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French Lemon Tart

Recipe Level: Moderate

This is a traditional French lemon tart that's perfectly tangy with a citrus curd filling and a buttery crisp crust. Simply top with whipped cream and fresh fruit or my favourite sugared blueberries!

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* Make sure to read the entire blog post. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

French Lemon Tart

Mon amie! If you don’t have a few handful of classic dessert recipes that take your guests breath away, than you need to add this French lemon tart to your repertoire. It’s bright, beautiful and full of flavour. The pastry is perfectly buttery, a little crisp and has a smooth tangy lemon filling. Top each slice with a dollop of fresh cream and sugared blueberries to elevate this dessert one step further!

The French cuisine inspires me, their style is a work of art and the flavours are simple yet complicated; they are passionate or dare I say ‘sexy’ when it comes to food. They use the best ingredients possible and so much care and detail goes into mastering their ‘art’.  This classic French lemon tart is just one example of that beauty. And it can be enjoyed with the ones you love! 

French Lemon Tart

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs Lemons
  • Whipping cream
  • Fresh fruit to serve or sugared fruit

The key ingredients in this French lemon tart are the eggs and lemons.

  • Eggs – This recipe uses a lot of eggs that are separated from the yolks and the whites. Read through the entire recipe and don’t throw out any extra eggs whites as there are many options to use up those leftovers. See tips below.
  • Lemon – You can use fresh lemon juice in the recipe or lemon juice concentrate. The recipe calls for a large amount so it may be easier to use concentrate, I use ‘ReaLemon“.
  • Sugared Blueberries – Although sugared blueberries aren’t necessary, they elevate this French tart to the next level and I highly recommend taking the extra step. You won’t be disappointed that you did.
French Lemon Tart

Baking Tips

Blind Baking

First, the tart is blind baked, which may seem intimidating if you’ve never blind bake before. But I promise you it easier than it sounds. Basically, you are baking the tart without a filling first so the crust will not get soggy when it’s filled. I’ve created a post on everything you need to know about blind baking so if you’re new and want to learn more you check it out here: HOW TO BLIND BAKE A PIE CRUST.

What to do with leftover egg whites?

Don’t throw out those leftover egg whites! Make sure when you are separate the egg whites from the yolks you label how many egg whites are left. I like to store them in 3’s or singularly. Store egg white in an airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze egg whites for up to 3 months. Let egg whites defrost at room temperature before using.

For 1-2 egg whites;

  1. Make Sugared Fruit 
  2. Homemade Marshmallows 
  3. Royal Icing for Sugar Cookies

For 3 or more egg whites; 

  1. Angle Food Cake
  2. Summer Pavlova
  3. Chocolate Pavlova
  4. Strawberry Meringue Bakets
  5. Rainbow Meringue Cookies
  6. Rosewater Meringue Sandwich Cookies

How to Make a French Lemon Tart

Below are images paired with key steps to create a successful lemon tart. This will help give you a visual of what you are looking for in these particular steps.

Step 1Set out a 10 inch tart pan that has a removable bottom. In a large bowl, whisk flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender cut butter into flour until pea size crumbs form. In a small bowl whisk yolk in water. Then pour over flour mixture; tossing with a fork until dough clumps.

Step 2: Turn dough out onto a work surface, gently press and fold dough into a ball. Press ball into a disc, wrap in plastic and let dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once dough is ready, roll out to approx. a 12-13 inch circle so it will fit into your 10 inch tart pan. Gently pick up the pastry and place it the in the tart pan. Press pastry down and cut off any overhang. Freeze dough for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Line the tart with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in bottom third of the oven for 10 minutes. Carefully, remove weights and foil; bake for another 8 minutes until golden. Let cool on rack. Make lemon filling and then pour or spoon lemon filling into tart shell, smoothing the top. 

Step 4: Again, bake in bottom third of 325°F oven until filling loses some shine and forms a thin skin, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool on rack. Refrigerate until cold and filling firms up, approx. 2 hours. Top with whipped cream and sugared berries.

French Lemon Tart
French Lemon Tart with Sugared Blueberries
Classic French Lemon Tart Recipe with Sugared Blueberries
French Lemon Tart with Whipped Cream and Sugared Blueberries
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French Lemon Tart

This is a traditional French lemon tart that’s perfectly tangy with a citrus curd filling and a buttery crisp crust. Simply top with whipped cream and fresh fruit or my favourite sugared blueberries!

  • Author: Adapted from Canadian Living
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 18 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 48 mins
  • Yield: 1 9″ Tart 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

Units Scale

For The Tart

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Lemon Filling

  • 5 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Toppings

  • Fresh whipping cream to serve
  • Fresh fruit to serve or sugared fruit

Instructions

  1. Set out a 10 inch tart pan that has a removable bottom.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender cut butter into flour until pea size crumbs form.
  3. In a small bowl whisk yolk in water. Then pour over flour mixture; tossing with a fork until dough clumps.
  4. Turn dough out onto a work surface, gently press and fold dough into a ball. Press ball into a disc, wrap in plastic and let dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Once dough is ready, roll out to approx. a 12-13 inch circle so it will fit into your 10 inch tart pan. Gently pick up the pastry and place it the in the tart pan. Press pastry down and cut off any overhang. Freeze dough for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400˚F.
  7. Place the frozen tart onto a baking sheet. Using a fork, prick the bottom the of the dough all over.
  8. Line the tart with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
  9. Bake in bottom third of the oven for 10 minutes. Carefully, remove weights and foil; bake for another 8 minutes until golden. Let cool on rack.

Lemon Filling: 

  1. Using a double boiler (or large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water), whisk together eggs, egg yolk, sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Cook, whisking often, until translucent and thick enough to mound on spoon. approx. 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in butter.
  4. Pour or spoon lemon filling into tart shell, smoothing the top. Or place plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until ready to use, refrigerate for up to 24 hours).
  5. Bake in bottom third of 325°F oven until filling loses some shine and forms a thin skin, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Let cool on rack. Refrigerate until cold and filling firms up, approx. 2 hours.
  7. Top with whipped cream and sugared berries.

Notes

If using sugared blueberries, top berries just before serving. If sugared blueberries are left on the lemon tart and stored in the fridge they will lose their sugar coating from the moisture.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 of 12
  • Calories: 233
  • Sugar: 17.2g
  • Sodium: 87mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 27.4g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Protein: 4.8g
  • Cholesterol: 161mg

Keywords: French, Lemon, Tart, Sugared Fruit

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s:

What is a French lemon tart?

A French lemon tart is a classic tart made using a shortcrust pastry that is blind baked first. The crust is buttery and crisp and is then filled with a citrusy lemon curd. It’s a classic and popular dessert in France and around the world.

How to say lemon tarts in French?

‘Tartes au citron’ is how you say ‘lemon tarts’ in French.

How to store a lemon tart?

Lightly place plastic wrap over the top of the tart and place in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If there is extra moisture on top of the tart dab with a paper towel to remove any extra moisture. Note, if using sugared blueberries, top berries just before serving. If sugared blueberries are left on the lemon tart and stored in the fridge they will lose their sugar coating from the moisture.

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Alie Romano

Meet

Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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