Crostata alla Crema di Limone

Calabrian Lemon Tart


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Citrus fruits come into their own under the baking-hot Calabrian sun. This tangy lemon tart uses freshly grated rind for an intense flavour. It is made with pre-prepared custard so is quick and easy to make - but you can make your own. Serve with a small glass of limoncello for a delicious grown-up dessert.


  • 250 g/9 oz/2 ¼ cups plain/all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125 g/ oz/generous ½ cup cold unsalted butter, chopped, plus softened butter for greasing
  • 115 g/4 oz/½ cup caster/superfine sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • icing/confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

For the Filling

  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/generous 1 cup ready-made custard
  • 115 g/4 oz/½ cup sugar
  • finely grated rind of 3-4 unwaxed lemons
  • 250 g/9 oz/generous 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1egg, beaten


  1. Put the flour in a bowl. Add the chopped butter and rub it in with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  2. Stir in the sugar and add the egg and egg yolk. Mix to a soft dough. Knead lightly in the bowl until it is just smooth, then wrap the dough in clear film or plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

  3. While the pastry is resting, make the filling. Heat the custard in a pan and stir in the sugar and lemon rind until the sugar is dissolved. Cover the surface of the lemony custard with baking parchment and leave it to cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in tart tin or pan with butter. Beat the ricotta into the custard, then add the beaten egg. Mix thoroughly until well combined.
  5. On a large sheet of baking parchment, thinly roll out the pastry using a lightly floured rolling pin. Line the tart tin, pressing the pastry into the ridges, and trim the edges.

  6. Pour the lemon filling into the tart case and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the filling is just set. Leave to cool, then dust with icing sugar. Serve at room temperature or cold.