The ultimate makeover: Lemon tart

The ultimate makeover: Lemon tart

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(39 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 55 mins Plus chilling

More effort

Cuts into 12 slender slices
Enjoy an incredible half-fat version of this classic dessert, which tastes every bit as good as the original

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal186
  • fat9g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs24g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre0g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.14g
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    For the pastry

    • 50g butter, cut in pieces



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 140g plain flour
    • 1 tbsp icing sugar
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
      Rapeseed oil

      Rapeseed oil

      If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

    • 1 medium egg yolk

    For the filling

    • 3 medium eggs, plus 2 medium egg whites



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    • 140g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
    • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest (about 4 lemons)



      Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

    • 125ml lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
    • 200ml tub half-fat crème fraîche


    1. Rub the butter into the flour until the mix looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar, then make a well and use a round-bladed knife to stir in the oil, egg yolk and 1½-2 tbsp cold water until dough comes together. Without overhandling, gather into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out so it fits a 23 x 2cm loose-bottom flan tin. Ease the pastry into the tin, then trim the edges by rolling the rolling pin over the top. Press the pastry into the flutes so it sits very slightly proud of the edge (this extra height helps in case of any shrinkage). Lightly prick the pastry base with a fork, then chill for about 10 mins. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

    2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat the eggs and egg whites together with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then gradually beat in the eggs. If the mix is at all lumpy, simply beat with a wire whisk. Stir in the lemon zest and the juice. Leave to stand so the lemon flavour can develop.

    3. Sit the chilled pastry case on a baking sheet. Line with baking parchment and baking beans and bake blind for 20 mins until well set. Carefully lift out the beans and paper, then bake the pastry case for another 3-5 mins until the base is cooked and pale golden.

    4. Strain the lemon mixture through a sieve. Beat the crème fraîche in a medium bowl until smooth, then slowly stir in the lemon mix until well blended. Transfer to a jug, then carefully pour two thirds into the warm pastry case. Place in the oven with the oven shelf half out, pour in the rest of the filling, then carefully slide the shelf back in. Reduce the heat to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Bake for 25-30 mins until barely set with a slight wobble in the middle. Cool for about 1 hr, then serve with a light dusting of icing sugar. Best eaten the same day.

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    Comments (58)

    allielovetocook's picture

    The most easy-to-handle pastry I've ever made (though I did make half as much again as I wanted to ensure there was plenty as my flan tin was slightly larger and deeper than the recipe required)! The cooked pastry was golden and crisp and the lemon filling was totally delicious, but light as air. I did give it 10 mins longer in the oven as after 30 mins the lemon custard was still very loose, but I might try just 5 mins longer next time. I will definitely be making this again and in the not-too-distant future as it was easy and totally yum!!

    yummy16's picture

    Lovely recipe, guests couldn't tell it was low fat! As others have warned, it doesn't make enough pastry, I dropped to a 20cm tin and still struggled to line it properly. Will definitely make extra pastry next time. Also had to give an extra 15-20 mins in the oven (mine is a very hot fan oven), check till the wobbling in the centre nearly stops. Delicious and will use again!

    Minxeh's picture

    I did this without any baking beans, pricked the base all over and it went fine :) Took it to the new years eve party I was going to and it was all gone within 5 minutes with raving reviews from everyone! Great recipe :-)

    mamagoat's picture

    Landed up with too much filling due to my ineptitude with pastry. Made ACE pudding a la bread and butter with extra filling and leftover Pandoro!

    elambard's picture

    I kept all proportions. Wonderful and precise recipe! The best lemon tart I've ever tasted, neither too sweet, nor too sour. 4 lemons were just enough.

    pah2008's picture

    And just to add - for the half as much again pastry recipe - I used a yolk from a large egg and then used the egg white plus three large eggs for the filling. Also I found that I needed all the lemons for the rind but measured out the juice and needed quite a bit less.

    pah2008's picture

    This is wonderful! Very lemony. Crisp pastry. Easy to make. I made half as much again pastry after earlier comments about the quantity. It was easy to roll out and was enough with some trimmings. There was a crack in the tart the second time I made it and I might cook it for a few minutes less next time.

    han123's picture

    Absolutely delicious! Made for a dinner party last night, followed instructions, no need to deviate, used just the four lemons and it was perfect. The filling had the delicious lemon flavour without being overwhelming, 5* reviews from the 11 people who ate it. I'm not sure if my tin was the wrong size, but `I could only get half the filling in - I think this was an ideal amount though. And means I currently have a second tart in the oven. Don't think I've tasted a better lemon tart, even when comparing to cream based recipes.

    Sarahvictoria's picture

    Fabulous recipe, tastes beautiful and light, I left mine in the fridge for half an hour before serving and tasted just perfect!

    akinta10's picture

    This was Ok but felt it would have been better if the lemon filling was not sieved and at least some of the lemon zest left in it to give it more flavour and texture. Definitely needs more pastry though

    lawoo's picture

    One of my best bakes! You couldn't tell it was a healthier version at all and everyone loved it. I used half fat cream instead of creme fraiche as the shop didn't have any and it was super creamy. I went for a rustic look with the pastry so I had enough and was really crispy and sweet. Will be using this recipe again and again!

    WillCookForFood's picture

    I gave this recipe 4 out of 5 as this is basically a great recipe and I will make it again next week but I echo the previous comments about there being not quite enough pastry. It was doable but a stretch. More importantly it needed to cook a bit more and there was too much wobble that led to an unsightly ooze when cut even after cooking it a little longer than it said. That shouldn't detract from what is a healthier alternative with a great lemony taste.

    helenclare5's picture

    This is a great lemon tart, it really is light but tasty and doesn't feel like it is a lower fat version. Really do recommend it especially as it is very easy to make. I used shop bought sweet pastry too!

    betty0107's picture

    Can this recipe be frozen?

    tastychef22's picture

    tried this receipe very straight forward and tasted amazing

    arsenal-yummy's picture

    I used pastry from a Nigella pecan pie recipe (flour,oil, milk and squeeze it into tart tray) but used the filling from this recipe. Added some grated chocolate over the top. Loved the taste of the lemon, really nice. Definitely make it again.

    wendybh's picture

    Have made this a few times now and it's yummy. I used lower-fat margarine for the pastry and no oil. It went into the tin in a few pieces and I patchworked it together which worked fine. I used 4 eggs and the white leftover from the pastry, in the filling. I've made this for a few dinner parties and it's a great success.

    hildred's picture

    I have made this recipe twice, usually when I am dieting and visitors arrive! They don't know it is low fat and I don't spoil my diet too much.Both times have served it with fresh raspberries, I was worried that the pastry would break, however I followed the recipe carefully and it worked perfectly. My husband loves lemon tart and he was happy and so was I !

    saywhat123's picture

    This recipe was okay, it was very lemony and had a lovely taste,however, the base was to small and i had to redo it three times! And than it turned out to be under-done. I don't think I'll use it again.

    charlabar's picture

    Made this today, and I'm already on my third slice!. Would definitely recommend this recipe. Very tasty and easy to make.


    Questions (4)

    howletticus's picture

    How far in advance can this dessert be made (without disintegrating etc)?

    tashajane1977's picture

    Planning to do this for Christmas Day. Can I make the tart case the day before?

    goodfoodteam's picture

    Hi there. Yes it is fine to make the case the day before.

    JudithBa's picture

    Can this tart be frozen? Thanks!

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