Tarte au citron with lemon sauce

Serves 8-10
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour at 190c/375f


1 packet of pate sable (sable is sweet pastry – do not use brisee for this)
15g caster sugar
500g uncooked rice or lentils or similar to use for baking
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
180g caster sugar
400ml cream
juice and grated rind of 2 lemons
icing sugar to dust
for the sauce:
2 eggs
75g caster sugar
200ml water
25g butter


  1. Line a 25cm flan tin with baking parchment pleating it as it turns up round the sides of the tin.
  2. Leave the pastry out of the fridge for 10 minutes before using, then un-roll and ease the pastry into the lined tin, using your fingers, being careful not to stick your nails through the pastry. Make sure the pastry is pressed into where the sides and bottom of the tin meets.
  3. Using a large piece of foil or baking paper, line the pastry making sure you have no holes or gaps and fill with 500g to 1kg dried beans, uncooked rice or pulses. This will weight the raw pastry on the bottom and lean against the sides of the pastry to keep it in place while you cook it before adding the filling. Bake at 190/375F for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven.
  4. Ease the foil away from the pastry and lift it out with the beans, saving the beans for baking this next time. Dust the cooked or nearly cooked pastry with 15g caster sugar and return it to the oven for a further 5 minutes. This will help create a crispy layer between the liquid filling you are about to add and the now cooked pastry. This method is called ‘blind baking’. The dried beans you have used cannot be cooked for anything else now but can be saved to blind bake next time.
  5. While the pastry is soft and warm, carefully trim the top edge of the pastry to get a nice straight edge. You need a small sharp knife for this.
  6. Turn the oven to 160F. Mix the eggs, sugar and cream together using a hand whisk, then add the lemon zest and juice. This will thicken slightly as you mix it. Ladle the mix carefully into the pastry case. Bake uncovered at the lower temperature for a further 45 minutes.
  7. The filing should be just set, still slightly wobbly at the centre but not runny. Remove and store in a cool place until serving. This should be served cool not chilled. You can make this in the morning.
  8. Make the sauce by mixing the ingredients together and then cooking over a medium heat, stirring all the time until nearly but not quite boiling (or it will curdle) until it’s thickened slightly. Sieve the sauce, then store in the fridge.

To serve place a slice of the tart in the centre of a cold dinner plate or slate and drizzle the lemon sauce over or make a puddle of the sauce. Dust with icing sugar to serve.