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Recipe  •  12 May 2016


Maggie Beer’s Lemon Tart

Try this free recipe from Maggie Beer's Winter Harvest.

For freshness at the end of a meal, this tart, inspired by Sydney chef Tony Bilson’s recipe, never fails to delight. I bake it in a deep-sided quiche tin. This tart deserves a little practice to get the texture of the filling just right, as so many factors can influence the set. The first time you make it, start well in advance so that you can refrigerate the tart for an hour or so if the filling does not set. This is pretty delicious served with clotted cream.


Lemon Tart

Serves 8


  • 1 x quantity Sour-cream Pastry
  • 150 g castor sugar
  • 9 egg yolks (from large, fresh free-range eggs)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) lemon juice
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 600 ml crème fraiche
  • icing sugar (optional), to serve


Make and chill the pastry as instructed. Roll out the chilled dough and use to line a 20 cm flan tin with a removable base. Chill the pastry case for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line the chilled pastry case with foil and pastry weights and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C. Meanwhile, beat the sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice and rind until smooth, then fold in the crème fraiche. Fill the warm pastry case with the lemon mixture, taking care not to overfill it. Bake until the filling is set around the edges but still wobbly in the middle (this will take anywhere from 25–45 minutes, depending on your oven). Remove the tart from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature to allow the filling to set completely – it should be the consistency of a very ripe brie, yet firm enough to cut into portions. Refrigerate for an hour or so if necessary to help set the filling. Serve dusted with icing sugar.



Makes enough to line a 20–24 cm tart tin.

This recipe makes a very short, flaky pastry with a light, melt-in-the-mouth texture. It is a great all-rounder and can be used in a whole variety of dishes, both sweet and savoury. It’s the pastry I make ninety-nine times out of a hundred because it’s not only so good but so easy. I like to chill the pastry case in the freezer, as this ensures it is really well-chilled before it goes in the oven.

This pastry rises beautifully and is really light and flaky, which is great if you’re making a tart or a pie, but if you want a flat pastry, like a thin pizza dough, a good trick is to ‘inhibit’ the pastry as it cooks. To do this, carefully open the oven halfway through the cooking (when the pastry is beginning to rise), take out the tray for a moment and press down on the pastry with a similar-sized tray or a clean tea towel, then return the tray to the oven. This will stop the pastry rising too much.

  • 200 g chilled unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) sour cream


Put the butter and flour into the bowl of a food processor, then pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream and pulse again until the dough just forms a ball. Use Nancy’s trick of bouncing the pastry if shrinkage worries you. Carefully wrap the dough in plastic film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 15–20 minutes.

Roll out the dough until it is 5 mm thick, then use it to line a 20 cm tart tin with a removable base. Chill the pastry case for 20 minutes.

To blind bake, preheat the oven to 200°C. Line the pastry case with foil, then cover with pastry weights. Blind bake the pastry case for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and pastry weights and bake for another 5 minutes.

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