Naked Lemon Tart: Tuesdays with Dorie

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What is a naked tart you ask? A naked tart is missing its tart shell, and in this case also missing an optional whipped cream topping. As created by Dorie Greenspan, this tart is supposed to have a tender almond crust that I’m sure is delicious and makes perfect sense with such a puckery lemon flavor profile. But, after making so many tarts this past week, I was up for a bit of change. I made this for mother’s day and my mom didn’t miss the crust at all. Can I say that she gobbled it up, not leaving a drop, even after a big dinner. But she can eat candied lemons.

Not everyone enjoys the tartness of lemons to that degree, and if that’s you, then make it with the tart crust and include that dollop of whipped cream. It will be just perfect. But, if you really like a pucker, then go naked.

This is a scary recipe, because you use the entire lemon in the pastry cream, including the white bitter pith. But with a bit of cream, sugar and eggs, it bakes until it bubbles and caramelizes into a gooey, lemony bite of distinction. This is a recipe I’ll return to with a crust…or maybe not. It all depends on my lemony mood, and I might even try it with meyer lemons for a completely different sweetness.

Recipe for Naked Lemon Tart (adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours)


  • 1 1/2 lemons, scrubbed, dried, cut into small pieces and deseeded
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 stick unsalted melted, cooled butter

Note: If not going naked and using a tart shell, Dorie recommends a 9 inch tart shell. You can also use 4 small 4-5” tart shells)

9-inch Pastry Crust ( Páte Sablée)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted very cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk

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