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Lemon and almond tarts


This tart is related to an Italian lemon and almond tart. The French version does not have lemon rind in the pastry but has extra lemon in the filling to give it a lemon flavoured tang.


Pastry base
100g almond meal
190g plain flour (you could use extra almond meal)
120g cold chopped butter
80g caster sugar
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

4 eggs (separated)
440g caster sugar
30g plain flour (or you could use almond meal)
200 gr lemon juice
Grated rind of 2 or 3 lemons
110g almond flakes

For the pastry, combine flour, almond meal and sugar. Rub the butter into the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs, and then add the egg yolks. Knead gently until dough forms. Shape it into a disc and wrap in plastic, then refrigerate for an hour.

Divide the pastry in half, then roll one half at a time on a floured board. Place the pastry into two, 20 cm tart tins lined with baking paper. Place both trays into the fridge for an hour.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Blind bake these tart shells for 20 minutes, remove weights from the shells and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

For the topping, use a heatproof bowl and whisk together half of the sugar,the 4 egg yolks, flour, lemon juice and lemon rind. Once combined, place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and beat well while the mixture heats through. When thick, remove from heat and continue beating till the mixture cools.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and then gradually add the remaining sugar. Beat well and then when the white egg mixture is thick and glossy, fold it into the cooled lemon mixture. Divide beween the two tart trays and scatter the almond flakes over the mixture. Press almonds into the filling a bit.

Bake for 25 minutes with oven still on 180 degrees. The filling will settle and drop a little after it cools but this is not a concern.