Explore Leiths Diploma Open House – 5th June 2024


Lemon Tart

A zingy citrus summer tart, serve in delicate wedges with a dollop of crème fraiche.


Serves 6

1 quantity pâte sucrée
Extra flour, to dust

For the filling
3 lemons
6 eggs, plus 1 extra yolk
150–170g caster sugar
225ml double cream
Icing sugar, to dust


  1. To make the filling, finely grate the zest of the lemons and squeeze the juice; you will need about 100–125ml juice. Put the eggs and extra yolk into a large bowl, add 150g of the sugar and, using a balloon whisk, mix well. Add the cream, zest and juice, and stir until combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2–3 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavours to develop.
  2. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface to a disc about 30cm in diameter and about 3mm thick. Use to line the loose-based flan tin or flan ring set on a baking sheet. Cover with cling film and chill until very firm to the touch, 20–30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190°C/ gas mark 5.
  3. Blind bake the pastry case for 15–20 minutes, ensuring the paper is pushed well into the corners of the pastry and the excess paper is folded over the edge of the pastry case, to help prevent the pastry from browning. Remove the beans and paper, taking care as the pastry will still be very soft, and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/gas mark 2.
  4. Taste the filling. If it seems too sharp, add some or all of the remaining sugar, to taste. Strain into a jug and pour the filling into the pastry case, filling it about half full. Transfer the tart to the oven and pour in more filling until the tart is as full as possible. Bake for 40–50 minutes until almost set, with a very soft wobble across the surface. A violent ripple across the middle of the filling indicates it is not set.
  5. Take the tart out of the oven as soon as the filling is set, allow it to cool a little, then carefully remove the sides of the tin or flan ring. Leave to cool completely.
  6. Dust the surface of the tart with icing sugar before serving. You can glaze the icing sugar dusting using a kitchen blowtorch if you wish, but take care not to burn the pastry.

It is best to prepare the filling for this tart a day in advance, to enable the zest to impart more flavour, but if you are short of time, 2–3 hours will be sufficient. You will need a 24cm loose-based flan tin (or ring).