When life gives you lemons: Tarte au Citron

Due to a rota misfortune I have been on call for the majority of the last 2 months including Christmas day and New Years day. As a reward, my mother decided that lemons would be needed, not for G&Ts but for tarts…………
I love tarte au Citron, the sharpness of the lemons contrasts with the sweet pastry making a great afternoon treat. Seeing as during my on calls I also got a call from The Great British Bake Off Team to tell me that that I have been shortlisted I suppose I should take this seriously. So here goes, Tarte Au Citron (fingers crossed for no split filling or soggy bottoms).

Tarte au Citron.



  • 8oz plain flour
  • 6oz butter
  • 2oz caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 lemons
  • 10 whole eggs
  • 640ml double cream
  • Icing sugar

Start by making the sweet pastry. Once again I’ve camped out in my family kitchen and am using my mothers Kenwood. If Kitchenaid would like to give me another mixer that would be lovely as this one is on its last legs.
Start by rubbing in the cold butter, sugar and flour till you have a breadcrumb mix. Ideally you don’t want to work the butter too much as it melts and the end result is chewy pastry.

Once at the breadcrumb stage, add the egg yolk and milk and bring the pastry together into a ball. Cover in cling film and rest in the fridge for around an hour to allow it to relax.

Having finished your cup of tea (a luxury not afforded on night shifts), collect the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a well-floured board. You are looking for a thickness around that of a £1 coin. Lift the pastry over the rolling pin, and line a well greased 30cm tin.

This is one my gran used to use and rather big. The recipe will comfortably feed around 10 people so it’s great for a party.

Return the pastry case to the fridge again for another hour to allow it to rest. Once chilled, prick the case and line with parchment and baking beads. Cook in the Aga or around 180C for 20mins till pale golden brown. Remove the beads for the last 5 mins to avoid the dreaded soggy bottom.

Now to the filling. Beat the eggs and add the sugar. Beat together till light and then add the lemon zest.

To this, add the cream and once again combine well. Now comes the scary bit, adding the lemon juice. My top tip here would be to add a little bit at a time and make sure you are constantly whisking.

Transfer your (hopefully not split) mix to the cooled pastry case and bake in a low aga or 170C for 40mins- you are looking for a little bit of a wobble in the middle.

Now to finish you have an option. You can either pipe “Citron” on the top in chocolate or go a bit rogue…………… I crossed the line and added a creme brûlée style crunch topping to give another level of texture (Hollywood I hope you approve).
Dust the top of the tart with icing sugar and find a blow torch. Gentle woft over the top to caramelise the sugar. Now let it set and then you can enjoy.

Afternoon tea anyone?

So there you have it, tart au Citron. I decided to serve mine with a drizzle of dark chocolate over the top and some whipped cream. But the raspberry coulis from the waffle Blog will be nice as well…………….

I’m going to be stepping the blogs up over the next few weeks and you can follow it on Instagram on #DrCoxforGBBO. I hope you enjoy x