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Poppy’s Recipe for Tarte au Citron

Florence’s tarte au citron may have won first place in the afternoon’s competition, but it wasn’t because her recipe was any better than mine! Below find my ingredients list and method for—as Jonathon so inelegantly called it—the perfect marriage of zing and cream! This recipe serves eight people, or, if your appetite is more like mine, then a hungry six. If you’re short of time on the day, you can make this tart up to two days ahead of serving. And if, for some crazy reason, you end up with leftovers, it also freezes well.
Servings: 6 hungry people



  • 175 g/6oz plain flour
  • 100 g/4oz cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 25 g/1oz icing sugar
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 tbsp water

Lemon Filling

  • 5 large eggs
  • 125 ml/4 fl oz double cream
  • 225 g/8oz caster superfine sugar
  • finely grated zest and juice of 4 large lemons


  • First up, rummage through your cupboards and find a 23cm/9-inch deep loose-bottomed tart tin.
  • To make the pastry, measure the flour, butter and sugar and add them all directly to a food processor. (Don’t tell Mildred.) Whizz the mix until it begins to look like breadcrumbs.
  • Slowly add the egg and water and then whizz it further until it forms a ball shape.
  • Remove the dough, and roll out using a flour-dusted rolling pin on a flour-dusted work surface until the pastry is just a little bigger than the size of the tin. Line the tart tin with the pastry, and let the extra pastry hang over the sides of the tin.
  • Chill your pastry tin in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • While the pastry is chilling, you can make a cup of tea and preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6/350F. Line the tin with nonstick paper and fill with baking beans.
  • Blind bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven until the pastry turns a lovely pale golden brown.
  • Take out of the oven and remove the baking beans and paper. Carefully trim the excess pastry from the sides using a sharp knife. Return the empty pastry shell to the oven for another 10-12 minutes or until it is completely dry. Set aside to cool.
  • Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C/325F. Next measure all the ingredients to make the lemon filling in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Carefully pour the filling mixture into the cold baked pastry case.
  • Transfer the tart and tray carefully to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until just set but still with a slight wobble in the middle. Don’t worry if it rises a little; the filling will sink down a bit when it has cooled.
  • Leave to cool completely and then remove the tarte au citron from the tin and transfer to a serving plate. Finish off with a generous flourish of dusted icing sugar and garnish with a few berries if you like.

Bon appétit!