I decided a few months ago to search for the definitive recipe for lemon tart.
I started with Keller’s Bouchon. The lemon tart recipe is basically the same as his in The French Laundry Cookbook without the honey cream. The filling was good and the crust was enjoyable but given that it called for expensive pine nuts I was expecting more. If I didn’t come in with any expectations I would be happier.
I tried the Barefoot Contessa recipe next. I loved the crust and I should because it had way more butter than all the others. The filling was almost too sweet which is something I never say. Today I ate an entire bag of Sour Gummi Lifesavers (I probably shouldn’t admit that) so I don’t have a problem with sugar.
I bought Desserts by the Yard and the lemon tart was the 2nd recipe I made out of it. Pat and I both like it but the crust couldn’t compare to the buttery extravaganza of the Barefoot Contessa’s. The filling was similar to the Bouchon one but it didn’t require the tart to be broiled briefly to brown the top.
I found Dorie Greenspan’s recipe on Serious Eats and gave it a try after reading the update on her blog. I had no trouble with the filling and it being whipped was a great texture. There was no crust recipe so I used an extra crust from Desserts by the Yard.
I love Susan Goin but I was disappointed in her recipe. It sounded intriguing with with a think layer of chocolate between the crust and lemon curd but Pat and I just didn’t like the taste. I actually had to throw the remainder of the tart out. I would reccomend leaving the chocolate out or making her pork loin roast.
After all this, I would reccomend Bouchon’s or Greenspan’s filling with the Barefoot Contessa’s crust. Bouchon’s is more of a traditional lemon curd and is delicious. Greenspan’s recipe is whipped which makes the texture great and is very enjoyable. The experiment is still on going as I’ve found a few more recipes to try…