river cottage to core lemon tart
river cottage to core lemon tart

River Cottage Lemon Tart


October 21, 2013

Within hours of watching the first episode of the new River Cottage series, River Cottage to the Core, we made the lemon tart recipe Hugh baked for the head gardener, Craig (who incidentally had served us dinner only a few weeks previously on our visit there!).

It's amazing how much the kids love watching River Cottage, often instead of kids programmes. It's no doubt partly down to our enthusiasm for what River Cottage stands for but also the fantastically tempting recipes.

Suffice to say, this tart was absolutely amazing and our son who, not unlike Craig, isn't the biggest fan of desserts, absolutely loved it.

  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • 35 mins

    50 mins

    1 hr 25 mins

  • Yields: 10 portions


250 ml lemon juice (3-4 lemons)

Zest of 3 lemons

250g caster sugar

4 whole eggs and 4 yolks

150 ml double cream


Make a pastry tart base using our best sweet shortcrust pastry recipe. I'd recommend a deep pastry tin, the one in the picture above was not deep enough to hold all of the mixture. Of course you could just make two!

Preheat the oven to 150c

Put the eggs (whole eggs and yolks) in a mixing bowl with the sugar and whisk

Add the zest of 3 lemons and juice 3 or 4 (you need about about 200ml) to the egg and sugar mix and stir in

Leave to rest for 10 minutes and then whisk again, leaving for another 10

Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and then whisk in the cream

Strain again into the prepared pastry base

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or so until the lemon filling has just set

Allow to cool and then sprinkle with icing sugar

As well as making the pastry, the kids did most of this - breaking eggs, whisking, measuring and pouring. As always, we helped out with the hot parts but generally they are fairly self-sufficient.