The ultimate makeover: Lemon tart

The ultimate makeover: Lemon tart

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(40 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, questions and tips

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    17th Feb, 2013
    Made this today, and I'm already on my third slice!. Would definitely recommend this recipe. Very tasty and easy to make.
    10th Feb, 2013
    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.
    22nd Jan, 2013
    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!
    21st Jan, 2013
    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!!
    15th Jan, 2013
    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.
    7th Jan, 2013
    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
    2nd Jan, 2013
    Absolutely delicious, made it for a dinner party and everyone raved about it.
    16th Dec, 2012
    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.
    14th Dec, 2012
    Hi want to make this for Pud next week - can I freeze it?
    19th Nov, 2012
    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?


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