Crisp pastry, velvety filling, brisk citrus sharpness as you bite in – not much beats a good lemon tart by Heston Blumenthal.


  • For the pastry

  • 120g Icing sugar

  • 3 Large egg yolks

  • 300g Plain flour

  • 150g Unsalted butter

  • ½ tsp Salt

  • Seeds from ½ vanilla pod

  • Zest of ½ lemon, finely grated

  • For the filling

  • Finely grated zest and juice of 5 lemons

  • 300g Double cream

  • 390g White caster sugar

  • 9 Large eggs

  • 1 Large egg yolk

  • To finish and serve

  • 80g Unrefined caster sugar

  • Crème fraiche


  • 1.

    To start the pastry, blitz together the icing sugar and egg yolks in a tall container with a hand blender.

  • 2.

    Use a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to mix the flour, butter and salt on low speed until it resembles fine cornmeal (approximately 2–3 minutes). Add the vanilla seeds and lemon zest, then add the egg yolk mixture and continue to mix on low speed until fully combined and a very soft dough has formed (approximately 3–5 minutes).

  • 3.

    Mould the dough into a flat rectangle and wrap it in clingfilm before placing in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

  • 4.

    Roll the pastry between two sheets of greaseproof paper to a thickness of 2mm, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

  • 5.

    Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.

  • 6.

    Line a 20cm tart tin (2cm deep) with the pastry as per the instructions on pp.301–3, prick the base with a fork, then place back in the freezer for 10 minutes.

  • 7.

    Line the pastry case with scrunched greaseproof paper and beans. Place in the oven to blind-bake for 30 minutes.

  • 8.

    After 30 minutes, remove the paper and its contents, and return the tart case to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Take the tart case out of the oven and allow to cool a little. Trim the overhanging pastry by running a sharp knife round the top of the tart tin and discard. Leave to cool completely.

  • 9.

    When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 120ºC, and place the baked pastry case in the oven to warm up.

  • 10.

    Place all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix together using a spatula. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and allow to warm up until the temperature reaches 62ºC. At this point, strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug. With a spoon, remove the bubbles from the surface of the liquid.

  • 11.

    Slide the oven rack out a bit, then pour the mixture into the warm pastry case inside the oven. Fill the case to the top, slide the rack carefully back in, and bake the tart for approximately 25 minutes or until the temperature of the filling reaches 70ºC. Allow to cool completely at room temperature.

  • 12.

    Just before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on top of the tart. Using a blow-torch, gently caramelize the sugar while continuing to sprinkle further sugar on top.

  • 13.

    Serve with crème fraiche.


The conventional way to check the level of set for this recipe is the ‘Wobble Test’ – shaking the tart to see whether it’s firm enough. The most accurate way however is a digital probe. If you use a probe to take the filling to 62ºC and then 70ºC, it should be spot-on.

This recipe is from Heston Blumenthal at Home, RRP $65.00, published by Bloomsbury.

Like this recipe? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more recipes like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice

Metric Converter

Tell us what you think in the comments below


Sign Out

Click to Rate

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

5 5 5 5 5
Average Rating
3 comments • 1 rating
Please login to comment
Posted by Carol272Report
the tart has 3 problems there is enough mixture to make 2 x30cm tarts not one 20cm tart.To much sugar 390 grms is 4 1/2 cups 1 1/2 is plenty.The pastry will make 2 x30cm tarts.
You could cut the recipe by half or be prepared to make 2 tarts.The pastry and lemon custard in this tart is well worth the effort brilliant,taste loverly texture & enough to fead a large party.
Posted by Report
Carol there is 200 grams of sugar in a cup, so the recipe calls for less than 2 cups. A 23cm tart tin may be the better option.
Posted by Report
I found the pastry quite hard to make, although pastry is not my forte. My mother and I have been looking for the "perfect" lemon tart recipe. I must say this is it. I absolutely love the lemon filling. Perfect balance of tang and sweetness. It also sets perfectly. :)