Marco Pierre White was the first British chef (and at the time, the youngest chef anywhere in the world) to win three Michelin Stars. In his new cookbook, Wild Food from Land and Sea (Melville House)—which cooking columnist Sybil Pratt deems full of "serious, sophisticated cooking"—the chef shares some recipes for complicated French classics.  Today's recipe is for a luscious lemon tart.

Tarte au Citron

serves 8

A lemon tart cannot be served straightaway, as the middle will still be quite wet and runny. It needs to rest and set for at least an hour; when it will still be warm—the best way to serve it. However, it also tastes good cold a day later.


about 18 oz Sweet Pastry

5 lemons

9 eggs

about 1 and 3/4 cups superfine sugar

1 cup heavy cream


1. Roll out the pastry to ¼-inch thick, and use to line a 8-inch tart ring on a baking sheet, or a tin with a removable base. The ring or tin should be 1 ½-inchesdeep. Do not cut off excess pastry at the top at this stage.

2. Rest for at least an hour in the fridge to ensure the pastry will not shrink, then bake blind—lined with wax paper or foil and baking beans—in the oven pre-heated to 350°F for about 15 minutes, or until all visible pastry is thoroughly cooked. Remove the foil or paper and beans, leave to settle for a moment or two, then continue cooking for about 5 minutes more, until nice and golden. Keep in the ring. Reduce the oven temperature to 260°F. Check that there are no holes in the pastry shell.

3. Finely grate the zest from four of the lemons, and squeeze the juice from them all. Set aside.

4. Whisk the eggs and sugar together thoroughly in abowl, then add the lemon juice and zest. Stir in thecream.

5. Pour the lemon mixture into the pastry case and cook in the oven preheated to 260°F for 30–40 minutes,until starting to set in the center.

6. Remove from the oven, and trim and rest.


Recipe from Wild Food from Land and Sea by Marco Pierre White reprinted with permission from the publisher, Melville House. All rights reserved. Author photo by Granada Productions; book cover design by Kelly Blair.

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