Lemon Tart with Fresh Berries

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Lemon Tart with Fresh Berries

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Published prior to 2008

Long years of observation have led us to believe that people are divided into two dessert camps: chocolate, and not-chocolate. This recipe falls into the latter category (along with crème brulee, gingerbread, and a whole host of fruit-based confections). We love the combination of berries and lemon, but feel free to use other fruits in place of the berries, as they come into season. Peaches would certainly be appropriate, or choose your own favorite.

1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) Round Table Unbleached Pastry Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest OR 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg yolk

Lemon Filling
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fresh lemon juice (the juice of about 2 large lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon zest OR 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
1 cup (7 1/4 ounces) sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream

Berry Glaze
1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces) brown sugar
3/4 cup (6 ounces) juice (apple, cranberry, cran-strawberry…)
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 pints fresh berries (about 1 pound), washed

Crust: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, lemon zest or oil, and salt. Using a pastry fork or pastry blender, your fingers, or an electric mixer, cut in the cold butter, working the mixture till it's crumbly; a few larger chunks of butter can remain.

In a small cup or bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and the vanilla extract. Stir this mixture into the pastry dough. Roll or press the dough onto the bottom and at least 1 inch up the sides of a 9" to 10" springform pan, or 9" round cake pan. Use a fork to prick the dough all over (this will keep it from puffing up as it bakes), and refrigerate it for 30 minutes or longer.

Bake the chilled crust for 16 to 18 minutes in a preheated 375°F oven, until it's golden brown. Check it midway through the baking time; if it's developed any big bubbles, puncture them. Remove the crust from the oven (leave the oven on), and cool it on a rack as you prepare the filling.

Lemon Filling: In a medium-sized bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the sour cream and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, then add the lemon juice and lemon zest or oil. Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell. Don't overfill the shell; if any filling seeps over the top edge, it'll burn and stick.

Return the tart to the 375°F oven, and bake it for 18 to 20 minutes. The filling should look "set," but still wobble slightly in the middle. Remove the tart from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate it; top the tart with strawberries and glaze a few hours before serving.

Berry Glaze: In a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, combine the brown sugar and juice. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice, and let it swell and soften for 5 minutes or so. Heat the mixture over low heat or in the microwave until the gelatin dissolves, then remove it from the heat and let it cool for about 30 minutes, till it's lukewarm.

Assembly: If you're using strawberries, wash, hull, and slice them; you can leave them whole if they're small. Brush a thin layer of glaze (about 2 tablespoons) over the tart. Mix the berries with the remaining glaze, then arrange them, one by one, atop the tart. You'll have some glaze left in the bottom of the bowl; pour it into a small container and keep it at room temperature. Place the tart in the refrigerator for the glaze to set.

After about 30 minutes of chilling, remove the tart from the fridge, and brush the berries with the reserved glaze. This will keep them fresh and glistening for 12 hours. Yield: 1 tart, 10 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1 slice, 180g): 337 cal, 15g fat, 5g protein, 19g complex carbohydrates, 29g sugar, 2g dietary fiber, 137mg cholesterol, 145mg sodium, 218mg potassium, 159RE vitamin A, 41mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 42mg calcium, 83mg phosphorus

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 5, Summer 2001 issue.


  • star rating 07/05/2014
  • Fisher from Haiku, HI
  • This is the first tart recipe I've ever attempted and I've made it a few times now and it is a crowd pleaser. The preparation is pretty straightforward and the custard is super easy to prepare. Beautiful texture once out of the fridge. I live in Hawaii and replaced lemon juice with passionfruit this last time I made the tart and it was just beautiful. Tart, sweet and refreshing. Definitely glaze your fruit, that I think gives the tart a real wow factor. Thanks KA, thus recipe is a keeper!
  • star rating 04/02/2014
  • catblack from KAF Community
  • Made it today and it was DELICIOUS! Used fresh lemon juice and zest and the flavor was wonderful. I did find the crust mix hard to bind together, but adding a little ice-water did the trick and I pressed it into the pan. To speed the cooling of the pie, I popped in in the freezer for a little while. That way, the tart was ready to eat for dinner! I omitted the berries and glaze and instead used 1 packet of frozen blueberries cooked for a little while with 2 tablespoon of sugar. That worked well for a topping. Tart is also nice with a little whipped cream on top.
  • star rating 05/08/2011
  • llland from KAF Community
  • Nice flavor, but I ran into a few issues. The crust mixture was very, very crumbly and it was hard to even press into the pan. It would have been impossible to roll out. Also, are the proportions in the glaze recipe correct? It came out very thin, and just ran all the way through the tart. It did not thicken at all. The filling had a nice flavor but it was the texture of a lemon pudding cake rather than a silky lemon custard texture. Yes, the filling is a lightly thickened citrus and dairy mixture, it will not be firm, like a baked custard. Hope this helps. Frank @ KAF.
    I am sorry to hear of your difficulty. It does sound like your batch of dough was on the dry side. It may have had too much flour in it. Here is the method that we use to measure flour for all of our recipes: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/measuring-flour.html If you "dip" the flour from the bag, you can end up with up to 20% too much flour. Yes, this is a very thin coating glaze. It does not cling like a more traditional apricot glaze.
  • star rating 02/26/2011
  • piginspandex from KAF Community
  • Wow, this was absolutely delicious! I am an experienced pie baker, but this was my first tart. It was phenomenal, and the lemon curd could not have been tastier. I was also a huge fan of the crust, although I didn't quite understand how to do it since there basically wasn't any liquid in it so it was like trying to roll cookie crumbs. I ended up pressing it into the pie pan like you would a gram cracker crust, then spritzing it with water before putting in the fridge. As for the topping, I topped with strawberries and blueberries, and that really was the icing on the cake. I didn't make the recommended glaze, though, since I'm a vegetarian. Instead, I microwaved some all-fruit jam with a little bit of water and used that as a glaze instead; I also forgot to toss the berries in the glaze so I just spooned it on top. In any case, bottom line: delicious crust, delicious filling! This really tasted like it came from a professional patisserie. Another winner from King Arthur!
    You may be measuring too heavy a cup of flour for the crust to be so dry. Winter also dries out flour whereby more liquid is needed. Next time add a several drops of cold water if you need more binding. I am happy you enjoyed this recipe! Elisabeth