The vivid golden filling and buttery crust of a fresh lemon tart evoke a sense of springtime more than any other baked good. As the days lengthen and new growth emerges, a sweet and zesty lemon tart is as enjoyable at a vernal fete as for an after-school treat. Chef Steve Hodge, of Vancouver’s Temper Chocolate & Pastry, shares his lemon tart recipe to celebrate the second season of Project Bakeover, premiering March 31. He and designer Tiffany Pratt travel across Canada to breathe new life into struggling bakeries.
For this recipe, Hodge proves you don’t need a complicated list of ingredients to create a rich, elegant dessert. A bit of almond flour adds a nutty dimension to the dough, while an emersion blender creates a light and fluffy filling—all the makings of a perfect and punchy lemon tart to whip up all season long.
For lemon filling:
4 large eggs
2/3 cup (140 millilitres) heavy cream
1/3 cup (75 millilitres/90 grams) lemon juice
¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of ½ lemon
For the dough:
1 cup (125 grams) icing sugar
½ cup + 1 tablespoon (125 grams) unsalted butter
½ teaspoon (2 grams) salt
3 large eggs
2 ½ cups (425 grams) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (25 grams) almond flour
For the lemon filling:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Using a hand emersion blender, mix the ingredients together.
Strain and set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
For the dough:
Combine the icing sugar, butter, and salt using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Cream until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and combine until fluffy.
Sift together the flour and almond flour and add to the mixture. Mix until the dough comes together.
Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten into a square, wrap with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Once the dough is rollable, preheat the oven to 325°F.
Spray the tart rings. Line the rings with the dough, cutting off excess dough on top of the ring edge to make a flat rim.
Line the dough in the rings with tinfoil or cupcake liners, then fill with rice or baking beans. Parbake the tart shells till a light golden (approximately 10–12 minutes).
Remove the tart shells from the oven.
Reduce the oven temperature to 210°F. Fill the tart shells with the lemon filling to the top of the shell. Place back into the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes. The filling should be set, not jiggly in the middle.