“When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your darn lemons, what the heck am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”  – J.K. Simmons

Tarte au Citron

Tarte au Citron, French Lemon Tart

Or you could just make Tarte au Citron 😉

I go back and forth between what I love more – chocolate or lemon desserts. I think my “students” at Pie Ranch during our French cooking class were equally torn between the two. Sometimes it’s nice to have both! Pourquoi pas? We made strawberry, lemon, and chocolate tarts plus an extra strawberry-rhubarb lattice pie for fun. And we drank a lot of wine in the process (that’s my kind of cooking class). We thoroughly reveled in turning lemons into lemon pie!

Most people shy away from making tarts or pies that have a custard filling because they assume it’s going to be a lot of work. This one is very easy – there is no extra cooking over the stove top.

Notice how we are eating multiple types of tarts here! Fun!

Lemon Tart at the Pie Ranch table

Tarte au Citron, Tarte au Fraises, and Tarte au Chocolat at Pie Ranch

Crème fraîche adds a little extra tang which I love and it makes the filling creamier than a traditional buttery lemon curd. I thinly slice a lemon and place on top of filling for extra decoration. Using a mandoline works best for this. Don’t worry if they sink to the bottom they will float to the top while cooking.

Tarte au Citron: Lemon Tart


  • Pâte Brisée or Shortcrust (see link under instructions)
  • 2 lemons, zested (preferably Meyer lemons)
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 4 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks

For pâte brisée or shortcrust recipe click here: http://www.amyglaze.com/pate-brisee-shortcrust/

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Blind bake tart shell (instructions are included with recipe above) about 15 minutes until the edges are set and dry.

Whisk together the sugar and lemon zest and crème fraîche. Beat in the eggs and yolks into the mixture one at a time. Thinly slice one lemon (and take out any seeds) and place slices on bottom of tart shell. Pour filling over. The slices will rise to the top as it cooks. Bake for 20 minutes until the filling is just set.

To check for doneness: ff there is a small jiggly quarter size of filling left in the center then that's perfectly done.

Allow to cool thoroughly before serving so the custard can set.