Alain Ducasse’s inspired Lemon Tartlets

Last week, I have offered a mini-buffet to some of my husbands’ friends. I have prepared some old recipes and some others which will be posted soon.

Mini tartlets with sablé breton, glazed raspberries and white chocolate

I also made these raspberry-white chocolate ganache macarons:

Oh! I finally got to open “Grand Livre de Cuisine, Desserts et Pâtisserie” of Alain Ducasse and “dare” to try one of the recipes.

Grand Livre de Cuisine, Desserts et Patisserie“, Perfection in every page and every line of the book

I was looking for another lemon tart (please check this one out) which has no meringue (because I don’t like it) and where you get to back the lemon curd with the crust.

I counted a couple of recipes for miniature tartlets with lemon. I tried one of them. Today’s recipe calls for an unsual procedure but there is nothing complicated. So let’s discover it…

Before we start, I have to say that I tried the mini tartlets and I didn’t like the shape, it was my fault: I didn’t place the dough in the tartlet shells properly and I haven’t filled it generously either. But I chilled the dough again and I gave it another go, with a generous filling, and here is how it looks like:

Alain Ducasse’s inspired Lemon Tartelets


For about 16 mini-tartelets (or 6 mini and 4 of 10 cm diameter)
Prep: 20min – Rest: 15 min + 15 min – Baking: 10 min + 10 min

Pâte sucrée (sweet tart dough) or just use shortcrust dough
  • 240 g flour
  • 30 g almond powder/meal (my addition)
  • 150g softened butter
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod, use the beans
  • ¼ tsp salt
Liquid lemon filling
  • 200 ml lemon juice
  • 100 g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 g confectioner’s sugar
  • (grated lemon zest or candied lemon peels)
Finishing touch
  • Neutral glazing (2 tbsp of sugar with 1 tbsp of water)
  • Lemon zest
A creamy lemon cream and a crunchy sweet dough
Prepare the pastry case
With an egg beater or a paddle (KitchenAid), cream sugar and butter. Add the egg, the vanilla extract and the salt. Add flour and almond powder. Flatten it slightly to form an “abaisse” and place it in the freezer for 15 min. I always have one ready in the freezer, very handy.
Preheat the oven at 170 C, convection oven.
Roll the dough about 2 mm thick (always between 2 sheets of parchment). Cut circles slightly bigger than your moulds so you can also cover the edges. Trim off any excess. Put back in the freezer for 5 min.
Blind-bake these tartlets cases for about 10 min: Cover the surface with a baking sheet and put some dried beans so the dough does not rise or shrink. I haven’t done this because I forgot to buy beans/rice. Once they get a pale colour, remove the beans and bake for 2 more minutes. Set aside to cool.
Making the liquid lemon mix and assembling the tartlets
Bring the oven temperature to 180°C.
Melt the butter in a pan, over low heat. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar.  Incorporate the lemon juice while still beating/whisking. Add the melted butter and whisk without incorporating air.
Pour the lemon filling on the warm but not hot tartlets shells and place in the oven and KNOCK IT OFF, you have to believe it but the lemon filling will set with the heat. Keep the tartlets in this oven heat for about 10 min and take them out. Set aside to cool before glazing them
The mini tartlets before baking, with the liquid lemon mix and the homemade lemon candied peels
I also used slightly bigger moulds:
Baked cases and unbaked tarts with filling, ready to go to the oven
Let the tartlets cool down and put into the fridge for a couple of hours. Like most of the tarts with buttery crust, take it out of the fridge at least 15 min before serving.
Decorate with lemon/lime zests.

Neutral glazing

Bring water and sugar to a boil and let it thicken a bit. Set aside to cool.

If you were asking how the mini-tartlets turned out: they were still wonderful but the look was appauling.

Note: before placing the lemon tartlets in the over so the lemon liquid sets, I added blueberries and homemade candied lemon peels, finely juliened, it’s a personal choice, but we enjoyed the finalt results

8 thoughts on “Alain Ducasse’s inspired Lemon Tartlets

  1. Hi Nada, I always wanted to try making a lemon tart – a traditional one though, not one with meringue though.I think they have such a wonderful tangy flavour don't there – in combination with the delicious, slightly crisp pastry it's the perfect combination 🙂


  2. Hi Charles, I totally agree…I have also noticed that a sweet tart shell gives it an extra dimension, better than a simple shortcrust dough, because the first one will caramelize from the edges and that balances the lemon…


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