These super tasty lemon tarts are dancing with flavour and a more straightforward and lighter version of the classic French tarte au citron (lemon tart) recipe.
The inspiration for this recipe…..
Lemons and summer are a marriage made in heaven.
While I adore tarte au citron I often can’t be bothered with the faff of making the custard filling. My super easy lemon tarts are made with a lemon syrup that basically makes itself mixed with eggs and poured into your deliciously tasty almond pie crusts.
Homemade lemon tartlets are the perfect way to finish off a meal with friends. They are sophisticated enough for a supper party but easy enough to whip out with a cuppa in the afternoon!
Ingredients for lemon tarts
Lemons – go for unwaxed lemons if you want but quite frankly I buy standard lemons and just give them a good scrub in soapy water with a nail brush and then rinse under cold water and pat dry – voila – unwaxed lemons!
Sugar – I use caster sugar here but you can use granulated sugar if that’s all you have. Just don’t use brown sugar as it has too strong a flavour which would swamp the lemon flavour in these delicate lemon tarts.
Butter – must be cold butter for making pasty.
Flour – plain flour (all-purpose flour in USA) for pastry please. we don’t want things to rise in the oven, merely bake.
Ground almonds – they add flavour and a bit of texture to the pastry cases for your lemon tarts.
Eggs – free-range eggs of course and as usual I use medium-sized eggs as that’s what my hens lay and they work well with this recipe.
Other ingredients – just a little salt and a dash of water.
The complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this recipe can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make lemon tarts
This is a super easy recipe for lemon tart and it is in 2 parts. You want to start your no-cook lemon syrup the day before you are going to make this cheats tarte au citron recipe.
Simply slice up your lemons as thin as you possibly can (discarding the pips) and place them in a bowl with almost all of the sugar. Give them a stir-around to make sure all the lemon slices are totally covered in the sugar and cover the bowl with cling film.
Set this aside on the kitchen counter overnight. The sugar will dissolve making a deliciously tangy lemon syrup with the juice from those lemons and the skins of the lemons will soften too.
Making the pastry
Your lemon tarts will require a pastry case of course. I am mixing some ground almonds with the plain flour in my pastry for a more decadent flavour. You can just up the amount of plain flour if you don’t want to use the ground almonds.
Place the flour, ground almonds, sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl and gently rub the butter into the dry mixture till it forms a breadcrumb-like mixture.
Separate one egg and save the egg white for another use. You can freeze egg white for making meringues at a later date.
Mix the yolk with the water and then add this to your pastry mix and bring it all together with your hands.
Press the pastry dough into buttered tart tins (or one big one if you are making one full-sized lemon tart and pop into the fridge for at least half an hour for the pastry to cool down.
Prick the bottoms of the tarts and blind bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes till the edges have just turned golden.
Making the lemon tart filling
Your bowl of lemons and sugar should now be a lovely thick lemony syrup. Fish out the slices of lemon and set these aside for later and give the lemon syrup a good stir.
Add the eggs to the syrup and beat in well.
Carefully fill the tart cases with the lemon tart filling and pop back into the oven for about 15 minutes till just set.
Now add a slice of the lemon to the top of the lemon filling and put the tarts back in the oven again for about 10 – 15 minutes till they are completely set and just browning lightly here and there.
Allow the lemon tarts to cool before removing them from the tins.
How to make even easier lemon tarts.
If you really can’t be bothered making your own pastry for these lemon tarts you can always use ready-rolled sweet pastry or even ready-made tart cases.
But quite honestly making your own pastry with the added ground almonds really isn’t difficult and really well worth the effort I promise you.
How many lemon tarts does this make?
I got 7 lemon tartlets from this recipe or these ingredients would make one big cheats tarte at citron/lemon tart.
Your lemon tarts will keep in a sealed box for a few days, but I bet they won’t last that long as these little treats are seriously moreish.
How to serve tarte au citron
Serve these luscious lemon tartlets very simply with a cup of tea.
Have a lemon tart with a glass of homemade limoncello in the sunshine.
Or serve as a delightful dessert after a meal, either on their own or maybe with a dollop of really good vanilla ice-cream (or my homemade lemon ice-cream) on the side.
Looking for more lovely lemon recipes to try? Then check these out before you go;
And if you want to use lemons in other ways, check out my Top Ten Uses For Lemons At Home.
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Easy Lemon Tarts (cheats tarte au citron)
- 7 8cm/3" tartlet tins or 1 x 25cm/10" tart tin
- 2 small lemons
- 375 g caster sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 200 g plain flour
- 50 g ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp water cold
- 4 medium eggs plus
- 1 medium egg yolk
- Finely slice the lemons paper thin and place in bowl with all but 1 tbsp of the sugar, mix, cover and leave overnight
- preheat oven to 180C and grease 6 x tartlet tins or one large tart tin
- Put all dry ingredients in a bowl with the butter and rub in with fingers till you get crumb-like mixture
- Mix egg yolk with water and add to dough bringing it all together
- Press dough into tart tins and chill for 30 mins to 1 hour
- Prick the tarts with a fork and blind bake for 15 minutes till golden
- Remove lemons from the syrup, stir well and whisk in the eggs, pour this into the tart cases and bake again for 15 mins till set
- Add a slice of lemon to each tart and bake again for 10-15 mins till lightly browned, remove from oven, cool and remove from tart tins