Lemon Tart Recipe

Lemon Tart Recipe
By The Cooking World, Editorial Staff
January 29, 2021

Heston Blumenthal Lemon Tart Recipe

Crisp pastry, the velvety filling, the brisk citrus sharpness as you bite in - not much beats a good lemon tart. Today we decided to share with you our favorite Lemon Tart Recipe from one of our favorite cookbooks - Heston Blumenthal at Home, that we'll review next Monday.

The key to making the perfect lemon tart is to make the filling as smooth as possible. It has to be at the point where it's just set and no more. If the custard is overcooked it will be too heavy and if it's undercooked it will collapse. Reaching that precise level of set can be tricky. The conventional way to check for this is the 'Wobble Test' - shaking the tart to see whether it's firm enough. But how do you describe this in a recipe? The answer is a digital thermometer. Using the thermometer to take the filling to 62 ºC and then 70 ºC will always guarantee you a perfectly cooked Lemon Tart.

40 minutes
1 hour 15 minutes
10 - 12


For the Pastry

120 g icing sugar
3 large egg yolks
300 g (2 cups) all puropse flour
150 g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter
3.5 g (1/2 teaspoon) fine sea salt
1/2 vanilla pod
Zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated

For the Filling

Finely grated zest and juice of 5 lemons
300 g double cream
390 g white granulated sugar
9 large eggs
1 large egg yolk

To Finish and Serve

80 g white granulated sugar
Crème fraiche

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  1. To start the pastry, blitz together the icing sugar and egg yolks in a tall container with a hand blender.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to mix the flour, butter, and salt on low speed until it resembles fine cornmeal, approximately 2 - 3 minutes. Add the vanilla seeds and lemon zest, then add egg yolk mixture and continue to mix on low speed until fully combined and a very soft dough has formed, approximately 3 - 5 minutes.
  3. Mold the dough into a flat rectangle and wrap it in clingfilm before placing in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. Roll the pastry between two sheets of greaseproof paper to a thickness of 2mm (0.5"), then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF).
  6. Remove the dough from the freezer, peel back the top layer of greaseproof paper and trim the pastry to 5 - 10cm (2" to 4") larger than the diameter of the tart tin. Wind the pastry on to the rolling pin, removing the other layer of paper as you go.
  7. Line the pastry case with scrunched greaseproof paper and beans. Place in the oven to blind-bake for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, remove the paper and its contents, and return the tart case to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Take the tart case out of the oven and allow to cool a little. Trim de overhanging pastry by running a sharp knife around the top of the tart tin and discard. Leave to cool completely.
  9. When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 120ºC, and place the baked pastry case in the oven to warm up.
  10. Place all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix together using a spatula. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to allow to warm up until the temperature reaches 62ºC. At this point, strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug. With a spoon, remove the bubbles from the surface of the liquid.
  11. Slide the oven rack out a bit, then pour the mixture into the warm pastry case inside the oven. Fill the case to the top, slide the rack carefully back in, and bake the tart for approximately 25 minutes or until the temperature of the filling reaches 70ºC. Allow to cool completely at room temperature.
  12. Just before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on top of the tart. Using a blow-torch, gently caramelize the sugar while continuing to sprinkle further sugar on top. Serve with crème fraiche.
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