The ultimate makeover: Lemon tart

The ultimate makeover: Lemon tart

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


    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.

    Ads by Google

    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

    Comments (58)

    lizleicester's picture

    Used virgin olive oil and caster sugar in the pastry and it worked really well. Then had to use caster sugar in the filling, but combined it with 300ml half fat creme fraiche and 150ml lemon juice (4 lemons) so it needed a bit longer in the oven but the end result was fantastic.

    darrellsimpson's picture

    Very very yummy. Had a craving for something lemony so made this. Was pretty straight forward but little did I know how good it would taste. Will be making this again soon!

    sarahb1973's picture

    Really lovely. You wouldn't know it was the low cal version (although I did cheat and use ready made sweet short crust pastry) and wasn't so low cal as put double cream on the top!!

    sophieoliver's picture

    What a lovely dessert! This delicious tart did seem a lighter than the standard lemon tart, which made it an excellent ending to a rich main course.

    I found I had the perfect amount of pastry to use with a 20cm flan tin, but my pastry was quite tough compared to my normal recipe. Like others, I also found I needed to cook it for longer, I did 10 minutes longer at gas 3. The top did crack when cooling, but after a few hours to chill it seemed perfectly set with these timings and I don't think it would have set without the extra cooking time.

    ms_diva88's picture

    Absolutely gorgeous! So simple and yet everyone believes you've spent ages making it! Can't believe it's the healthier version as so tasty, light and lemony. Brilliant recipe, will be making again and again

    jules_milroy's picture

    Absolutely delicious, made it for a dinner party and everyone raved about it.

    judithdean's picture

    I have only just read the bit that says best eaten on same day and I wanted to freeze mine for Christmas. Is there any reason why I can't as I do with other lemon tart recipes.

    debigale's picture

    Hi want to make this for Pud next week - can I freeze it?

    angiedecsmith's picture

    Has anyone tried substituting 50 grams of ground almonds for some of the plain flour to keep the pastry moist? Don't know what that would do to the nutrition/ calorie content?

    laimargos's picture

    I did not like the idea of crème fraiche, so I risked and went for full fat greek yogurt. The mixture seemed very loose so I added 300gr of yogurt. The result impressed me. Perfect colour, perfect texture, no cracks. I definitely recommend this!

    Oh, and the pastry is indeed less than needed.

    laurabostock's picture

    Amazing!! I have made it at least 10 times! The pastry is great too and you can use the recipe for any sweet short crust pastry recipe, it really short if not man handled too much! Its hard to believe its low fat when you eat it, and goes really well with strawberries! Great for dinner parties and tastes great the next day too!

    susanez's picture

    Tried this recipe and it was delicious, but the pastry is not enough for a 23cm tart tin.

    Also I found that I needed to cook the tart for longer than in the recipe, both when baking the pastry case and when filled. I have a fan oven but I thought the temperatures given for this are too low.

    I will definitely make this again, but use a slightly smaller tin and adjust the temperatures up a bit.

    laurahawkhead's picture

    Loved it! Made for 6 people and the whole thing was demolished. Couldn't tell it was a 'lighter' version at all!

    theddbs's picture

    I made this cake last week for a friends birthday. After reading the comments above, I doubled the pastry mix (as I had to make a small tart for my partner) and it really was needed. The tart was perfect, absolutely delicious and really easy to make so much better than many other lemon tarts I've made before. The pastry was great, I am going to use it for other tart recipes too! Everyone at my work loved it and said it was the best cake I'd baked yet. And I bake a lot! Definitely try this!

    claudmills's picture

    Could you use 0% total yogurt as appose to creme fraiche?

    sugarcookie's picture

    Devoured this pie to myself it was so good; I don't even feel any regret, it was worth it! Making it again for a dinner party tomorrow, might have to share it this time though.

    drpjcooper's picture

    This tart is DELICIOUS, soooo good. The pastry is quite difficult to work with though, but once it's done it is well worth the effort. Will never make full-fat lemon tart again :)

    rpurdy's picture

    Absolutely delicious! The tart a lovely lemony zing and also nice and light, making it the perfect way to round off dinner with friends. The pastry did shrink a little when it was blind baked resulting in the case not being big enough for all of the filling. I did cheat and use shop bought ready rolled pastry so that may be a factor in the shrinkage. Also the filling did crack as it cooled which was slightly annoying as it looked so good when I removed it from the oven.

    joparry84's picture

    Love this! Did find it a bit fiddly getting the pastry to fit the tin. One piece of tart is never enough though! Really easy and really tasty!

    satutatu's picture

    Only 4/5 as it tasted DELICIOUS but there was not enough pastry by miles. I had to roll it out so thin that of course it cracked in the oven when blind baking. I took a chance as I was dying to taste the lemony goodness and luckily it all went well but please remember to increase pastry ingredients by at least 50% for there to be enough to line the tin.


    Questions (4)

    Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved…

    Be the first to ask a question about this recipe…

    Tips (0)

    Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

    Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…