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Lemon Cream Tart

I have posted this recipe and several variations multiple times but the lemon cream is so good it’s time to post it again. Recipes get lost in the volumes of pages on the blog and are all but forgotten. This creamy lemon filling has been used in cakes, to stabilize whipped cream and as is the case here in a tart. I love just eating it on its own, it’s that good!! You can use other fruit and fruit juice besides lemon, I’ve made this with blackberry, orange, raspberry. It always turns out delicious.

The recipe is from Tartine Bakery and I saw it years ago on Food52. Its super easy to make and has always turned out perfectly. The only change I made was that I added some lemon zest to make the lemon flavor even more intense. I used my go too pie crust by Julia Child and whipped some heavy cream for the top, it would be equally good with meringue.

Lemon Cream

 Recipe for Tartine Bakery’s Lemon Cream

Makes about 2 1/2 cups (625 ml)

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (5 oz/155 ml) lemon juice (Meyer or regular)

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

3/4 cup (6 oz/170 g) sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup (8 oz/225 g) unsalted butter

zest of 2 lemons (0ptional)

Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.

Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, whole eggs, yolk, sugar, and salt in a stainless steel bowl that will rest securely in the rim of a saucepan over, not touching, the water. (Never let the egg yolks and sugar sit together for more than a moment without stirring; the sugar will cook the yolks and turn them granular.) Place the bowl over the saucepan and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180° F on a thermometer. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. If you don’t have or trust your thermometer, don’t worry. It should thicken to the point that your whisk leaves a trail through the curd. NOTE: I don’t use a thermometer, the lemon mixture will thicken and coat the back of the spoon, draw a line on the back of the spoon with your finger, the line will stay intact. It took about 11 minutes for mine to thicken properly.

Remove the bowl from over the water and let cool to 140° F, stirring from time to time to release the heat.

Meanwhile, cut butter into 1-tablespoon (15-ml) pieces. When the cream is ready, leave it in the bowl if using an immersion blender, or pour it into a countertop blender. With the blender running, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition until incorporated before adding the next piece. The cream will be pale yellow and opaque and quite thick.

You can use the cream immediately, or pour it into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days.


18 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is a beautiful lemon cream!! I can imagine lots of different uses for it, and I love everything about lemons!! I’m glad you posted again, since I did not see it before. 🙂

    May 1, 2018
  2. Happy 🌷 May 🌷 Day

    Perfect recipe
    For a
    Perfect day


    May 1, 2018
  3. Beautiful lemon tart, lemons are one of my favorite flavors this time of year.

    May 1, 2018
  4. Maria DeBrango Stickel #

    Looks so good!

    Sent from my iPhone

    May 1, 2018
  5. Yumolicious. 🍃🍋

    May 1, 2018
  6. I love lemon tarts and this one looks so yummy!

    May 2, 2018
  7. It looks so good and perfect for a spring dessert. Mmm, you did it again, Suzanne. You made me hungry.

    May 2, 2018
  8. My tree is bursting with Meyer lemons, I have to try this recipe. Thank you!

    May 2, 2018
  9. Liz #

    wow – those photos are jaw-droppingly stunning. Gorgeous! Fun to see that you are still here and doing your thing 🙂

    May 2, 2018
  10. This tart looks very lovely Suzanne 🙂

    May 2, 2018
  11. It looks delicious, Suzanne. I can just imagine that tart lemon in contrast to the smooth creamy texture. Hugs.

    May 4, 2018
  12. Ooh la la! I love this. 🙂

    May 4, 2018
  13. Oooh, this sounds amazing Suzanne! My Meyer lemons are almost ripe too!

    May 7, 2018
  14. I’m really not a lemon “freak” but this sounds so good with the lemon cream. And it’s too pretty!

    May 8, 2018
  15. This is truly beautiful Suzanne! I totally agree with the extra lemon zest to up the lemon flavor! And love that it’s so versatile to be done with other fruits. I’m pinning it to make this summer!! thanks. And– we’ve been to Tartine a few times, usually for breakfast treats. But I’m looking for slice of tart next time!! Hope you are doing well. Any neighborhood celebrations lately?? How’s work? and are you still doing the Air B n B?? We stayed at 3 of them traveling with our kids the last couple weeks– such a good experience. hugs hugs friend.

    May 8, 2018
  16. Oh, wow! Looks absolutely scrumptious!

    May 8, 2018
  17. Wow, this is lovely! I like the idea of using this for different flavors. I think orange might be like a creamsicle!

    May 11, 2018
  18. What a pretty tart–looks so yummy!

    May 13, 2018

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