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Suzanne Goin's Meyer Lemon Tart with Chocolate




My oldest son was taking a trip out to L.A. recently and asked for some restaurant recommendations.  I told him to try to go to Lucques, the restaurant owned by Suzanne Goin.  That reminded me that I've always wanted to make her Meyer Lemon Tart, from her book, "Sunday Suppers at Lucques".  It's a different kind of lemon tart, because it has a layer of bittersweet chocolate on the bottom, an idea she got from her sister, who asked her to put some chocolate in her lemon tart. 

Meyer lemons are a little bit different than a regular lemon.  They are a cross between a kind of tangerine and a lemon, resulting in a sweeter taste than a regular lemon. They are also rounder, less acidic and have a smoother skin than a regular lemon.  More and more grocery stores are carrying them. 

the combination of lemon and chocolate is terrific

I have changed the recipe just a bit from Suzanne's.  I use regular, salted butter in the recipe and then just omit the salt.  I also made my dough in the food processor, which I prefer, wheras she makes hers in a mixer.  I doubled the amount of chocolate for the layer of chocolate because - well, why not?  

This tart is made by "blind baking" the crust first, which completely bakes the crust before filling it with a mixture which will not be baked further.  Blind baking keeps the crust crisp longer.  To do this, you will need a piece of parchment paper or just tin foil and something that can keep the crust weighted down, like dried beans or pie weights, which are specifically made for this purpose.  



Meyer Lemon Tart with Chocolate


for a printable recipe, click here

adapted slightly from Sunday Suppers at Lucques


for the Pâte Sucrée:

make enough for 2 tarts - you can freeze one half of the dough or just cut the dough recipe in half 

  • 2-¾ plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ pound butter (2 sticks), cut into slices 
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 extra large egg yolks 

For the filling:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 3 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 10 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces


Preheat the oven to 375° F.

For the dough:

Whisk the cream and egg yolks together in a small bowl.

In a food processor, add the flour and sugar and process until blended. Add the sliced butter through the feed tube and process until coarse crumbs form. Through the feed tube, add the cream and egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together and forms a ball. Do not overprocess. Remove the dough and  divide it in half and flatten each into a disc. Place each on a piece of floured plastic wrap.  Freeze one disc and chill the other for ten minutes. 

Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour over the dough and place a piece of plastic wrap on top. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a ¼-inch thick circle, moving the plastic wrap as you need to so the pin doesn't stick to the dough. Starting at one side, roll and wrap the dough around the rolling pin to pick it up.  Unroll the dough over a 10-inch tart pan. Gently fit the dough loosely into the pan, pressing the dough into the corners with your fingers. Pinch off any excess dough from the edges and press into the pan where it may need it.  Chill the tart for 1 hour.

Blind bake the shell: Dock the bottom of the tart with a fork. Line the chilled dough in the tart pan with a piece of baking parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake 15 minutes until set. Take the tart out of the oven and carefully lift out the paper and beans. Return the tart to the oven and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is an even golden brown.  (If the edges are cooking too quickly, I find a pie shield is very helpful.) Set aside on a rack to cool completely. 

For the filling:

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Spread the chocolate evenly on the cooled crust and chill in the fridge at least 15 minutes, until the chocolate has solidified completely.

While the crust is chilling, make the curd. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, alternating between a whisk and rubber spatula until the lemon curd has thickened to the consistency of pastry cream and coats the back of the spatula.

Remove the  lemon curd from the heat. Add the butter an little at a time, stirring to incorporate completely.

Let the curd cool about 8 minutes and then strain it through a sieve into the prepared tart shell.  Chill the tart in the refrigerator.  (Since the tart filling is not baked, make sure it is completely chilled for a few hours before serving. It will not be as firm as a baked tart filling.)



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Reader Comments (29)

Oh my.......these tasty lemons are a big favorite in the household.. Lemon tarts are high on the list for desserts. Now you have offered an interesting change. Can't wait to try this recipe........thanks!!

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarb

OMG! This looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! I can't wait to try it!!

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdonna

I say yes to this because when I was in Italy our favorite gelato was lemon with chocolate running through it. We only saw it in Venice and looked everywhere for it. The combination was incredible.

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterangela@spinachtiger

I can't wait to try this and I'm already dreaming of orange and chocolate, and raspberry and chocolate versions.

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLainie Rullo

I love your blog and I'm very glad to have an opportunity to make this looks scrumptious as do all of your recipes, Elaine. But I differ with your use of salted butter for the pastry. I ALWAYS use unsalted butter and add the amount of salt indicated by the recipe. When you use salted butter, you're stuck with the amount put in by the manufacturer and honestly may be too salty for some people. (Me!) I've been cooking and baking for nearly 60 years and using unsalted butter and then adding salt has never disappointed. Also, I find that it's important to follow a new recipe exactly the way it's written...and THEN tweak it to taste the next time I make it. Doubling the chocolate layer does not follow the original recipe. When I bake this tart, even though I love chocolate dearly, I plan to use the amount of chocolate recommended by Suzanne in her recipe, which I believe would be 2 ounces. I suspect this dessert is designed to have a "hint" of chocolate, not a substantial layer. I make a recipe for pecan pie that has a slim chocolate layer on the crust which works very well. But of course this is a matter of taste and always up to the individual cook, isn't it? :) Oh, one last thing: several years ago I learned to roll my pastry BETWEEN two pieces of wax paper and eliminate the floury mess on my marble slab. Try like a charm!

