Whole Lemon Tart
A tart that uses a whole lemon in the filling. Both the filling and the crust come together easily with a food processor.
The piles of snow in my yard have finally melted and it’s no longer necessary to wear a heavy coat, scarf, and hat when I go outside. Spring is coming, there’s no denying it. And I couldn’t be more excited.
I think lemon desserts are perfect this time of year, to bridge the gap between the winter citrus still in season and the bright springy dishes we’re all craving. My sunny and light-jacket-only weekend got a little bit brighter with this whole lemon tart.
A few months ago my food processor gave up the ghost. It had slowly been falling apart for a very long time, but finally became unusable. And I was in trouble, because I didn’t realize how much I used my food processor until I didn’t have one anymore. Thankfully, MagiMix was there to save the day with their beautiful MagiMix 16 cup food processor. It’s my new best friend in the kitchen.
What better way to test drive my new food processor than with this whole lemon tart? And yes, I do mean the whole lemon. No zesting, no squeezing, just slice it up and whir it up with some butter, sugar, and cornstarch and pour it into a sweet cookie crust (also prepared in the food processor).
Tarts may not necessarily be the easiest dessert to bake with all of the chilling and rolling of the dough, but this whole lemon tart certainly is a huge step in that direction.
baking tip:The bitter pith truth
This is truly a “whole” lemon tart, however I must warn you that if you have a lemon with unusually thick skin, your tart may come out a little bit bitter. If you notice after slicing into your lemon that the white pith is thicker than 1/4 inch thick, it might be best to remove it. Use a knife to remove the zest and then the white pith. Add the zest and flesh to the food processor, throw the pith away.
Whole Lemon Tart
Sweet tart dough:
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (188 grams)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (57 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter , cubed (147 grams)
- 1 large egg , lightly beaten
- 1 whole lemon , sliced and seeds removed (about 4.5 oz, 130 grams)
- 1 ½ cup sugar (300 grams)
- ½ cup unsalted butter , cubed (113 grams)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
To make the tart dough:
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse in short bursts until the butter is the size of small peas. Slowly add the beaten egg and pulse until the mixture comes together into a ball. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Let the dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes, then roll out into a rough 13-inch circle. Transfer the dough to an 8 or 9-inch greased tart pan with removable sides. Freeze for at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the tart on a sheet pan and cover with a greased sheet of foil, shiny side down. Fill tart with dried beans or pastry weights and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes.
To make the filling:
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the lemon slices, sugar, and sugar until pureed. Add the eggs, cornstarch, and salt and pulse until smooth. Pour into the parbaked shell and bake until the middle is set, or just barely jiggles when bumped, 25 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before removing sides. Serve warm or chilled. Store tart in the fridge.
Disclaimer: Food processor provided for review by MagiMix. All opinions are my own, as always.
13 Comments on “Whole Lemon Tart”
This is so pretty! Awesome idea and great recipe!
This looks beautiful! 🙂 I lovee lemon.
This looks divine! I’ve only made a whole lemon tart once in my life…and I adored it! I felt like I saw the lemon in a whole new light. (It was Dorie Greenspan’s Tartest Lemon Tart recipe.) I need to try yours now.
And I’m so glad you got a new food processor. I can’t imagine life without mine.
Awesome photos, especially that first one!
This is gorgeous! I love lemons, but I always seem to be left with a zested one or half of a lemon so using the whole lemon is great! Definitely be making this very soon 😀
I just had to pop in and comment, since I opened up my FB page this morning to your lovely tart and I wanted to tell you that I think it must be the day for Lemon Tart Recipes! I just blogged my own version of pretty much the same tart http://thelittlewhitekitchen.com/?p=341.
I love reading someone else’s perspective and seeing your photos. It’s amazing how two people can make almost the same recipe and have such different takes on it. Great post and beautiful sunny photos.
Gorgeous! And while there is no denying spring is just around the corner, could we pretty please have a few more powder days? I haven’t had my fill quite yet.
I also have the hankering to make a lemon dessert as soon as things thaw around here. Seems like the right way to usher in Spring, somehow. I may try this on the weekend!
Oh my! I SO love lemon tarts, it’s my favorite dessert ever and I usually bake one quite every month. I’ll try your recipe, too as it looks really yummy!
I love this idea of using the whole lemon. Less prep, less waste. It’s brilliant!
I love this! I actually stopped peeling most fruits for pies and tarts (pears, apples, etc) but I had no idea I could be lazy with my lemons too! And I totally agree, citrus desserts are a wonderful way to make waiting for a spring just a bit easier.
I have always wanted to try a whole lemon dessert. This sounds – and looks! – absolutely wonderful!
Hey there, You’ve done an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.
There is a typo in this recipe that really messed me up. For the filling it says to put lemon, sugar, and sugar into a food processor. I ignored the second sugar and used a blender instead of a food processor. The blender worked fine and I mixed in the rest of the ingredients (used protein powder instead of cornstarch). Then I put it all into a gram cracker crust. It was extremely liquidy, and I realized the recipe never told me to add butter (“lemon, sugar, and butter”?), so I poured it all back in the blender. Unfortunately, my gram cracker crust crumbled in as well. I persevered and added my ‘butter’ (I used coconut oil instead) and blended everything. Surprisingly, even after a butchered the recipe all was fine. This lemon tart is REALLY good served with fruit – blueberry and raspberry being my favorites.