lemon tart, bare headed

lemon tart-8
This lemon tart is the underdressed sister of the lemon meringue tart that´s offered in any boulangerie/patissierie I know. Like baguette in the bread section and croissants in the viennoiserie, la tarte fine au citron is a must bake for every boulanger (baker man) who wants to climb the heights of patissier heaven. The white swirly cloud of slightly browned meringue is such an eye catcher that a “regular” lemon tart with its golden brown caramelized top looks almost naked, as if something was missing. In fact, today I was tempted to make a meringue topping, for my tart in its flatness and simplicity made me feel slightly uncomfortable: As if I was forced to look at the bald head of a person I had so far only known wearing a wig. First impressions create strong images that can be hard to erase – true for humans, true for tarts.

In this case, however, less is more for my taste. The zingy, lemony custard is perfectly satisfying on a hot summer day, especially when served chilled with a shot of crush iced espresso. So no meringue this time – but it will have its moment here, soon!

Lemon tarte (for 1 tart 26 cm diameter):
pastry shell:
250 g flour
125 g butter in cubes
75 g confectioner´s sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp water

lemon custard:
2 eggs
150 g sugar
juice from 3 lemons
90 g melted butter

baking: 180°C 35-40 min

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for the tart crust and “work” butter cubes with your fingertips until completely incorporated – you´ll end up with a smooth ball of pastry. Shape as a roll 5 cm in diameter, wrap in plastic foil and refrigerate for minimum 30 minutes.

Preheat oven.

Butter a tart pan and layer base and sides with about 0.5 cm thick slices from your pastry roll. Even out with your fingers and close gaps, create a rim of 1.5-2cm in height. Prick all over with a fork and blind bake for 5 minutes.

Melt butter in a saucepan, set aside to slightly cool. Juice lemons. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until bright and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add butter and lemon juice, whisking away at low speed.

Pour mixture into tart shell and bake until golden brown. Leave to cool for a few minutes, unmould and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, keep in the refrigerator until serving.

Zitronentarte, schlicht & einfach

lemon tart-4Diese schlichte Zitronentarte ist im Vergleich zu ihrer Schwester mit Baiserhaube, der in hiesigen Patisserien allgegenwärtigen tarte au citron méringuée, zugegebenermaßen etwas underdressed, aber nicht minder köstlich. Im Gegenteil: Weniger ist mehr in diesem Fall, zumindest für meinen Geschmack. Der süßsäuerliche, zitronige Cremebelag ist eine prima Erfrischung an einem heißen Sommertag, an dem die Tarte gekühlt serviert und von einem Espresso on the rocks (ein Schluck starken Espressos mit viel crushed ice) begleitet wird.

Was die Meringue angeht, sie wird hier noch zu Ehren kommen – bald!

Zitronentarte (für 1 Form von 26 cm Durchmesser)
250 g Mehl
125 g gewürfelte Butter
75 g Puderzucker
1 Eigelb
2 EL Wasser

2 Eier
150 g Zucker
Saft von 3 Zitronen
90 g zerlassene Butter

Backzeit:180°C ca. 35-40 min

In einer Schüssel alle Zutaten für den Tarteboden mischen. Mit den Fingerspitzen die Butterwürfel zerreiben, so daß ein glatter Teig entsteht. Diesen, zu einer 5cm dicken Rolle geformt, in Klarsichtfolie wickeln und mindestens eine halbe Stunde kalt stellen.

Ofen vorheizen..

Eine gebutterte Tarteform mit Teigscheibchen (etwa einen halben cm dick) auslegen, Lücken schließen und einen 1,5-2cm hohen Rand formen. Mit der Gabel vielfach einstechen und 5 Minuten blind backen, wer mag auch länger.

Butter zerlassen und etwas abkühlen lassen. Zitronen auspressen. Eier mit Zucker etwa 3 Minuten lang bei höchster Stufe aufschlagen, bis die Mischung hellgelb und fluffig ist. Butter und Saft auf niedrigster Stufe unterrühren.

Mischung auf den Tarteboden gießen und weiterbacken, bis die Tarte goldbraun karamellisiert ist. Etwas auskühlen lassen, aus der Form nehmen und nach dem vollständigen Abkühlen bis zum Servieren im Kühlschrank aufheben.


  1. Olala, Sabine, you were so spot on. Tarte au citron is something I can never ever pass by. With or without meringue. Getting slightly dizzy just looking at it. Test eaters required? N xx


  2. Test eaters always welcome! No, this time no meringue, but I normally would use 4 whites, 200 g sugar, little bit of cornstarch, some vanilla aroma!


    1. Actually, not lemons, but I have no idea what these are called – they grow as a huge bush in front of our house and are loved by the bees! Plus the colors were so fitting ….Have a wonderful evening & thank you for your as always nice words!


  3. This is one of my favourite things. Once there was a lemon tree in every Australian backyard and many a lemon meringue pie had emerged from our ovens. It used to feature in every pastry shop as well but has fallen from popularity. Yours looks delicious; fabulous photos too.


  4. I love the way you write…your bald headed comment when you compare the meringue to the tart is priceless! I sure dont know my tarts from my meringues so this post taught me a lot! Looks so yummy, I would have mine with vanilla ice cream and heat the tart up!


    1. Thank you – glad you got it, too ;-))
      And as of meringue: It´s egg whites beaten very stiff with lots of sugar, in order to create swirly toppings for tarts or to to be eaten by itself with all sorts of fruit, sweet sauces etc… it´s delicious!


  5. Chez nous on adore la tarte au citron! Meringué ou pas, peu importe. Du moment, qu’il a ce côté acide et sucré au même temps! La tienne pareil délicieuse.

    Liked by 1 person

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