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

From The Italian Dish:

Arlene: I appreciate your concern regarding the salt. The reason I do this on many recipes now (not all) is that a very famous pastry chef said that she does this quite a bit because in the "old days" unsalted butter was used because it was much fresher than salted. That is not the case these days and in many instances you can simply use regular salted butter and then omit the little 1/4 teaspoon or whatever of salt that is in the recipe. I find this much easier for most things and doesn't affect it at all. You can certainly use unsalted butter if you want and add salt.

As for the chocolate - I did double it just for fun and I'm glad I did because, even when I doubled it, it seemed to be a very thin layer of chocolate. You can certainly keep it to two ounces.

Also - thanks for the tip about the plastic wrap, but I already do that with all of my pastry (as you can see in the photo). I roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap usually and it makes pie rolling so much easier.


March 12, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I think You Are A FABULOUS Cook and wonderful knitter, too. I look forward to The Italian Dish in my Inbox. (Great hint with the wonton wraps lasagna!) My late husband was Italian and loved the cuisine! So do I. Keep the great recipes coming! Please!

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

One question - how many lemons did you use to get a cup of juice? I know it's hard to give an exact answer but just a ballpark amount would help - I'd hate to buy too many or not enough. Thanks.

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbeth

From The Italian Dish:

Beth: It's going to vary according to your lemons, but I would count on using 6 to 8 lemons for one cup of juice. Make sure they are room temperature - you get more juice out of them that way.

March 12, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Can regular lemons be used in this recipe if I can't find Meyer lemons?

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzie

From The Italian Dish:

Suzie: You sure can use regular lemons. In fact, it might be interesting to use half regular lemons and half orange juice or tangerine juice.

March 12, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

love this-
i have this book too and will peruse it for the tart recipe itself. love the doubling of the chocolate-esp a good quality chocolate. i'll have to use regular lemons though, as i have an allergy to oranges (which as you aptly point out are bred into meyers), and i hope it will turn out ok. i'm not huge on super sweet, so i hope it will be ok. maybe adding some zest of the eureka lemons will cut the bitterness a tad..?
i think the meyer lemon issue is why i have not cooked this particular recipe from the sunday suppers book, but you have definitely pointed me to it! thank you!
having lived in LA for 15 years, i also LOVE Lucques restaurant--in every way-food, building and interior decor, and service. i consider it the best restaurant in the USA, actually :) suzanne's other restaurants A.O.C. and Tavern are also EXCELLENT.

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

I love lemons and this looks amazing!

March 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Could this be made with key limes instead of lemons?

March 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Great idea for a Easter dessert. I have to smile though every time I read about the methods used for blind baking. I've made many many pies using many different methods, weirdest one being to turn the pie plate upside down and placing crust on the outside and hoping for good luck to remove the baked crust and placing it inside the plate in one piece. More often than not it would crack, because of the slightly larger size.
So when a good friend mentioned that her elderly mom doesn't understand all the fuss as she does quite well without using anything, I insisted for more information. My first answer was again nothing but I kept insisting that was impossible, she needs to ask again, exactly what all she did. Finally, she added the part about letting the crust sit on the counter,fridge works too, for 3-4 hours before baking. The slight drying of the crust is just enough to hold it exactly in place for a perfectly baked crust, no slippage at all.

March 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnita

From The Italian Dish:

Anita: Wow, thanks for sharing! I love the blind baking method your friend's mom uses. That makes total sense. I've never heard of that.

March 14, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

From The Italian Dish:

Sarah: I'm sure lime juice would be just fine.

March 14, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Lemon tarts are a favorite of mine...adding a layer of chocolate has to make it irresistible.

I'm headed out to San Francisco tomorrow for spring break. My brother has a Meyer lemon tree and I am so making this next week! It's already making my mouth water!!

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne from Colorado

I love the flavor of lemons and I love chocolate; however, I never thought of combining the two! I will look forward to making this soon!

March 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

I absolutely love the combination of chocolate and lemon, so I can't wait to try this tart. I also love lemon bars so I'm thinking of taking your idea of layering these flavors and applying it to my lemon bars. Divine!

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren @ SiciLean

I'm late to the party, just discovered your blog today. I'm going to have fun.
Fresh ingredients cooked beautifully - my kind of food. How generous you are with recipes and your photographs are quite spectacular. Thank you, and Buon Pasquale. ( I know I was Italian in a past life).

March 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

This is really great – lemon desserts are my favourite, probably because I'm from the Amalfi Coast! I have just started my own Italian cookery blog. You can find it at Let me know what you think! Grazie.

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIsabella

This is a seriously good recipe - made it for my family and in-laws at the weekend....what a hit, Chocolate adds a real twist to the tart. Love it, thanks.

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

let's share the best recipes Tastefully simple bread recipes

April 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercooking

Made this for Easter with my family. It was so delicious. I did have to use a combination of regular and meyer lemons as I went through the entire bag of meyer lemons and still didn't have enough juice. Thanks for posting, love your site and I will definitely be making this again!

April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAimee Wilson

We don't have Meyer lemons in Mexico, what can I use instead to keep the citrus flavor similar, muce and subtle? I love your blog!

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarina

Hi, I love the idea of this recipe and I've tried to make it twice now, but both times the pastry ended up rock hard and the lemon curd turned out really runny. What am I doing wrong and is there any way to fix it if the lemon curd doesn't set after several hours in the fridge?

May 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia

My favorite of all time. So delicious. Awesome recipe.


July 19, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterplasterers bristol

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