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WCC 37: Lemon Tart Love


Okay, I guess all good things must come to an end. Weekend Cookbook Challenge being no exception. Thanks Sara for creating and managing such a fun food blogging event for the last 37 months! Wow, I guess it has been along time! Sara rocks big time.

This month’s theme for February is “love”. This recipe is something I made for dessert on Valentine’s Day, so I think it fits. Tarte au Citron. It’s from the cookbook, Bouchon, by Thomas Keller. I really want to add an ! on the end of that for some reason… Bouchon!

My tart pan is only 8 inches. So, I decided to make a half recipe of the crust and see what happened. It worked for me. I ended up dividing the crust dough in half (instead of thirds) and froze one. The full recipe of saybayon filled my tart shell fine. If you have a standard-sized tart pan, just do what it says below for a full recipe of the tart dough. Oh and if pine nuts are not in your budget, almonds will work. I used half almonds and half pine nuts in my crust.

And, yeah, I have tons of pictures here. Hope you get through them all!

Pine Nut Crust
From the cookbook, Bouchon(!), by Thomas Keller
10 ounces (2 cups) pine nuts (or, use half toasted sliced, almonds and half pine nuts)
1/3 cup sugar
1 pound (3 cups) all-purpose flour
8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Place the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times.


Add the sugar and flour and continue to pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.


Add the butter, egg, and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate all the ingredients (the dough can be mixed by hand or in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment).


Divide the dough into three equal parts. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before using. (The extra dough can be frozen, wrapped well, for up to 1 month.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter and flour a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and refrigerate it while the oven preheats. I forgot to flour and butter my pan and I had no problems.


Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator. Use your fingertips to press the chilled pine nut dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough.


Bake the crust for 10 to 15 minutes, then rotate it and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool while you make the filling. (There may be some cracks in the crust; they will not affect the finished tart.)


Lemon Filling (Sabayon)
From the cookbook, Bouchon(!), by Thomas Keller
2 large eggs, cold
2 large egg yolks, cold
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about three lemons for me, one used one meyer lemon to 2 normal lemons)
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces


Bring about 1 1/2 inches of water to a boil in a pot that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl you will be using for the sabayon.


Meanwhile, in a large metal bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is smooth.


Now, I did this wrong. I added the lemon juice right away (after I had whisked the eggs & sugar) and thickened it all together like that for the 8-10 minutes. It worked fine. But, if you want to do it correctly, follow the directions below.


Set the bowl over the pot and, using a large whisk, whip the mixture while you turn the bowl (for even heating). After about 2 minutes, when the eggs are foamy and have thickened, add one-third of the lemon juice. Continue to whisk vigorously and, when the mixture thickens again, add another one-third of the lemon juice. Whisk until the mixture thickens again, then add the remaining lemon juice. Continue whisking vigorously, still turning the bowl, until the mixture is thickened and light in color and the whisk leaves a trail in the bottom of the bowl. The total cooking time should be 8 to 10 minutes.


Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the water. Whisk in the butter a piece at a time.


The sabayon may loosen slightly, but it will thicken and set as it cools. Pour the warm sabayon into the tart crust and place the pan on a baking sheet.


Preheat the broiler. While the sabayon is still warm, place the tart under the broiler. Leaving the door open, brown the top of the sabayon, rotating the tart if necessary for even color; this will take only a few seconds, so do not leave the area surrounding your oven.


Remove the tart from the broiler and let it sit for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature or store in the fridge for a few hours and serve cold.


Okay, again thank you so much to Sara! Goodbye, Weekend Cookbook Challenge!

9 comments to WCC 37: Lemon Tart Love

  • Michelle, thank you to you! Thanks for making this tart – looks fantastic!, and thank you so much for your support and participation in WCC the past 3 years.

  • Your tart looks fantastic! Lemon Tart is one of my favorite desserts…



  • Edie

    Oh YUM! this looks so good! Lemon tart is one of my favorites, and this looks fabulous! Edie

  • LK

    this looks so good!!

  • It’s like you are reading my mind! I’m making a lemon tart and a chocolate cloud cake on Thursday to donate to a CASA auction.

  • michelle

    I have made this recipe before and it is HEAVEN. It’s sure to impress anyone who knows anything about lemon tarts.

    You’ve inspired me to make it for the boyfriend’s birthday this weekend. Lemon is his fave. Thanks for the post!

  • Beautiful! Looking at the pictures I can just taste a burst of luscious sweet tart flavor. Perfect for a spring dessert.

  • mlb

    Sara: Thanks so much! WCC has been a blast :)

    Rosa: Thank you. Lemon tart is fast becoming one of my favorites too!

    Edie: Thank you! :)

    LK: Thanks!

    lc: I am reading your mind ;-) Except I forgot to make something chocolate…

    michelle: thanks! Hope your boyfriend had a great birthday and loved the lemon tart!!

    Lisa: Thank you! :)

  • I just like the word tart. I so want to make this.