Tarte au citron

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow 

A classic recipe that originated in France, this simple, stylish citrus tart never goes out of fashion. Once you have mastered the technique of pastry making, this is a very easy dessert to prepare.


1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry

4 eggs, lightly whisked

165 g (5¾ oz/¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar

80 ml (2½ fl oz/ 1/3 cup) thickened (whipping) cream (5¼ fl oz/ 2/3 cup) lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Icing (confectioners') sugar, to dust


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a 30 cm (12 inch) diameter circle, taking care not to overwork the dough or it will become too soft. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and ease into a 3 cm (1¼ inch) deep, round 24 cm (9½ inch) fluted loose-based tart (flan) tin, pressing it into the base and side with your fingertips. Roll the rolling pin over the tin to trim the excess pastry.

2. Line the pastry shell with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beads, dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and weights and bake for 10 minutes more or until the base of the pastry is dry. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg, caster sugar and cream in a bowl until combined. Stir in the lemon juice, then the zest, until combined. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2). Pour the lemon mixture into the pastry shell and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the lemon filling is set and the pastry is cooked through. Place on a wire rack and leave to cool in the tin. Serve at room temperature, dusted with the icing sugar.