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+ servings

Fresh Fig and Lemon Cream Tart

yield: 1 eight-inch tart
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Special Equipment

  • a medium oven safe bowl (I used a Pyrex bowl from this set)
  • an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom
  • a quick-read digital thermometer
  • an immersion blender (or a regular blender works too!)


For the Brown Butter Tart Shell

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour

For the Lemon Cream Filling and Fig Topping

    (makes enough for one 8-inch tart)

    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 fl. ounces) freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
    • a pinch of kosher salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks // 8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 1 pint ripe figs


    For the Brown Butter Tart Shell

    • Preheat the oven to 410 (F).
    • In a medium oven safe bowl, combine 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon sugar, and a pinch of salt.
    • And now, this is going to sound really weird, but place the bowl in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until the mixture is boiling and the butter starts browning.
    • After 15 minutes, remove from the oven (but keep the oven on!), and add 6 ounces of all-purpose flour by quickly spooning in flour in 1 tablespoon sized chunks. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to stir in the flour. As you do this, the mixture is also going to bubble and smoke, but trust the recipe! It works, I promise. The end result is a dough that pulls off the sides of the bowl and looks a little bit like a lump of mashed potatoes.
    • Once the dough is cool enough to touch, transfer the ball of dough into an 8-inch tart pan. Use the back of your hand to flatten out the dough onto the bottom of the pan, and your fingertips to mold the dough up into the corners and sides of the pan. It's going to feel really greasy and kinda unpleasant, but go with it. Once the tart dough has covered the pan completely, use a fork to poke several holes into the crust.
    • Bake at 410 (F) or until the crust is light brown and starts to appear flakey around 15 minutes. Remove carefully from oven and let rest on a wire rack.

    For the Lemon Cream Filling

    • Pour 2 inches of water into deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place over medium heat, and bring the water to a simmer.
    • Combine 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, 3/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt in a glass bowl. Place the glass bowl over the saucepan containing the simmering water to create a double boiler, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180 (F) on a quick-read digital thermometer. As you're whisking, be sure to never let the egg yolks and sugar sit together for more than a moment without stirring – the sugar will cook the yolks and turn them granular! Don't let that happen, or your tart will be weirdly textured and I will cry for you.
    • After the mixture reaches 180 (F) (after around 10 to 12 minutes), remove the bowl from over the water and let cool on a wire rack to 140 (F), stirring gently from time to time to release the heat.
    • Once the mixture reaches 140 (F), use an immersion blender to blend 1 cup unsalted butter a few cubes at a time into the lemon curd. Blend well after each addition of butter and make sure the cubes are fully incorporated before adding the next few pieces. As you add more butter, the cream will start to turn into a pale yellow with take on a thick, opaque texture.
    • Once the butter has been fully incorporated, cover the surface of the lemon cream with a layer of plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving.


    • Once the lemon cream has chilled for a few hours and you're ready to serve the tart, use a rubber spatula to carefully pour the lemon cream mixture into the prepped shell, smoothing out the cream with an offset spatula so that it spreads around the tart pan evenly. Decorate with sliced figs and serve immediately.


    Adapted from Tartine and Food52, basically