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I’ve done this recipe a couple of times already (love the website by the way) but I still cannot wrap my head around the “3/4 cup of lemon juice” for the lemon curd. It is just too much! The sourness of the lemons is just too overpowering despite the sugar. I’m using the same cup for all the measurements in the recipe. Last time I just put in enough lemon for it to taste good (juice of approximately 1 lemon) and it worked. Has anybody had the same experience?
Can the lemon curd mixture be left overnight in the refrigerator and baked the next day?
Good question Sarah, I don’t know.
Hi, i made the crust dough last night and properly wrapped it and left it in the fridge overnight. Today when i attempted to roll it out it was all soggy and probably the liquid from the sugar was oozing out of the dough :( what did i do wrong? help!
I just made this yesterday for my bf’s bday (he loves lemon stuff) and it was phenomenal! I’m very very happy with the results, especially since I was a bit apprehensive since people seemed to have trouble with the crust. This is the best crust (lemony and almondy!) I’ve ever had. Here’s what I did:
Crust: I was running low on time, so I chilled it for 1 hr 5min. I let it sit out for 8min. I also didn’t mix it a lot beforehand- as soon as it looked remotely dough-y I popped it in the fridge. I used a large egg and my butter was not very soft- it sat out for maybe 15 min. at 75F, so it was soft on the outside, but the inside was a bit hard still. I neglected pie weights and just poked a lot of holes. It still puffed up, but I poked more and it came down. Still, there was barely room for the curd, but the crust came out flaky and fluffy.
For the curd I was 2 tbsp short of lemon juice, so I substituted some orange juice. I also might have started cooking the curd a bit (left it too long on the double boiler), so there were cooked bits, but it all got cooked in the oven anyway! Definitely put the tart pan on another pan, once the curd is in, it’s easy to spill!
My candied zest was also last minute, but dried out enough after a couple hours to put on the tart and taste good.
This tart was a tad sweet, but very professional tasting and looking (although I couldn’t get it out of the pan, despite greasing it generously). I would buy this in a store! The whole process took me two hours, fifteen minutes (I started with the crust and worked on the curd and candied zest while it was in the fridge). I didn’t notice the orange juice, by the way, and my bf said it was very lemony! thanks, Elise, for another fabulous recipe that is very accessible to an ordinary person! Oh yeah, and I didn’t have time to chill this, but it was still good. I set it out at room temp for two hours (while we went to dinner).
Question- why do you need to use metal mixing bowls? I think I only have plastic and glass.
Do you mean in step 7? If you don’t have a double boiler, you need a metal bowl over a pot of steaming water because metal will transfer the heat without melting. Otherwise for the rest of the recipe you can use whatever mixing bowl suits you. ~Elise
The tart dough was wet and too sticky soft to handle. This is the 2nd time I tried the recipe, same results. It did turn out delicious though, a cookie like crust. May try less egg & juice next time. Put sliced strawberries on top, plus a sprinkle of blueberries, and offered some softly whipped cream – it looked great, and was much appreciated.
I made this recipe today for a potluck dinner at a friend’s house – as little tartlets. I substituted a half cup of flour with a half cup of pulverized crunchy oatmeal cookies.
My mistake was when I pre-baked them I didn’t add beans to the little cups, so they filled in solid. I scooped them out with a melon baller and finished cooking the custard in the double boiler instead of baking (because the shells were already brown).
I topped them with the remaining creme fraiche, crumbles of the shell I’d scooped out, and bits of candied lemon peel I already had around.
They ate every single one.
I forgot to mention that I was skeptical about the almond extract in the crust, as it reminds me only of maraschino cherries, but left it up to dd, since it was her pie. She opted for it, and I like the result!
Well this is the ‘pie’ that dd Elise chose for the Great Pie Bake-Off this year. Unfortunately, she didn’t place, though it turned out quite tasty. My husband and I, and several others, really enjoyed it. In fact, the lady who took the last quarter of it home said she’d eat it all herself, one slice a day for the next 5 days! (I’ll mention that I placed third with the pumpkin chiffon, which my hubby was raving about.)
We even made 1/4 c. of the candied zest, which WAS like candy – it was sooo good. The only trouble we had was with the crust. It was way too sticky, so we kept adding flour, though we stopped too soon (because I was concerned we were adding too much) and it was still sticky – we had to pop it in the freezer, and when we baked the shell, the edges melted down a bit.
I did another pie, from a mag. recipe, and it had the flour listed in ounces and cups, so I measured it via the cup, and then put it on the scale and had to scoop out some. I found that helpful, because the density of the flour affects its volume – these were baked one after the other, so nothing changed about the flour between, yet somehow we were short on the first, and had too much on the second – go figure.
Anyhow, this was really really tasty, and we’re sure to make it again!
Waouh, as we sometimes say in France. This one is wonderful. I’ve just made it, it taste wonderful,the color and texture of the lemon mixture is just perfect, well-balanced between sugar and acidity). I have to admit that I was short on time to make it, so I just made the crust,put it in my buttered and floured tart pan and pre-baked it 20min. I guess I could have had a more refined crust if I had followed your different steps, but mine wasn’t bad. Thanks a lot for this great recipe !!
