Putting the “me” in “Lemon Tart”

Michelle has made a myriad of pies—from savory meat to sweet, sweet berry. A cavalcade of crusts, fillings, flutes and folds have traveled through her hands; hundreds upon hundreds of recipes have filtered through her head. So when the mood strikes Michelle for something sweet (and that mood strikes very, very often whether she acts on it or not), she can take ingredients on hand and pop out a pie. This little lemon tart is one such synthesis. It made a recent appearance in our kitchen, as we’re still awaiting the arrival of local fruits. If you keep discs of pâte sucrée in your freezer as we often do (and you certainly should) the filling is a snap, so you can have a sweet tart treat in no time.

Michelle’s great-grandmother’s yellow rose, making its very brief annual appearance.


  • Prebaked 8″ or 9″ tart shell filled with Payard’s Sweet Tart Dough or another pâte sucreé
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • Finely grated zest (as with a Microplane) of 2 or 3 lemons
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1/4 c. mascarpone cheese
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Beat eggs, yolks and sugar together.  Add lemon juice and zest, beating until incorporated.  Beat in cream and mascarpone.  When thoroughly mixed, add to the tart shell.

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 20 minutes, until filling is set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Dust the cooled tart with confectioners’ sugar.

Serve with whipped cream—or, as we did, with cream whipped with a bit of mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar.


  1. You’re pulling a backward “me” out of “lemon” — I like that. I need to come see those roses one day. That’s some generational mojo, right there.

  2. What a beautiful lemon tart! I make a really, really tart one that has no cream or cheese . . . but mascarpone? Genius! Omg, that must make it taste so good! I am totally inspired now. Looks amazing!

    • Thanks! Have you heard the Stump the Cook game on The Splendid Table radio show? That’s what life around here is usually like. OMG, I bought that mascarpone for I forgot what and the expiration date is upon us…

      • Oh, I’ve done that! I have to admit that since I started cooking for myself more, I have gotten a little scarily cavalier about expiration dates.

        I figure that I am only really poisoning myself!

        The Splendid Table is awesome. I always feel a little dirty though listening to that woman talk about food. I don’t remember the Stump the Cook segment. I should definitely listen more often, but it just makes me so hungry!

  3. I love tartes au citron, but haven’t actually made one myself…and I tend to have pâte sucreé in the freezer, so I’ll have to try this next time the urge strikes!

    • Oh, thanks! I’ve used a biscuit/cookie pastry before—pushed it into the tart with fingers. I was really surprised how well this recipe worked, though. Sometimes those sweet crusts can be a terror.

  4. Pingback: Lemon Tart, a Mother’s Day disaster in the kitchen « inasmallkitchen

  5. I’m a picky dessert eater, but a real lemon tart is a joy to taste–and the mascarpone is a wrinkle I haven’t tried before. I’ll give this one a shot! Thanks. Ken

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