Tarte Au Citron - Lemon Tart like no other

Tarte Au Citron - Lemon Tart like no other

This French Lemon tart is different from a typical North American lemon tart since the filling is not baked. Instead, the filling is prepared by making sabayon, a mixture of egg and sugar gently heated in a double-boiler on the stove top.

I found that adding crème fraiche or sour cream to lemony desserts does not take away from the rich lemony taste, but balances them out and makes them less acidic and overall more pleasant and balanced.

Personally, this is one of my top ten all-time favourite desserts. I know we all have different likes and dislikes, but if you like smooth, light, luscious, lemony and refreshing desserts – this may just be for you!

Look at its vibrant colour

I go for a “barely set” filling, as I really enjoy the textural contrast between that type of filling and the crunchy crust. Remember, the filling is fully cooked on the stove top, so raw eggs are not a concern. However, I decided to add one more egg to this recipe to have the filling slightly more set, which I feel will be more appealing to everyone.

Look at the sharp clean edges of this tart shell!

Traditionally, tarte au citron is also broiled. I forgo that step.

Should you make this or any of my other recipes, please let me know how they turn out and share your pictures with me.

DifficultyIntermediate

Yields8 Servings

 3 eggs (see note)
 3 egg yolks
 ¾ cup sugar
  cup lemon juice
 1 stick butter
 6 tbsp sour cream
 pinch of salt
Tart Shell
 ½ cup icing sugar
 1 ½ cups flour
 1 ½ sticks butter
 ¼ tsp salt

1

For the tart shell:
Beat butter and sugar, add salt. Sift in flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Knead gently by hand and shape into a disk. Store in the fridge for half an hour but not more. Roll between two gently floured parchment paper sheets. Roll out to as best of a circle as you can which is slightly longer than diameter plus double the height of the tart shell. My tart pan was 10” in diameter and 1” in height; be sure to use a tart pan with a removable bottom. Therefore, I rolled my dough into a circle of just over 12” in diameter. Transfer this to the shell the best you can without breaking it. If it breaks, gently fix the dough by evenly pinching it with your finger. Take care to press it into all the crevasses of the tart shell. Make sure it’s all the same thickness. If you need to repair the top of the shell, add a piece of extra dough to the bottom of the shell and push it upwards. Roll clean rolling pin over the tart shell to cut off the excess dough. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet to avoid accidentally breaking it, dock with a fork and chill for at least 45 minutes. Bake @ 325° for 20-25 minutes (23 for me) until it just begins to brown like a sugar cookie but is still very pale all around. It will shrink slightly, but don’t worry, the recipe accounts for that. Cool completely before filling. Take care not to break it.

2

For tart filling:
Combine eggs, egg yolks, pinch of salt and sugar in a double boiler over barely simmering water. This concoction is called sabayon. Set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water.

3

Your sabayon will need to be cooked, while being constantly whisked to avoid scrambling of the eggs, for 8-10 mins total; make sure the internal temperature has reached 175°, at which point your eggs will be fully cooked and safe to eat. Add lemon juice in 3 additions through the cooking process. Turn off the heat, leave the bowl in a double boiler and start adding butter one tablespoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula constantly, waiting for each piece to incorporate, before adding the next piece. Strain into the bowl. Add the sour cream and mix it in well. Pour into the cooled tart and chill for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

4

Note: I typically use two eggs, but after giving this recipe some thought, and aiming to please the majority, I decided to add one more egg as it makes the texture more "set."

Ingredients

 3 eggs (see note)
 3 egg yolks
 ¾ cup sugar
  cup lemon juice
 1 stick butter
 6 tbsp sour cream
 pinch of salt
Tart Shell
 ½ cup icing sugar
 1 ½ cups flour
 1 ½ sticks butter
 ¼ tsp salt

Directions

1

For the tart shell:
Beat butter and sugar, add salt. Sift in flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Knead gently by hand and shape into a disk. Store in the fridge for half an hour but not more. Roll between two gently floured parchment paper sheets. Roll out to as best of a circle as you can which is slightly longer than diameter plus double the height of the tart shell. My tart pan was 10” in diameter and 1” in height; be sure to use a tart pan with a removable bottom. Therefore, I rolled my dough into a circle of just over 12” in diameter. Transfer this to the shell the best you can without breaking it. If it breaks, gently fix the dough by evenly pinching it with your finger. Take care to press it into all the crevasses of the tart shell. Make sure it’s all the same thickness. If you need to repair the top of the shell, add a piece of extra dough to the bottom of the shell and push it upwards. Roll clean rolling pin over the tart shell to cut off the excess dough. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet to avoid accidentally breaking it, dock with a fork and chill for at least 45 minutes. Bake @ 325° for 20-25 minutes (23 for me) until it just begins to brown like a sugar cookie but is still very pale all around. It will shrink slightly, but don’t worry, the recipe accounts for that. Cool completely before filling. Take care not to break it.

2

For tart filling:
Combine eggs, egg yolks, pinch of salt and sugar in a double boiler over barely simmering water. This concoction is called sabayon. Set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water.

3

Your sabayon will need to be cooked, while being constantly whisked to avoid scrambling of the eggs, for 8-10 mins total; make sure the internal temperature has reached 175°, at which point your eggs will be fully cooked and safe to eat. Add lemon juice in 3 additions through the cooking process. Turn off the heat, leave the bowl in a double boiler and start adding butter one tablespoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula constantly, waiting for each piece to incorporate, before adding the next piece. Strain into the bowl. Add the sour cream and mix it in well. Pour into the cooled tart and chill for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

4

Note: I typically use two eggs, but after giving this recipe some thought, and aiming to please the majority, I decided to add one more egg as it makes the texture more "set."

Tarte Au Citron – Lemon Tart
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