As the Weather Starts to Warm Up, Enjoy This Bright Dessert

March 24, 2021 Updated: March 24, 2021

Most lemon tart recipes feature butter in both the crust and the filling, but here we use extra-virgin olive oil instead. It makes the crust a snap: Just mix the flour, sugar, and salt with the oil and a little water until a soft dough forms; crumble it into the tart pan; press it into the sides and bottom; and bake it right away—no rolling or chilling required.

Using olive oil in the filling doesn’t compromise its firmness or sliceability, because the filling gets plenty of structure from the protein in the eggs. Olive oil does, however, allow lemons’ acidity to come to the fore in a way that butter doesn’t. That means we can use a bit less juice and still enjoy plenty of bright lemon flavor.

Lemon-Olive Oil Tart

Serves 8

For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the Filling

  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 large eggs plus 3 large yolks
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest plus 1/2 cup juice (3 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Crust

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Add oil and water and stir until a uniform dough forms.

Using your hands, crumble three-quarters of the dough over the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough to even thickness in the bottom of the pan.

Crumble the remaining dough and scatter it evenly around the edge of the pan, then press the crumbled dough into the fluted sides of pan. Press the dough to even thickness.

Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the crust is deep golden brown and firm to touch, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

For the Filling

About 5 minutes before the crust is finished baking, whisk sugar, flour, and salt in a medium saucepan until combined.

Whisk in eggs and yolks until no streaks of egg remain. Whisk in lemon zest and juice. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly and scraping the corners of the saucepan, until the mixture thickens slightly and registers 160 degrees, 5 to 8 minutes.

Off heat, whisk in oil until incorporated. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Pour the curd into a warm tart shell.

To Finish

Bake until the filling is set and barely jiggles when the pan is shaken, 8 to 12 minutes. Let the tart cool completely on a wire rack, at least 2 hours.

Remove the outer metal ring of the tart pan. Slide a thin metal spatula between the tart and the pan bottom, then carefully slide the tart onto a serving platter.

Cut the tart into wedges, wiping the knife clean between cuts if necessary, and serve. (Leftovers can be wrapped loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to three days.)

Recipe Notes

Use a fresh, high-quality extra-virgin olive oil here; our favorite is California Olive Ranch Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Make sure that all your metal equipment—saucepan, strainer, and whisk—is nonreactive, or the filling may have a metallic flavor.

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