the mixture forms big clumpy breadcrumbs and starts coming together. Tip out onto a clean bench and press and squash together into a round disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 180 ˚C (350˚F) and remove the pastry from the fridge. Let it sit for 5 minutes then roll out on a lightly floured surface until it is 5cm bigger than your 25cm removable base tart tin. Spray the tin very lightly with baking spray and use a paper towel to wipe off any excess. Use a fish slice (I actually use a thin metal pizza paddle) to slip it off the bench and into the tin. Press firmly into the base and sides and prick the base lightly with the tines of a fork. Pop in the freezer for 10 minutes. Whisk eggs with remaining yolks, sugar, and cream. Don’t whisk it too hard or you will make it foamy and bubbly – gently does it. Stir in lemon juice.  Cut a circle of baking paper 5cm bigger than the tart tin, place in the tin and fill with either baking beans or rice. Bake for 12 minutes, brush the base with a little reserved egg white and bake a further 10 minutes. Put the tart base on a baking tray and place back in the oven. Pour the filling through a sieve into a jug and carefully pour straight into the base in the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 150˚C and bake 25-30 minutes until the filling is just set, but still with a bit of wobble in the middle. Cool in the tin before removing to serve to your very lucky guests! Serves 8-10.A big thanks to Fisher & Paykel who have kindly sponsored this post.


  1. Hi Sarah Had a go at making this and it was a truly scrumptious delectable delight, the few pieces I could bear to part with received rave reviews too. Have made a few of your recipes and really love them all, please do keep them coming. Thanks!

  2. Wow oh wow. This is the most amazing lemon tart I've ever had. My husband is a bit of a lemon tart connoisseur & he was floored. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

    1. In New Zealand we have just one type of regular cream, but overseas I think it is what you would call whipping or heavy cream 🙂

  3. Hi there. The recipe confuses me a little. You say to line the base, add the rice etc then bake for 12. Then you say brush the base with a little egg white and cook a further 10 mins. At the point where you brush the bass with egg white, do you remove the paper and baking beans completely and not put them back?

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