Tarte au Citron

Tarte au Citron

When life gives you lemons… make tarte au citrons, or lemon tarts, bars, squares…

This recipe was sort of a last minute impromptu bake. My most favourite man in the world – my vegetable vendor – bought me a crate of these large humungous lemons from Australia, which pretty much made my entire week oh-so-beautiful. And to top it off, he even handed me over a whole package of these gorgeous deliciously sweet Himachal peaches. Needless to say, I had an exciting and happy week! (I told you, it doesn’t take much to make me happy!)

In such excitement, I went ahead to make lemon bars from my mother’s recipe, which hadn’t been made in years. I couldn’t forgo this opportunity. I made these at 8 PM, realised halfway that I didn’t have enough eggs, rushed out to get them, and restarted the whole process. That’s what happens when I don’t plan well.

The filling is sort of an in between of lemon curd and lemon jelly, with lots of fresh lemon juice, lovely lemon zest and real vanilla beans.

I then cut some extra slices, grilled on a hot pan with some sugar, and garnish each bar. A few bites in and you shall be transported to a lovely little village in France, surrounded by lavender fields, lovely cheeses and wine!

Note: these lemon bars don’t stay long and should ideally be eaten within a day and half. Although this has never been a problem in my house!


Photo Credits: The Kitchen Trail by Krishna Lalbhai

The Recipe
Serves 8


  • tart:
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • filling:
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups castor sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice, fresh
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1-2 drops lemon extract
  • 1/4 vanilla pod
  • powdered sugar
  • lemon slices


  • Cream butter and sugar until light with an electric mixer.
  • Add in flour and salt with mixer on low until a soft dough forms. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll the dough out on parchment paper and transfer into a pie tin. Chill again in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven at 175°C.
  • Bake the pie crust for 10-13 minutes.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar until frothy.
  • Then add in the lemon juice, zest, vanilla pod scrapes, lemon extract and flour and whisk until well frothy.
  • Pour into the pre-baked crust and bake for 20 minutes.
  • The tops would have slightly browned.
  • Cool the bars completely before slicing.
  • Dust powdered sugar on top, followed by some grilled lemon slices.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.