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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.


50 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
    • Hi Jenny, thank you so much and so sorry for the delay in responding. Me too about lemons love them in both savory and sweet foods!!

      May 24, 2018
  2. hocuspocus13 #

    Happy 🌷 May 🌷 Day

    Perfect recipe
    For a
    Perfect day


    May 1, 2018
    • I’m so sorry for not responding sooner, a happy belated Mothers Day and thank you so much.

      May 24, 2018
  3. Beautiful lemon tart, lemons are one of my favorite flavors this time of year.

    May 1, 2018
    • Thank you so much Dyanna. Lemons taste like summer and the bright yellow is like sunshine. Love them!!

      May 24, 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
    • Hi Mary and thank you so much. Hope all well, aren’t lemons the best!!

      May 24, 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
    • Hi Liz, yes still around although I am still struggling with inspiration. Have to check out your site. I’ve been so bad lately. Thank you so much.

      May 24, 2018
  10. This tart looks very lovely Suzanne 🙂

    May 2, 2018
  11. Aweehiggledypiggledy #

    This recipe looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it!!!

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

    May 4, 2018
    • Too bad it has eggs, it is delicious and has such a lovely tart sweet flavor. Thank you so much Teagan.

      May 24, 2018
  13. Ooh la la! I love this. 🙂

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

    May 7, 2018
    • Oh another one with a Meyer lemon tree, so jealous. Thank you so much Margot!!

      May 24, 2018
  15. I’m really not a lemon “freak” but this sounds so good with the lemon cream. And it’s too pretty!

    May 8, 2018
    • Oh I do love lemon, the lemon cream is delicious and creamy. Thanks so much Mimi!

      May 24, 2018
  16. 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
    • Hi Rhonda, yes amped up lemon flavor is the way to go IMHO!! I haven’t planned any neighborhood activities this summer at least not yet. Yes still doing air Bnb I am booked pretty consistently. I wish I travelled and if I did would definitely do air Bnb!! Hope all is well and thank you so much.

      May 24, 2018
      • Hi Suzanne– So it sounds like you are keeping busy– I’m sure your place is so cozy and welcoming– and Brooklyn is such a popular place to visit!! We stayed in Air BnB’s in Hong Kong and Japan. The one in Tokyo was a house only 8 feet wide!! Everything in it was shiny new and high tech. And then in Kyoto we stayed in an old traditional house Air BnB with slides panel walls and table and beds on the floor. It was beautiful. Been missing your posts– but I know you have a lot gong on… hugs hugs!

        May 24, 2018
      • Both places sound great! How cute to stay in such a tiny house. It’s all the rage now!! I will be posting soon. Thanks so much Rhonda I really appreciate your kindness and support.

        May 24, 2018
      • Love your blog Suzanne. xo

        May 26, 2018
  17. Oh, wow! Looks absolutely scrumptious!

    May 8, 2018
  18. 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
    • I love creamsicles, it was my favorite even as a child. The orange with vanilla was so delicious. Also a fan of Orange Julius!! I love cooking or baking with citrus. Thanks so much Mollie.

      May 24, 2018
      • They were my fave, too! I am going to have to check and see if they still make those!!

        May 24, 2018
  19. What a pretty tart–looks so yummy!

    May 13, 2018
  20. I’m a lover of all things lemon and know I would enjoy a slice of your lemon cream tart. Thanks for sharing…I’ve pinned it.

    June 2, 2018
  21. Your lemon cream tart looks super delicious! I love the pics!

    September 23, 2018
  22. Christine Tan #

    Beautiful tart. I have a quick question for you about the recipe – does this lemon cream slice neatly? I am looking for a lemon tart filling that is sturdy enough to slice clean without too much spillage (some is okay) for presentation sake. Everything I’ve read about Tartine’s lemon cream is very positive, but I want to be sure it will present well too. Thanks!

    November 28, 2018
    • Hi Christine; it stays together pretty well. Some spillage but minimal. You could add a little more butter and that would make it stiffer. It is delicious and is something I make all the time. Thank you so much!!

      November 28, 2018

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  1. Lemon Cream Tart | homethoughtsfromabroad626
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