June 20, 2017

Marco Pierre White's Harvey's Lemon Tart ~ #CakeSliceBakers

A Lemon Tart may just be my all-time favorite dessert.  I am always searching for the perfect recipe, and that is 
why I chose it as my cake to bake for this month's #CakeSliceBakers.

It is #CakeSliceBakers time, and we are back with our June cake from World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey. A little background on the #CakeSliceBakers ~ each month the Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the book and we each choose one cake to bake. On the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important one is to have fun (and enjoy baking & eating cakes!). The choices this month were Marco Pierre White’s Harvey’s Lemon Tart, Rhubarb Crumble Cake, Kueh Lapis, Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s Cloud Forest Chocolate Cake. All wonderful choices, but I can never say no to a lemon tart.

This particular tart recipe was created by famed British Chef, television personality, and restaurateur Marco Pierre White at his famed London restaurant, Harvey. Much has been written about this chef, and he has the reputation for being a hot-head in the kitchen, but he has always remained true to himself. He lives by the adage "success is born out of arrogance, but greatness comes from humility".

Interestingly this recipe is available from other sources on the internet, but the measurements vary to what is in World Class Cakes.  This may account for the trouble I had with the pastry, as the recipes online call for way more flour than 250g (2 cups) in the book. You will notice in my recipe below I have adjusted for this, but I still don't think it was enough flour.  I was able to roll the dough out, but there was no way I could lift it into the tart pan as it was just too soft.  In the end I had to pick up pieces of the dough and place them into the pan, and then smooth it all out. Not quite what I was expecting. Next time I make it I am going to use the 500g (4 cups) flour called for online. To make the tart I did not use a tart ring that is called for in the recipe.  Instead I used a tart pan with a removable base. Also, a heads that both the dough (both prior and post being rolled out) and the filling require time in the refrigerator - so plan accordingly. And one last thing, I had way more filling than I needed for the one tart.  I chose to make a second tart, but you could also use the additional filling to make mini tarts or lemon bars.

The trouble that I experienced with the Pâte Sablée all melted away once the tart was baked.  I chose to decorate with powdered sugar and lemon slices, but you could also sift powdered sugar on the top and then caramelize it with a brûlée torch or under the broiler. The deliciously tart lemon filling, crisp shortbread-like base, and powdered sugar topping all combined to amaze the taste buds. When you cut the tart you can hear the crunch of the base, and it slices perfectly.  Once you take a bite you taste the filling which is a creamy mix of both sweet and tart. You could add a dollop of cream on the side if you want, but this tart really doesn't need any adornment. Seriously, this is probably the best lemon tart I have ever had. Yep, it is that good, and I think my search may be over for the perfect lemon tart.

Please scroll down after the recipe to see all the beautiful cakes that were baked this month, and don't forget to check out our Facebook page. Also, if you are interested in joining the #TheCakeSliceBakers, please send me an email at thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com, and I will send you more information.


Marco Pierre White's Harvey's Lemon Tart
Printer Friendly Recipe

Pastry ~
  • 226g (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 165g (1 cup) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 20ml (4 teaspoons) water
  • 340g (2½ cups) all-purpose flour, sifted
Lemon Filling ~
  • 236ml (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 9 eggs
  • 354g (1¾ cups) sugar
  • 360ml (1½ cups) lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons

Pastry ~
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Add the eggs yolks and half of the water, mix to combine.
  3. Mix in the sifted flour slowly, then add the rest of the water as needed.
  4. Knead slowly on a cool, floured counter.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
  6. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to use.

Lemon Filling ~
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk, add the cream and mix until it forms a ribbon.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the egg and sugar batter and whisk to combine, then pour mixture through a strainer onto the cream.
  4. Whisk everything together and then add the lemon zest.
  5. Let stand in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  6. Take the pastry out of the refrigerator, and on a lightly floured counter, roll it out to about a ⅛-inch thickness, dusting with flour as you roll to prevent it from sticking.
  7. Place a tart pan with removable bottom on a baking sheet, gently place the dough into the pan and gently press the dough down all around the edges. Chill for 2 hours.
  8. Preheat the oven to 160℃ (325℉).
  9. Remove the pastry shell from the refrigerator and line with parchment paper.
  10. Fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake blind for about 25-30 minutes, or until the inside of the tart becomes golden brown.
  11. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, then carefully remove the beans/weights and parchment paper.
  12. Turn the oven down to 120℃ (250℉).
  13. Remove chilled lemon filling from the refrigerator and whisk lightly, then pour into the warm pastry shell (this will ensure that the shell is sealed) and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes (there should be a slight wobble in the center when it is cooked).
  14. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  15. Once the tart is fully cooled place the it on an inverted large cup and carefully slide the ring off the tart and down the cup, then slide the tart off the bottom round, and place it on a cake stand or plate.
Recipe from World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey


  1. I wish I had a tart pan suitable for this. I really need to just get one! I really loved the filling in pie form too!

  2. It does look like the perfect lemon tart. Your choice of crust was right on and the filling holds its shape so well...wonderful!

  3. Felice,
    Love love your finishing touches on the tart! Did you follow the method as required for the Pâte Sablée? I had the same problem when I last make it, too soft to roll so I did as you did! If it has the same results without all the chilling in the fridge, I might forgo that requirement!

    1. I did follow the recipe in the book, with the addition of some extra flour. It was impossible for me to roll out, so I put in the tart pan in pieces and then used my fingers to smooth it out. I suspect that the ratios in the book are incorrect, because if you do a search for the tart the other recipes say 500g of flour. I'm goin to follow that one next time for the pastry.


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