Recipe: A berry tasty tart

The beautiful flavours of lemon and basil are perfect for this light creamy custard tart. It is absolutely delicious with summer berries and a spring or two of fresh basil.
Recipe: A berry tasty tart
Lemon and basil tart with red fruits by Mercy FentonPicture: Eddie O'Hare

Lemon and Basil Tart

Pie Base


150g cream flour

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp sugar

115 g unsalted butter

50ml ice water


  • In a food processor pulse flour, salt, and sugar to combine.
  • Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining.
  • Add ice water; pulse until dough just starts to come together.
  • Lift the dough out and shape into a flat round, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Butter and flour the base and sides of a fluted loose bottomed 9 in tart base.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to an 11-inch round, about the thickness of a Euro coin.
  • Carefully lift the dough into the tart base and press into the sides, fold over edge, then trim with a scissors allowing a small overhang.
  • Freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 175 C Line pie-crust with parchment and fill with weights or dried beans, bake for 25 minutes, then remove parchment and weights and continue to bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
  • Once cooked brush with egg yolk and bake again for 5 minutes – this helps seal the pastry and keep it crisp. Let cool.


360ml cream

360ml milk

Peel from 1 lemon (without pith) Use a speed peeler to take off strips

Small bunch basil leaves.

8 large egg yolks

85g sugar

3 tsp cornflour

pinch salt


  • Once the pastry is chilling prepare the lemon, basil custard.
  • Bring milk, cream, lemon and basil just to a boil in a medium pot.
  • Remove from heat, cover, and let sit at least two hours (or overnight in the refrigerator).
  • When ready to finish the tart, return milk mixture to a simmer, strain to remove lemon and basil sprigs.
  • Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, then whisk in cornstarch and salt until mixture and cook gently in a clean pots pale and thick, about two minutes.
  • Pour into the pre baked tart crust, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes until just set (jiggle in the centre.)
  • Allow to cool completely then chill .
  • Meanwhile prepare a bowl of mixed berries then dust with a little icing sugar, when ready to serve pile the berries on top.

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