Simple Tangy Lemon Tart

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“One of those deceptively simple lemon tarts. There are hundreds of lemon tarts, but each has its own character. Do use fresh lemon juice for this one, and for a real tang, use lime juice. Adapted from a Gregg Wallace recipe. Prep time does not including chilling time for the pastry.”
1hr 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Pastry
  • 9 ounces flour (cake flour preferred, 250 g)
  • 2 12 ounces confectioners' sugar (icing sugar, 70 g)
  • 4 12 ounces butter, cold, cubed (125 g)
  • 2 egg yolks (keep the whites)
  • Filling
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 ounces superfine sugar (140 g caster sugar)
  • 14 pint thick fresh cream (150 ml)
  • 3 12 fluid oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed (100 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons, before squeezing)
  • 10 m vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Topping
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons superfine sugar (caster sugar)


  1. Pastry: Mix flour and sugar in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until crumbly.
  2. Mix in the egg yolks. If the pastry is still too dry, add a little water until it comes together. Roll into a ball, then flatten, wrap in clingwrap and chill at least 30 minutes.
  3. Filling: Beat all the ingredients for the filling, and stir in zest last. (If you're a perfectionist you could sieve the mixture before adding the zest, but I would not bother with that -- just remove all lemon pips from the juice).
  4. Flatten the pastry with your hands, and roll out thinly on a floured surface. Lift gently into a 9 inch/23 cm loose-bottomed tart tin (if you have one, or use an ordinary tart plate). Don't stretch the pastry, and pat it gently down on the bottom and sides and finish it off neatly.
  5. Heat oven to 325 deg F/160 deg C, and use a lower heat for fan/convection ovens. Prick the pastry a few times on the bottom with a fork, then line the pastry with foil and fill with rice or dried beans.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, discard the foil and beans, and bake another 20 minutes until biscuity.
  7. Remove from oven, pour in the lemon mixture and bake for a further 35 minutes until just set. (Check: ovens differ).
  8. Topping: Beat the egg whites until almost stiff, and then start adding the sugar tablespoon by tablespoon, whisking or beating until you have a stiff, shiny meringue.
  9. Heat your grill element, and briefly shove the pie under the grill, about 5 inches/ 13 cm from the heat. Check: just let the tops of the meringue start browning lightly.
  10. Remove the tart. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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