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Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart Related:   desserts & sweets, Europe, July 4th, pareve, Purim, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat, snacks, Sukkot, vegetarian

Prep time: 10 minutes for dough, 30 minutes for filling

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8-12 servings

One dessert at Le XXV and Korcarz, two kosher pastry shops in Paris, that you see in every pastry shop in city is the classic lemon tart, offered in every size from mini to large. When I had a dessert catering business in Geneva Switzerland in 1996 and 1997, it was one of my most popular orders. I decorate the top with thin lemon slices cut into quarters, placed as a border around the tart, or with a ring of fresh raspberries.



  • Pastry Dough
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 5 tablespoons parve margarine, frozen 30 minutes and then cut into tablespoons
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Lemon Cream
  • 3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (2 large lemons)
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 5 tablespoons parve margarine


  • To make the crust, place the flour, confectioner’s sugar and margarine into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Mix for 10 seconds, or until the mixture resembles sand. You can make this by hand by cutting the margarine into the dry ingredients using 2 knives. Add the egg yolk, water and vanilla and process until the dough comes together into a ball. Place dough on top of a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather into a ball, cover with the plastic and then flatten into a thick disk. Chill one hour in the freezer or overnight in the fridge.
  • To make the lemon cream, place the eggs, yolks and sugar into a heatproof bowl and set over a medium saucepan with simmering water (a double-boiler). Add the lemon juice and zest to the bowl, whisking occasionally until a thick mixture is formed. This takes approximately 25 minutes. Be patient and do not stir too much. If the water in the saucepan boils too fast, turn down the heat.
  • Remove bowl from the heat and whisk in the margarine a tablespoon at a time. Cool for 10 minutes and then cover with plastic and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Grease an 8-inch tart ring or pan, with or without a removable bottom, with a little margarine and place on parchment on a cookie sheet.
  • Remove the dough from the freezer and let sit at room temperature until it softens a little so it can be rolled. Place a piece of plastic wrap larger than the tart ring on the counter and sprinkle with flour. Cover with a piece of parchment and, on top of the parchment, roll out the dough until it is at least one inch larger than the tart ring.  Place your hand under the plastic, lift the dough and place in the tart ring using your finger to gently press the dough into the corners. Remove plastic and use a rolling pin to roll over the top to trim off the excess dough.
  • Freeze 10 minutes. Line dough with foil and beans or pie weights.Bake for 20 minutes. Lift up the edges of the foil to remove foil and weights and bake another 5 minutes. Remove ring and allow to cool. This can be made in advance and frozen, wrapped in plastic, until ready to fill.  Be careful with the crust—it is delicate.
  • Preheat oven to 450° degrees. Scoop the lemon cream into the baked tart shell and spread evenly. Bake for 5 minutes to set the cream. Allow to cool and then chill until serving, at least 4 hours. The tart is best when chilled several hours or a day before serving. To serve, decorate the top with thin slices of lemon or fresh fruit.

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