This is not the first time I’ve posted a recipe of a French lemon tart, and in fact this recipe – right down to its gluten-free crust – is an exact replica of my first lemon tart post. The difference is that I’m showing you an end result that is as pleasing visually as it is gastronomically. The first lemon tart was delicious, but between my using a pan that was too small so that the lemon filling spilled over on the stove and the unsuccessful attempt at removing the finished product from the pan, the end-result was not likely to make everyone rush right out and try and make a lemon tart.
You, however, should totally rush right out to make a lemon tart because it is that good. I’ve had french people tell me they don’t usually like lemon tarts, but they like this one; and they’ve also said they were surprised to learn I hadn’t bought it in a patisserie.
(Ha! polishes nails)
Okay, the thing is, you can make this crust with gluten-free flour or regular flour. It will work well with both. However, this is one tart that I wouldn’t make with a pre-made crust because the salty-sweet flavor in the crust is what sets off the lemon flavor to perfection. For gluten-free flours, if you’re not familiar, I like Bob’s Red Mill GF flour mix in the US, the Dove brand in the UK, and Schar in Germany and France. I made mine with Dove’s fiber GF flour mix, which is why it’s brown. I figured it would work well in this recipe, and it did. You can make it with white, of course.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F, or if your oven heats overly well (like mine) 325°. Then put the crust ingredients in the cuisinant: 2.5 cups flour, 1/2c butter, 1/3c ground almonds, an egg, a heaping 1/2 cup confectioner sugar, a scant teaspoon of large grain sea salt (this is important if you can get it – if not, use a half-teaspoon of regular salt).
Mix it up and add a tablespoon of water (if needed) to form a ball. Place the dough on a large piece of wax paper and sprinkle some more flour – whatever type you used – on top. I also like to roll gluten-free crust by placing another piece of wax paper on top so that it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin. Here it is.
The great thing about having the wax paper underneath is that you can slide it right on to the pan. I used a 25 centimetre quiche pan with pretty deep sides. You’ll want to cut off the extra crust, then cut the wax paper so it’s no longer than the sides of the pan.
A word about the extra crust. It actually makes quite a bit extra, and you could re-roll it and put it on the bottom of a smaller pie pan and make a simple apple tart, recipe here.
Prick the bottom with a fork and put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Check that it’s cooked, but not overly brown.
Let it cool for an hour, then prepare the crust ingredients. You’ll need the zest of four lemons.
Whisk 4 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks. It’s better that they’re room temperature so that when you add the melted butter, it doesn’t congeal. To the eggs, add the zest, 3/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice – for me this was the four large lemons pictured here – 1 and 1/3 cup sugar and 3.5 oz melted butter. I added the butter last and mixed it all together.
Place the pan on a baking sheet since the filling is so runny. You want to handle it without risking a spill.
Then you’d best cover the exposed crust with aluminum foil because you don’t want it to burn while the filling cooks.
Put the tart in the oven for at least 20 minutes. I had the heat on low – barely 325°C because the last time my tart burned, and the total cook time was closer to 35 minutes. I also turned the tart at least one to ensure that it cooked evenly. The filling should not be runny at all when you gently shake the pan. This is what it looks like when it comes out.
When it’s fully cooled, sprinkle confectioner sugar on top.
And there you have your lemon tart. It’s good – oh, so good.
Eat it warm, eat it cold, eat it with coffee, eat it with tea … no matter!
Just eat it. 🙂
- 2.5 cups flour (250 g) - gluten-free or regular
- a heaping ½ c confectioner sugar (80g)
- ⅓ cup ground almonds (30g)
- ½ cup cold butter (125 g)
- one egg
- a scant teaspoon of large-grain sea salt. If you can't get that, use a half-teaspoon of regular
- 1 Tablespoon of cold water (optional, but probably necessary)
- 8 eggs, room temperature (you'll need 4 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks)
- zest and juice of 4 large lemons (juice = ¾ cup)
- 3.5 oz butter melted (100g)
- 1⅓ cup sugar (250g)
- confectioner sugar for sprinkling on top
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F or 180°C
- Blend the crust ingredients in the Cuisinart, adding a Tablespoon of cold water if needed to form a ball.
- Roll the crust out between wax paper, and slide it on to a 25cm quiche pan with deep sides.
- Cut the extra crust off the sides, then cut the extra wax paper.
- Poke holes with fork tines on bottom.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Let the crust cool for an hour.
- Separate four eggs and put those yolks plus 4 whole eggs in a bowl.
- Zest, then juice 4 lemons.
- Whisk all that together.
- Add the sugar, then melted butter and whisk.
- Place the cooled crust on a baking sheet, then pour the filling inside the crust.
- Protect the exposed crust with aluminum foil.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 325°F for 20-35 minutes until the inside is no longer runny.
- When cool sprinkle confectioner sugar on top.