Heavenly Lemon Cream Tart

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My Homemade Lemon Cream Tart

Lemon Heaven

Lemons don’t grow here in Calgary but, happily for me, as soon as the first lemons of the season are picked in late January in California, bags of them start flowing into our local grocery stores. To me, lemons are like a taste of sunshine, and no more so than when I get my hands on that first fresh bag of lemons in mid-winter, as the bracing winds are still swirling the snow around—it’s a promise of the coming of spring. Isn’t it something that we have such easy access to something as amazing as a fresh lemon?

Making and enjoying a homemade Lemon Cream Tart is the perfect way to brighten up any day. Because the pastry loses some of it’s crispness after a day, this tart is best on the day you make it (not that that’s stopped anyone around here from devouring any meager leftovers). Sweet, lemony and creamy, this tart is definitely a crowd-pleaser.

A special thanks to the Danbo Brothers who enthusiastically zested lemons for this tart.

Lemon Cream Tart Recipe

(Adapted from Laura Calder)

Ingredients

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 blind baked (pre-baked) tart shell (see recipe below)

Shortcrust pastry

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (150 g) flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp cold water
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A Bowl of Sunshine

 

Lemon Tart Filling Directions

Preheat the oven to 325ºF/160ºC.

In a medium-sized non-reactive bowl, beat together the eggs, yolks, lemon zest and sugar in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and stir. Whisk in the cream. Strain the mixture into a blind baked (pre-baked) tart shell (recipe below).

Skim off any surface foam, and pop any bubbles using a sharp knife.

Bake until just set and still a little jiggly in the centre, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

ShortCrust pastry Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400F/200C.

Making the Pastry by Hand

Cut butter in 1/2 inch pieces and place in freezer while you measure your dry ingredients.

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together.

Add the butter pieces from the freezer to your bowl. Dig your hands into the mixture to coat all the butter pieces with flour. Using your fingers, pinch the butter pieces and flour together into flat disks. Continue working the flour and butter with your fingers to create a crumb texture.

Make a well in the middle, and pour in the vanilla and water. Quickly work the water into the flour until the mixture comes together into a crumbly dough. Do not over-mix.

Pat into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Roll out the dough, line the tart shell, chill another 15 minutes.

Prick the dough with a fork.

Bake the shell until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Making the Pastry Using a Food Processor

Cut butter in 1/2 inch pieces and place in freezer while you measure your dry ingredients.

Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of the processor and pulse three to four times to mix.

Add the butter pieces from the freezer, and distribute them evenly over the flour mixture. Pulse only until the mixture forms pea-size clumps.

Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse to mix. Add just enough water for the dough to come together.

Pull the dough together and pat into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Roll out the dough, line the tart shell, chill another 15 minutes.

Prick the dough with a fork.

Bake the shell until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

 

Image Credits

My Homemade Lemon Cream Tart, by madlyinlovewithlife;
© 2012 madlyinlovewithlife

A Bowl of Lemons, by madlyinlovewithlife;
© 2012 madlyinlovewithlife

21 thoughts on “Heavenly Lemon Cream Tart

  1. This makes my mouth water, Jeannie! There are so many lemons available to me, including a tree next door, and you’ve made me stop and think about how I perhaps need to appreciate them so much more than I do! This very tempting cream tart would definitely be a treat. :-)

    • Hello Debra. The first time my partner and I were driving down a Los Angeles freeway, we passed a huge dump truck filled to the brim with bright yellow lemons. We couldn’t stop laughing for the sheer delight of the abundance of what we saw. That sight etched itself in our brains so deeply that we still often bring it up. We feel fortunate to be so closely linked to California on the food distribution network. Our winters would not be nearly as easy to get through were it not for all your wonderful California-grown produce. I can only imagine what a treat it would be to actually pick fresh lemons growing from a tree! Tree-ripened lemons taste even better as they are juicier and sweeter. Enjoy your next fresh lemon for me. Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous Sunday! :))

  2. Thank you so much for that recipe, Jeannie. Those lemons are gorgeous! I have a really hard time finding Meyer lemons in my area, but often get lucky with some beautiful organic ones. I love to have a bowl of them on my kitchen table. I buy bags of them in the summer for homemade lemonade and Lemon Italian Ice. I’m going to try your recipe soon! Thanks again!
    ~Lis

    • Hello Lis! I think you will like this tart. We don’t always have Meyer Lemons around either—they are only available here in early spring and I have to ferret them out. Like you, I get bags of them when I can. In fact, I made the Lemon Cream Tart pictured above with the Meyer Lemons from the particular bowl of lemons shown above. They are incredibly juicy lemons and I especially love their rich canary yellow colour. Italian Ice sounds like a perfectly refreshing and delicious summer treat—what a great way to use lemons. I know I’d love it! Thanks for stopping by! :))

  3. Lemon meringue pie is my favourite pie Jeannie,in fact I enjoy anything lemon flavoured so I am looking so forward to making this wonderful looking lemon tart. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. Wow! 3/4 cup lemon juice!! No wonder folks come back for your “meager leftovers”! And the focusing and exposure on your perfect tart… Drroooolll! And I see you are a gooey finger crust maker. That takes skill indeed to make sure the butter doesn’t melt.

    What juicer do you use? I use the yellow enameled one made by Amco… You probably have a better one.

    • I’ve used both processes to make my crusts, but use the food processor method more often as it’s faster and yields a nice crust. If the weather is hot, doing the finger method is too hard to do right because the butter melts. I use the same yellow enameled lemon press as you do and I LOVE it! :))

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