Lemon and vanilla custard tart

Nadia's perfectly balanced silky lemon and vanilla custard is a great dessert to share with loved ones.

By Nadia Lim
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
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  • 1 square sheet sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 500 millilitre cream
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • 2
    Roll out pastry on a clean, dry, flat surface to about 2mm thick. Line a 25cm-diameter flan tin with a removable base with the pastry. Don't worry if it tears in places – shortcrust pastry is very forgiving; just squish it back together. You may need to use off-cuts to line the whole tin. Trim around the edges to create a neat, flat edge. Prick with a fork in a few places and brush with egg. Bake blind for about 20 minutes until golden. Remove tart shell from oven and set aside to cool in tin. Reduce oven temperature to 130°C.
  • 3
    To make the filling, heat cream, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in a saucepan until almost boiling, but do not allow to boil. Set aside to allow lemon to infuse and to cool to room temperature.
  • 4
    In a large bowl, whisk yolks. Pour in the cooled cream mixture, whisking gently to combine. Strain mixture through a sieve (to catch the zest and any bits) into a jug, which will make it easier to pour.
  • 5
    Slide out the middle oven rack and place the cooked pastry case (in the tin) in the middle. Pour in the custard, filling right to the top and sprinkle with nutmeg. Slowly and carefully slide the rack back in. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until custard is just set – it should still have a very faint wobble in the middle. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before serving. The tart is best served at room temperature or chilled from the fridge.
  • 6
    To serve, use a knife to cut around the pastry edge and loosen it from the tin, then remove and cut into wedges. This tart is lovely served on its own or, if you like, with a few orange segments or a spoonful of stewed prunes or peaches when in season.