Lemon and basil tarts

The Best Lemon and Basil Tarts

Lemon and Basil Tart made the true french way with Pate Sucree and Lemon Cream.  Its been two years since I had my first Tarte Citron at Jacques Genin in Paris.  It was love at first taste, and I immediately bought Monsieur Genin’s little recipe book “Le Meilleur de La Tarte Citron”, even though I cant speak a word of French.  Have a look at my post on Chocolates and Pastries In Paris from that trip. There are some amazing places to visit on your next trip to Paris.

Lemon Tart recipe book

 I rushed home and translated it with my trusty Google translator  thinking I was going to make it immediately, but the years have passed and I have only just got to make them.  I was pretty chuffed with my efforts, and decided to make the Basil and Lemon Tart as something slightly different.  The taste of Basil is so subtle you can hardly notice it, which is perfect for such a delicate tart.  I used my own Pate Sucree  (sweet shortcrust) recipe.

Everything seems to taste so much better when you can pick lemons off your own tree and raid your herb garden for the tenderest basil leaves.  Once again my lemon tree is over achieving – I have so many lemons I don’t know what to make next. If you want to make any other lemon recipes try  my Lemon Drop Cookies , Lemon Curd , Limoncello , and Crema di Limoncello .

How to make lemon cream

If you follow the instructions step by step you are guaranteed of a delicate citrus cream to be proud of.

1. In a thick based pan put 3 large eggs, 170g castor sugar, zest of 3 lemons and mix together.

2. Add 20g chopped basil leaves and 180g lemon juice and stir over low heat with a rubber spatula.

3. Continue stirring making sure not to allow lumps to form.

4.Stir until the cream begins to thicken and become syrupy.

5.Remove any lumps that may have formed and the basil leaves by sieving the mixture into a cold bowl.

6.Stir in the chopped  soft butter while the mixture is still hot.

7.Put the golden delicious lemon basil cream into the the fridge for at least 3 hrs before pouring into the pie crust.

Recipe and ingredients for the complete tart below

Pate Sucree

4 from 3 votes
The Best Lemon and Basil Tarts
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
55 mins
Recipe from Monsieur Genin's little recipe book "Le Meilleur de La Tarte Citron"
Course: Baking
Cuisine: French
Servings: 12
Author: Jacques Genin for the Lemon Basil Cream
  • 180 g juice of limes (citron vert) or 6-10 lemons
  • the zest of 3 lemons
  • 20 g basil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 170 g castor sugar
  • 200 g soft butter
  • 150 g butter , cubed at room temperature
  • 95 g icing sugar
  • 30 g almond flour (grind your own if you cant get almond flour)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean scrapped
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 250 g all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  2. In a thick based pan put eggs, castor sugar, zest of lemons and mix together.
  3. Add chopped basil leaves and lemon juice and stir over low heat with a rubber spatula.
  4. Continue stirring making sure not to allow lumps to form.
  5. Stir until the cream begins to thicken and become syrupy.
  6. Remove any lumps that may have formed and the basil leaves by sieving the mixture into a cold bowl.
  7. Stir in the chopped soft butter while the mixture is still hot.
  8. Put the golden lemon basil cream into the the fridge for at least 3 hrs before pouring into the pie crust.

  10. Put butter in a mixing bowl and cream until smooth (paddle attachment)
  11. Add sugar, vanilla bean seeds and almond flour. Mix until combined.
  12. Add eggs one at a time and make sure you incorporate each one before adding the next.
  13. Combine the flour and salt and add to the dough in three additions. Do not overmix. Its better to have a few lumps of butter in it , than an overworked dough.
  14. Roll the dough into a sausage shape. If making tartlets, divide the dough into disks the size of your tins. Wrap each one individually and store in the fridge for a few hours or freeze at this stage if you are freezing them.
  15. When ready to bake remove the disks from the fridge and roll between two sheets of clingwrap. The dough needs to be firm so don't over work it.

  16. Line the greased tart tins with the dough , cover each one with baking paper and fill with beans or rice and put back in the fridge until firm.

  17. Heat your oven to 175ºC/350ºF and bake for 10mins. Remove beans and paper from the tarts and cook for a further 5 mins or until your tarts are golden.

  18. Take them out of their tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  20. When cool pour the chilled lemon cream into the tarts and decorate with lemon zest and basil leaves.


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  • Reply Eric August 20, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    They Great as an after Dinner Treat or with a nice cup of Tea.
    The only problem is You end up having 2 or 3 !!!!!!!!

  • Reply Trish October 30, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    I was hesitant to put basil with this but the subtle taste was famtastic

    • Reply Ev October 30, 2014 at 6:59 AM

      Yes the basil creates a delicate taste, that one probably wouldnt even know it was basil

  • Reply Vusi October 30, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    Very nice

    • Reply Ev October 30, 2014 at 6:58 AM

      Thank you Vusi

  • Reply Linda March 26, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Thank you for the recipe!! The basil lemon is the most wonderful flavour with lemon I’ve ever had!! My husband agrees. By the way, have you ever frozen the filling to use later. Thanks so much and happy easter to you. Linda

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon March 27, 2016 at 3:09 PM

      Hi Linda, thanks so much for your lovely comment. I agree, the basil definitely compliments the lemon so beautifully. I haven’t frozen the filling as I am a bit of a “fresh is best” addict. The only things that are found in my deepfreeze are nuts, seeds and dried fruits. I hope you have had a lovely Easter too. Ev xxx

  • Reply Karl April 5, 2017 at 11:22 AM

    I think you mean lemon juice, not lime juice to be added. Probably a translation error, if you were speaking in an earlier form of English you would have been correct as lemons were once called limes 🙂

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon April 5, 2017 at 3:43 PM

      Hi karl, great to hear from you and thanks for your comments. I probably did translate it incorrectly – the recipe called for 180g de jus de citron vert (6 a 10 citrons) which I thought meant 180g lime juice or 6-10 lemons. Have a fabulous week.

  • Reply Josh May 7, 2017 at 6:41 AM

    For the pate sucree, it states in the ingredient list to have one egg at room temperature. Yet in the directions, you mention adding multiple eggs one at a time. Im assuming that there are more than one rggs required?? Thanks!

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon May 7, 2017 at 8:39 AM

      Hi Josh, yes it needs 2 eggs, sorry for the typo. It can also be made with one egg and one egg yolk but I normally use 2 eggs.

      • Reply Josh May 7, 2017 at 7:33 PM

        No problem! I also had the typo of mispelling eggs haha. Just really wanted to know since I want to try making this asap! Thank you 😀

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