Lemon Lover's Tart

Lemon is one of Patricia Wells' preferred winter flavors, and this rich creamy tart is the perfect ending to a festive family dinner. The lemon curd filling thickens slowly as it cooks; you may find the hand beating a bit tedious, but once you sample the results, you'll feel it was worth it. The tart can be prepared several hours in advance and requires no last-minute fussing, making it ideal for entertaining.

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  • Servings: 8

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  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 8 tablespoons
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons, blanced and refreshed (See Note)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, strained
  • Lemon Pastry Shell
  • Fine strips of lemon zest, blanched and refreshed, for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. In the top of a nonreactive double boiler set over but not touching simmering water, combine the eggs, egg yolks and sugar. Whisk frequently until the mixture is thick and pale yellow, about 10 minutes.

  2. Whisk in the butter, piece by piece, allowing each piece to melt before adding the next. Add the grated zest and lemon juice and whisk frequently until the mixture is thick and the first bubbles appear, about 10 minutes longer; do not let boil.

  3. Pour the filling into the Lemon Pastry Shell. Smooth the top with a spatula. Set the tart aside at room temperature until the filling firms up, about 30 minutes, before unmolding and serving. Garnish with the strips of lemon zest, if desired.


To blanch lemon zest, boil it in water for 3 minutes; drain, rinse in cold water to refresh it and drain.

Contributed By Published October 1996

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