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tarte au citron / lemon tart recipe from les petits farcis cooking school in nice


Look 👀 I saved you a slice of this wonderful lemon tart.  I love this recipe, both for the bright sweet/tart flavor in the simple lemon curd filling made with extra virgin olive oil as well as the tender cookie-like press in tart crust, also made using olive oil.  Just what we need on one of our warm summer days, a slice of homemade lemon tart served chilled from the refrigerator.  I served my tart with a spoonful of crème fraîche on top but whipped cream would also work well.  I also used Meyer lemons 🍋  for the lemon curd filling, which is always a nice option for lemon curd.  I strain my lemon curd which adds an extra step but handily removes any pieces of cooked egg whites to ensure a silky smooth lemon tart filling.

Tarte au citron is back in my dessert rotation thanks to this simple straightforward recipe from Rosa Jackson at Les Petits Farcis cooking school in Nice.  I was fortunate to attend a day long cooking school experience while in France for a wedding in July.

Ingredients and Recipe for Tarte au Citron
Serves 6-8

Tart Crust

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
3&1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg yolk


3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
finely grated zest of one lemon
2/3 cup lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Crème fraîche or whipped cream for serving-optional but good.

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Make the Crust

Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the flour, confectioners sugar and the salt together in a large bowl.
Stir in pieces of the room temperature butter and using your fingers blend the mixture together.
Add the rest of the flour and continue to mix with your hand, the mixture will not quite come together.
Stir the olive oil and the yolk together in a small bowl and pour it into the flour mixture, mixing everything together until the ingredients become a dough ball.  This is a simple but rewarding technique for making tart dough, I really like the premix using the small amount of flour to start.

Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" tart pan, trim the edge if necessary.

Bake the crust for about 12 minutes or until nicely browned, let the crust cool while making the filling.

Make the Filling

Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt in a medium size heavy saucepan.  Add the eggs and egg yolks, whisk to blend.  Place the pan over a medium heat and continue whisking to blend.  You must continue to whisk while cooking so as to not allow the mixture to boil, no boiling as you don't want the mixture to stick or burn in the pan.  Eventually after about 10 or so of babysitting this mixture with your whisk, you will notice the color lighten, a thickening of the mixture and a few small bubbles on top, hoorah you're ready to whisk in the butter.  If you want to check the temperature of the lemon filling look for 160F before removing from the heat.
After removing from the heat, add the butter one piece at a time, whisking until each piece disappears into the filling.  Whisk in the olive oil and strain into a clean bowl.  Pour the filling into the baked tart crust and refrigerate for at least one hour or the filling sets.  Serve the tart cold with crème fraîche on top.

The tart is best the day it's made but I personally would not turn away day old lemon 🍋 tart.


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