Summer is here. Bake something summery :)

June 19, 2011

Crème Fraîche Lemon Tart

It's been a long time since my last post, I know. The school year's finishing next week and this week was a killer! I had to learn, learn and for change - learn. I hate that! God, I went to bed after midnight every single day because I had to learn so much in order to get the best makrs possible. However, the effort paid off and hopefully there should be only excellent marks on my school report! Phew :) I'm so sleepy, tired and exhausted and happy at the same time. That's it. School's gone for 2 months and now I can focus on the stuff I really do love and that's baking of course. So let's have a look what's baking in my kitchen today :)

Today's post won't be too long as I really do need to rest, relax and "recover" from that awful learning marathon. Fortunately, the sun is shining, summer is here and so is hot & humid weather. I have pounds of strawberries and cherries waiting to be used, but not this time. This heat waves deserve something even more refreshing, fresh, tangy, light and sour. Lemons! There's nothing as refreshing as ripe bright yellow lemons in summer. I don't fancy eating plain lemon on its own, that would be too sour for my taste buds, but when combined with wonderful creaminess of crème fraîche, you can't make a mistake in any way. Believe you me :)

I found this recipe in a German cookbook by Tanja Dusy. The name of the book is Sommerküche which could be translated as summer dishes (or meals, food etc.). I knew immediately that this was a must-try for me. And here it goes.

Usually it's hard for me to follow recipes step by step and that means that even this time I had to change a few things. I only used brown suger so that the tart would have moister caramelish flavour and instead of plain all-purpose lour used whole wheat flour. By the way, the vanilla pod is a must for this type of filling - it gives it the depth and final flavour that cannot be substituted by anything.

220g (1 cup + 4 tsp) whole wheat flour
60g (1/3 cup) light brown sugar
a pinch of salt
125g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) butter, cold, cut into tiny lumps
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp cold white wine
butter+flour for greasing
2 organic lemons
4 eggs
180g (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) light brown sugar
1 vanilla pod
150g (2/3 cup) crème fraîche
2 small organic lemons
100g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
120ml (1/2 cup) water

Dough: Mix together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl. Add butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs, using a knife and then your fingertips. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the beaten egg and white wine into it. Use a knife to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Then unwrap it. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along. Roll the dough into a circle. Flip it over greased and floured tart form (26cm diameter), centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places. Bake in preheated oven to 200C for 10 minutes (the dough should not change colour!). Remove from oven and set aside.
Filling: Beat eggs and sugar until light and foamy. Then gently fold in grated zest from both lemons, fresh lemon juice from both lemons, vanilla seeds from vanilla pod and crème fraîche.
Syrup: Slice both lemons into THIN slices. In a pan, combine water and sugar and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Add sliced lemons and continue boiling for about 7 minutes. The syrup won't become thick or something like that, but it'll become sour, tangy and a bit bitter and the lemon slices will be candied a bit. Remove from heat, discard the lemon slices (or see NOTES & TIPS) and let cool completely.
Assembly: Pour the filling into the prebaked pie crust and bake in preheated oven to 150C for 30-35 minutes or until the filling in the middle isn't runny any more. Remove from oven, let cool for about 5 minutes and then pour the syrup all over the surface of the tart. Let cool completely. Serve.

  • Do NOT cover the tart with baking paper to prevent it from browning. The filling is very sticky in oven and it would stick to the paper (foil, whatever) and destroy your beautiful tart.
  • You can keep the candied lemon slices and place them on the cooled tart. However, not everyone likes them. E.g. my dad doesn't like them at all, but I loved their taste even though I don't like candied fruit that much.
  • You can store the tart at room temperature for 1 (up to two) days, but then I'd recommend storing it in your fridge as there are eggs (even though they're not raw) and lemon slices.
  • Serve with lightly sweetened crème fraîche if it's too sour for your taste buds. My sister prefered this to plain tart w/ the sweet creamy sauce.

It's not as complicated as it seems to be at first glance. In fact, it's pretty easy and fast. This tart delivers everything you'd await from lemon tart. However, don't await a hint of lemon flavour. No way! This is a blast of lemon flavour and the taste of it is quite strong. It's sweet enough, but not too much, the tangy sour lemon is the king there.The crust is not the first thing that draws your attention, it's there only to soften the lemon flavour. Thanks to the crème fraîche, the tart is also creamy, fluffy and airy (well, that's probably because of the eggs :D). If you seek some fine delicious refreshment, go for this one! I swear :)

Linked to:
Sweets for a Saturday
A Themed Bakers Sunday
Whisking Wednesdays


  1. I actually like the slices of lemon on top: they send a strong message, so to speak. Hang in there for this last week and then enjoy the long time off.

  2. Hi! I'm having a linky party called A Themed Baker's Sunday and this weeks theme is Citrus! This includes: Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit!
    Also, Enter to win my Free Giveaway!!!

  3. What a stunning tart! Love the look of the candied slices on top...beautiful. So glad you have some time to bake on your summer holiday :)

  4. Simona: Thank you so much :) Now I can finally say that school's behind me :D

    blkenigma888: Thank you for letting me know :) I've already linked up a few recipes.

    Lizzy: Thank you a lot! Yeah, baking during summer is something I really do enjoy :D


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