Tarte au citron or Lemon Bars?


There are probably no differences between a tarte au citron and a lemon bar. I prefer little bars, as I found in my cookie book (“The ultimate cookie book” of Better Homes and Gardens) – they are pretty sweet, pretty sour and pretty good, but a whole piece of it like a piece of a tarte would be pretty much to eat at once.

For the dough, I decided to make a dough for tartes that I’ve learned years ago from a French family where I spent my holidays. So my recipe is a mix between tarte and lemon bars. The filling is the same as in the cookie book except the amount of sugar – I reduced it just a little bit.

For 36 bars (a 9×13 inch pan = 23×33 cm; it needs borders, as the filling is liquid before baking. A simple baking sheet won’t do!) you need:

for the dough:
150 g cold butter
300 g flour
1 pinch of salt
2 tblsp sugar

for the filling:
3 lemons (organic)
1 1/4 cup (=310 ml) sugar
3 tblsp flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup (=60 ml) milk or cream

First of all, prepare the dough:
Cut the butter in cubes and crumble all ingredients together. What you’ll find in your bowl will be a lot of crumbles, but no dough. So add about 3 tblsp of cold water and make quickly a dough. Don’t knead too long. If you still see small dots of butter, don’t mind, that’s ok!

Put parchment paper into your baking pan (it shoud cover the borders, too) and roll the dough into the pan. Make little holes with a fork (to avoid air bubbles later) and chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour. You can prepare the dough also the day before, no problem!

Then heat the oven (180°C) and bake the dough for 20-30 minutes until it is light golden brown. In a bowl, combine sugar, flour and grated peel of 2 lemons.
In another bowl, whisk together milk and eggs.
Squeeze the lemons and measure 3/4 cups (=190 ml) of lemon juice.

Just before the dough is baked, mix all ingredients for the filling together. Don’t do it earlier as the acid of the lemon maybe doesn’t get best friends with the eggs. I haven’t tried yet to mix it long before I put the filling over the dough but I advise you not to try it (unless you love lemony scrambled eggs). For mixing, I add the eggs with the milk to the sugar-flour mix (constantly stirring) and then I add the lemon juice.

Pour the filling over the dough and continue baking for 20 minutes. It’s done when the filling is firm.

Cool down and cut into 36 bars.

2 Responses to “Tarte au citron or Lemon Bars?”

  1. 1 Anikó

    I want one! Please send it to the following adress ;-)
    Seriously, exactly the kind of cake I love! Think I have to bake it! Erm, when it`s a bit colder outside ;-)

    • …but baking during hot summer weather makes you feel great when you leave the more than hot kitchen and go into another room where it’s hot, too, but feels chilly then ;-)

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