Mary Berry recipe: Chef shares delicious class lemon tart recipe – tips and tricks

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Mary Berry, 85, has had a successful career in the food industry and first started it as a recipe taster. Now with over 70 cookbooks, the chef has shared her classic lemon tart recipe which is super easy to make.

Lemon tarts are an extremely popular pudding option and it originated in France.

It consists of a pastry shell with a smooth lemon paste filling.

Mary Berry’s classic lemon tart recipe can be made up to two days in advance, and it serves up to eight people.

It will take around one to two hours to prepare but the steps are super simple.


For the pastry:

  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 25g icing sugar
  • One egg yolk
  • One tablespoon cold water

For the filling:

  • Five eggs
  • 125ml double cream
  • 225g caster sugar
  • Four lemons, juice and zest
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

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1. Firstly you need to make the pastry. Place the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor. Plus briefly until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add the egg yolk and water.

2. Pulse the mixture again until it sticks together in clumps and then tip it onto a work surface and gather it into a small ball. Kneed the pastry two to three times to make it smooth. If the butter was very soft, the pastry might be too and it will need chilling in the fridge for 15 minutes.

3. Grease a fluted tart tin, Mary recommends using a 23cm one.

4. Lay a piece of parchment paper on the work surface and remove the base from the tart tin and lay it on the paper. Using a pencil, draw a circle onto the paper 4cm bigger than the tin base.

9. Remove the cling film from the pastry case and line with foil before filling it with baking beans. Bake bling for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is set and list out the foil and beans. 

10. Carefully trim the excess pastry from the sides and return the empty pastry case to the oven for another 12-15 minutes or until it is pale golden brown. 

12. Set aside to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees/325F/Gas 3.

13. Next step is to make the filling. Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together before adding the rest of the filling ingredients and whisking until combined.

14. Pour the filling into the cooled pastry case and bake for about 30-25 minutes or until just set with a slight wobble.

15. Leave it to slightly cool before removing it from the tin and transfer it to a serving plate.

Mary says that this classic lemon tart can be served both cold or warm with a bit of sifted icing sugar on the top.

Lemon tarts are a great all year round pudding as they can be served hot or cold. 

Mary’s recipe tips

To go that extra step, if you have a blow torch, Mary recommends glazing the surface to get that caramelised effect.

To do this, glaze the surface generously with icing sugar before using a blow torch just above the sugar and moving around the tart, being careful not to burn the edges.

Another step you can to to complete the lemon tart is to decorate it like a French pâtisserie.

To do this, pipe the word ‘citron’ in melted dark chocolate across the top of the cold tart.

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