Help! I started a lovely cardomom ginger crust for this recipe and realized I have no creme fraiche. I have whipping cream, do I need the fraiche for this recipe? Thank you!
You can substitute sour cream for creme fraiche. If you don’t have sour cream, I would look online for another recipe for lemon curd. ~Elise
I made this tonight. All my family loved it. The issues I did come across, was I didn’t have creme fraiche so I just used a mixture of sour cream and cream, and also, my crust was still very sticky after refrigaration, [1hour 30 minnutes] hard to come off my cooking paper. So what I did, was I just knifed the mixture onto my pie dish, and as time was starting to run out, cooked it for 35 minutes at 170 degrees celcius. The crust and the curd was perfect. It was so nice. Though I have to say, the mixtures before cooking were even nicer, though undoubtedly horrible for you.
Instead of candied zest, as the zest was dirty and disgusting, I candied some chopped apples. With brown sugar btw. It was awesome.
The tart did start leaking half way through cooking. I let it, and it turned out great. Lucky I put cooking paper between it and my over tray however.
Regards for a great dessert.
I have always had issues my lemon curd, it winds up tasting metallicy. I have tried a little heavy cream, or other cream based products. I didn’t have or make creme fraiche, so I used sour cream, it took care of the issue, using the amount in the recipe did it! This is a great tart.
My husband loves lemon tarts, and liked this one best.
The crust was flaky, the filling was rich and lemony. Thank you.
Elise, this is my first time commenting on your site though I have visited it often and this along with smittenkitchen is my go to site for all new recipes! Just a quick question – can I use the pre-packaged lemon zest (e.g. dr. oetker) to make the candied peels? and if yes, do you think it would be like to like substitution?
Hello Sam, thanks for your comment! I honestly have no idea about the pre-packaged lemon zest, as we have our own lemon trees and are never short of lemons. If you do experiment with them, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise
The lemon curd tart from the Williams-Sonoma pie and tart cookbook is the only one I’ve ever made, and it turned out great! It’s been over five years and friends are still asking if/when I’m going to make it again.
The recipe is online: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/recipedetail.cfm?objectid=A69EB452%2D0921%2D4D79%2D8C7D445862237DA0
My 4th year cooking class made lemon tarts for the teachers at the school as a thank you for coming to the “restaurant” we created that year. It was a lot like yours, just a simple lemon curd filling in a yummy pie crust =) we put sliced strawberries on the top of ours. It was a really easy and quick option, since we had to make like some 40 tarts. We cooked our lemon curd on the stove. The trick is to stir it a lot, otherwise it stays runny. Maybe that’s where Patricia erred?
Thanks for all your wonderful recipes Elise! I love them!
Yeah, I know to re-refrigerate the dough to make it less sticky, and I tried that tactic. It usually works, but this time it was only marginally helpful. The dough had thoroughly glued itself to the parchment, and chilling didn’t un-glue it. I suspect the egg (an unusual ingredient in a shortbread crust) might be the issue there.
I also wonder whether the crust might’ve been better if it were pre-baked a little longer; my oven temp is accurate, but I’d guess that different pie weights, at different starting temperatures, could result in different cooking times, so ’20 minutes’ may not give consistent results.
Just tried it. The curd filling worked well and is pleasantly tart, but the crust was a bust. By the time it softened enough (after chilling) to roll out, it was ridiculously sticky, impossible to separate from the parchment paper in one piece. After mushing the torn fragments back together and completing the recipe, the baked crust is unpleasantly tough, not at all crumbly or shortbread-like. Needs significant tweaking.
When a dough gets too sticky to separate after rolling it out, the thing to do is to put the whole thing back into the refrigerator to chill enough to separate it. ~Elise
My husband researced lemon tarts, & was excited to try yours. Our lemon (meyer) bush is very prolific now, & he was eager to use them.
So – he has never baked before, & with a little help (I rolled & filled the crust, baked the crust), he did the rest.
Fabulous! Very delicious & everyone had seconds. This is a keeper.
We didn’t make the candied zest, but did use julienned pieces of orange & put that in sugar. When the tart was done, I tossed them over the top. Very pretty & good, and nice color contrast too. He sprinkled some xxxsugar on top, & I thought that was unnecessary.
I wondered if Patricia Morris (no relation!) did freeze her lemon tarts and with what result? I saw on another site that you can freeze a lemon tart but that it makes the crust soft. I suppose it does, depending on how long you let it defrost! I am concerned that the lemon filling’s texture changes. Has anyone done the experiment?
By the way, the lemon tart I make is from Julia Child’s original Mastering the Art of French Cooking. At a glance, Child’s recipe looks similar to Charlie Palmer’s but not identical: no creme fraiche in the lemon curd, for one. Child’s is a very annoying recipe, with cross-references to different pages at various points, and with too much specificity at some points (size of pot or bowl, for example) and none at others (is that pot covered or not?) but I’ve written out a consolidated version for myself with advice from past attempts, and the result IS wonderful.