Grandma’s Lemon Tart

We all carry around fond memories of our loved ones. Some of my favorites are of my grandma and the amount of patience she had trying to teach me how to bake. And boy, the stories she use to tell all her lawn bowl friends about my “attempts”. Sadly she passed away before she could see her techniques mastered by an impatient teenager, so this one is dedicated to her and this yummy first recipe she taught me so many years ago.


This is a slightly different version to grandmas like me she has terrible hand writing so this is mostly based on memory. It is a cost effective showstopper, The filling is just three simple ingredients lemon, eggs, and a tin of sweetened condensed milk (She would however always tell me to by two tins of milk as my dad always had a fondness for eating the stuff right out of the can). For me its the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and with the addition of the condensed milk it just makes the tart so gorgeous and creamy. I’m kinda glad my partner dislikes lemon desserts (hes strange in that aspect), as it means all the more for me!


So to start with I worked on the sweet shortcrust pastry, this is such a versatile filling so if you prefer you can use a biscuit base instead. I have also made this before as a slice and individual tarts when i was entertaining so seems to work all round. To start the pastry, in a food processor i combine icing sugar, butter, and flour. I then Add the egg yolks while the motor is still running and once they look like bread crumbs, i add the cold water and process until a dough starts to come together.


Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and work gently until it comes together and forms a ball. flatten into a disk shape, wrap in cling wrap and put in the fridge for an hour, to chill. Take out the dough and once its close to room temp roll out between two sheets of baking paper, until its about 3 mm in thickness but work quickly as its butter and it will get soft and hard to work with. Place in a lightly greased tin (i used a loose bottom tart tin), and prick with a fork. This is a bit more fancy then what grandma use to do she use to say “just push the dough in the tin with your fingers”.

With your oven preheated at 180, line the pastry case with baking paper and add rice ( or baking beads if you have them) to weight the pastry down. Blind bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and paper and bake for a further 10 min until slightly golden. Trim the edges and Just set aside to let cool, don’t turn the oven off just yet tho.


Now for the best bit, the filling….


Whisk together the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk, pour in the lemon juice and blend . Bake for 15 min until set, “when you touch it lightly with your finger and it doesn’t leave a mark”.


let the tart cool in the tin on a cooling rack, then for the moment of truth. Remove the tart from the tin and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.


You can serve as is, maybe dust with icing sugar, or serve with whip cream.I was in a candy lemon mood this time around.

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  • 225 g Plain flour
  • 80 g  cup icing sugar
  • 125 g chilled unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon of cold water

Lemon filling

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice ( around 3 lemons)



  • In a food processor combine icing sugar, flour, and butter until it forms fine bread crumbs. While the motor is running add the egg yolks and blend until everything is combined.
  • Add the chilled water and continue blending until the dough just comes together. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface, and work gently to form a ball.
  • Flatten into a disk, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Once chilled, roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper, to around 3 mm thickness.
  • Line the prepared tin with the pastry and prick the base with a fork. Cover and refrigerate for another 30 min
  •  Line the case with baking paper, weigh down and blind bake for 15 min.
  • Remove the weights and continue baking for 10 min until the pastry is slightly golden.
  • Trim the pastry shell and let it cool down in the tin on a cooling rack.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whip together the egg yolks and the sweetened condensed milk
  • Add the lemon juice and mix till combined, pour into prepared tart tin, bake for 15 minutes until the filling is set.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature, remove the tart from tin and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
  • Serve with whip cream, a dusting of icing sugar, fresh berry’s or some candied lemons.




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