The festive season is all about sweet and savory indulgences. I am a big fan of doing fusion desserts, especially when it comes to Indian sweet preparations. I have a fad for desserts that are guilt-free and calorie-friendly. My idea of fun festivities means considering health too. Whatever I put in my mouth should not only taste good but also nourish me. And that’s why you need to try my Lemon Tart recipe.
The crust is gluten-free, made with oats and almond flour with significantly less sugar. You can omit the sugar part and use dates instead to go completely refined-sugar-free. However, when it’s a festive season, I am ok to indulge a tad bit extra. And brown sugar makes the tart crust a bit richer. So I chose to go with that, but you can undoubtedly use dates or any healthy sugar substitute of your choice. Rose petals and rose water give this fantastic scent and flavor both. Perfect for making any Indian dessert!! And what to say about the luscious smooth lemon curd filling. It’s nothing less than a dream, I say!
Things to consider while making Lemon Tart:
- Always use Citron or large yellow lemons for desserts. The flavor is of crucial importance and much required versus the green limes, specifically for this recipe.
- You can easily avail dried rose petals these days at a local Indian grocer shop. However, if you do not find one, then it’s very easy to make your own. Thoroughly wash the petals of fresh rose flowers in cold water. Washing will remove all the impurities and residue. Then gently pat dry on a kitchen towel. Once slightly dry, spread it on a large baking tray and place in a preheated oven at about 175 degrees celsius for a few minutes. Keep an eye on them, or else you will end up with burnt petals. Alternatively, you can pan roast the petals on a very hot pan but turn off the stovetop.
- To make tarts, having a good reliable quality tart shell is essential. I highly recommend using a tart shell that can help you to pull out the tart with ease. I use this one by Anna Olson. If you do not have a tart shell, then you can also use a regular pie dish. The only difference will be that you’d need to be a bit more careful while slicing tart since glass can sometimes cut through.
- For those who have neither tart shell nor pie dish, you can choose to make this in a cheesecake pan as well. And if you also happen not to have a cheesecake pan, consider using any good oven-proof dish.
- Since this is an Indian fusion dessert, my inspiration behind this particular recipe is using Indian flavors like turmeric spice, coconut, rose, and almond. The crust would taste like Badam Launj or Almond fudges, a traditional Indian sweet consumed on grand festive occasions like Diwali or weddings. Also, lemon curd is a western concept and requires eggs as one of the vital ingredients. But I have done this dish eggless, so worry not my non-eggetarian friends.
I really hope you will give my lemon tart recipe a try this festive season or any special occasion. If you do, I request you to kindly leave a review here or tag me on social media. For more Indian fusion desserts, check out my absolute favorite and super trending Gulab Jamun Bundt cake.
- For crust :
- 150 g cold butter
- 2 cups Oats
- 1/2 cup Almond Flour
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- Dried rose petals, a handful, or as per liking
- 2 Tsp Rosewater
- For Lemon Curd :
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Zest of a whole lemon
- 3-4 Tsp Corn Starch Powder
- 2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 sachet of Gelatin (I use Vegan, but you can use regular or agar-agar)
- Frosting (optional but recommended)
- 1/2 cup Cream Cheese
- 2 Tbsp Full Cream
- Sugar, As per choice and taste
- 1 tsp Rosewater
- 1 tsp Pink food powder (I use Beetroot powder)
Preparing Lemon Curd for Tart filling first :
- In a saucepan, add all the ingredients for lemon curd except Gelatin.
- Whisk all the ingredients thoroughly and slowly while keeping the saucepan on medium to low heat.
- The mixture will seem to curdle, but don't worry and keep whisking while the mixture boils on a medium to low heat setting.
- After a few minutes of boiling, remove the mixture from heat and let it cool completely. Store it in an airtight mason jar and refrigerate it until further use.
Preparing the crust or tart base :
- Blend all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor. You can go for either coarse or finer texture. I prefer somewhat in the middle of both, so the crust feels like the grand Badaam Launj or Indian-style almond fudges.
- Using the bottom of a bowl or a jar, spread the mixture evenly in a greased tart shell. (I used a rectangular tart shell of these dimensions: 13.25"W x 3.75"H x 1"D)
- Once you set the crust, put it in the refrigerator to set it completely for 2-3 hours,
Combining the crust and filling :
- To set the lemon curd filling, add Gelatin from a sachet in 4 tbsp of room temperature water.
- Heat the prepared lemon curd in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. (Keep it on a high to medium heat setting)
- Once heated, add gelatin mixture to the lemon curd. Make sure to whisk thoroughly and dissolve the Gelatin fully. (It will take nearly 8-10 minutes for this step. Anything longer than that may burn away the lemon flavor. So be very careful not to overheat the mixture at this stage.)
- Remove it from heat and try to cool it quickly. I like to use a ladle and pour the mixture in and out to let all the steam out. Or you can use a chilled bowl (stainless steel or glass that has been kept in a freezer) and then transfer the hot liquid mixture to it. You will notice the lemon curd will start sticking to the bowl or ladle as it begins to cool down.
- Once lemon curd cools down a bit, bring the tart shell out of the refrigerator. Now pour the lemon curd over the crust evenly.
- Place the tart shell back in the refrigerator and set it for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Serving the Lemon Tart :
- You can serve the tart slices as it is, but if you want to go a little fancy, consider preparing a quick rose-flavored frosting. It pairs reasonably well in this particular dessert.
- Firstly, add cream cheese in a baking bowl, and whip on medium speed until soft peaks develop.
- Then add full cream, sugar, and rose water to it. Whip again until everything is combined.
- Transfer the prepared frosting in a piping bag with a star piping tip.
Garnishing and Serving the Tart :
- Pipe out the equal amounts of frosting on the tart in such a way that when you slice the tart, every slice gets the frosting over it.
- Alternatively, you can slice the tart and then pipe out the frosting over it.
- I love using natural food coloring powders, especially in desserts. Here I sprinkled some beetroot powder over the frosting to give a rosy look. You can use crushed rose petals, saffron strands, or even fresh fruit like cherries if you do not have natural food-colored powders.
- This tart recipe is perfect for make-ahead desserts. You can make lemon curd way in advance, and it will stay good in an airtight mason jar in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.
- The crust is inspired by the flavors of Badaam launj, a famous Indian sweet. However, if you are allergic to nuts, you can avoid using almond flour and only oats. If you want to include that deep nutty flavor in your tart, I recommend substituting with white sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Please note that the preparation time excludes all you will need to set the tart base in the refrigerator or cool down the lemon curd mixture. The total time to get the final results will be approximately 6-8 hours. That is why I rely on making tarts like this for big festive feasts or gatherings. I make it a day in advance and let it set in the fridge overnight to serve the next day.
- The leftover tart can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Unfortunately, this dessert is not freezer friendly mainly due to the delicate texture of lemon curd. I would highly recommend consuming within a week. And if you are concerned about the soggy crust, then worry not. The crust will still stay crisp. That's because the sticky Gelatin in lemon curd will prevent the liquid from seeping into the crust.
- Make sure the Gelatin dissolves fully into the lemon curd mixture. If it doesn't happen, then there are high chances your filling won't set, and when you slice the tart, the lemon curd will fall apart and might float around. Not an ideal situation!!
- You do not need to use all the lemon curd if you feel your tart base can't hold it all. The leftover lemon curd will stay good for weeks in the fridge and can be used for many other dessert purposes, like a lemon blueberry loaf.