French Lemon Tart

Happy New Year! I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions. I am constantly striving to be the best I can and don’t need the added pressure of failing a resolution. As a mom, wife, daughter, and friend, I am always looking for ways to love more, empathize more, be kinder, and have more patience. That being said, the holidays always throw me into a frenzy. Every. Single. Year. Honestly, I thought I would blog straight through the holidays this year, piece of cake; obviously that didn’t happen. I cooked like crazy the past three weeks. I host a family Christmas Brunch for about 20; beer nog, mimosas, egg casserole, cinnamon buns, brisket, waffles made to order, and more. But, in the frenzy of the holiday, I just never found that pocket of time to do what I love, write and document about all of the cooking. I plan to work on that this year. So I guess if I make one resolution it will be to find the time to blog, even when it seems too hectic and crazy to do just that; I will stick my earphones in, turn the music up, cook, take pictures, and write.

This is the New Year – A Great Big World

I saw this recipe in this month’s Food & Wine. It reached out of the magazine and grabbed me; I’m not joking. It just sounded so fresh, bright and perfect for my first post of the New Year. I had a few dear friends and family members over last night for dinner and we shared the French Lemon Tart for dessert. It is an absolutely stunning dessert to serve to guests. Very tart, sweet and lemony.


French Lemon Tart adapted from Food & Wine, January 2014.

You’ll need:


  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups & 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (& more for dusting)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter diced


  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick & 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into tablespoons
  • lightly sweetened whipped cream (1 cup cream, teaspoon sugar, teaspoon vanilla extract – whip)




Whisk the cream with the egg yolk in a small bowl.



In a large bowl, mix the 1 1/4 cups & 2 tablespoons flour with the sugar and pinch of salt. With your hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.



Using a rubber spatula or spoon, carefully stir in the yolk mixture. Using your hands, knead the pastry until it just comes together (you may need to add a teaspoon of cold water, but be careful to not add too much).


Wrap in plastic, flatten to a disk and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray.

On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch circle. Carefully place the pastry in the tart pan, pressing it into the corners. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to cut off excess pastry. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.


Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper and beans and bake the tart for 15-20 minutes longer, until golden brown. Let cool completely.



In a heavy saucepan, combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and pinch of salt.


Whisk until smooth.


Set a bowl and a strainer near the stove. Cook the custard over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, whisking until incorporated.


Strain filling into the bowl.


Scrape strained filling into the cooled tart shell and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Remove the tart ring and serve with whipped cream.


There is something so special about serving something so beautiful to people you love.

Shopping notes: Organic lemons, eggs and cream purchased from Trader Joe’s. Yellow tulips also from Trader Joe’s. Braided placemat from Sur la Table. Crystal cake stand from Tiffany & Co.

Again, Happy New Year to you and yours! May this year bring many blessings both big and small.

Be sure to subscribe to the blog and follow on Twitter & Instagram! Use #TheIncidentalSpoon if you try any of the recipes I post! I already have some amazing numbers/recipes in the works for the new year!


3 thoughts on “French Lemon Tart

  1. That looks gorgeous! i can also fully appreciate being so busy cooking that you don’t have time to write or take pictures of your hard work. That and not finding the time to do all the photo editing — which takes me just as long as writing a post sometimes. *sigh* Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s