Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

Crunchy-Bottomed Lemon Tart

Crunchy-Bottomed Lemon Tart



Enough of those sorry excuses for lemon tarts. 

Stale, dismally soggy, not citrus-y enough… 

Forget it. I’m done getting disappointed with expanding empty calories on sub-standard pastries. 

I’m making my own, damn it. 

This has been a long time coming, you have to agree with me, and what’s surprising is that I didn’t turn my frustration into an entire Rant Post about the slow, drawn-out death of my glimmer of hope for one good tart. Just what is so difficult in making a decent lemon tart?! 


This’ll show you, you…you phony pastry parlors! 


A slice of sunshine.

I actually have Oprah to thank for this recipe.  

It was during one of those mornings where I wake up groggy and sluggish, with only enough energy to throw together breakfast and sprawl out on the sofa to watch someone talk on the tv, eyes glazed over with drowsiness. If I’m incapable of movement and thought processes, I’d at least like to see someone else who can. And if that person happens to be Oprah puttering about on Oprah’s All-time Favourite Recipes, hey I feel a twitch in my digestive system already. Give me ten more minutes and I just might be able to move that spoon of yoghurt between my slack jaws.  

I watched the entire thing being made on tv – a Key Lime Pie. I didn’t have limes, wasn’t interested in limes, and haven’t seen a single Key Lime anywhere in Singapore. Besides, I want lemon.  

But even then, there were problems with the recipe. Or at least there were problems with me, because I cannot bring myself to use 2 sticks of butter (the equivalent of about 224g of butter, the size all your clogged-up arteries mashed together) in just the crust itself. And with the amount of crushed graham crackers required, I’d lose my mini food processor somewhere under the Everest of crumbs. Now that won’t do.  

I cut down almost everything by half with no fatalities in the process, and the tart turned out soft and moist – the texture of those luscious Japanese cheese cakes – and fantastically crusty with my favourite digestive biscuit nutty-ness. 

And best of all? 



Crunchy Bottomed Lemon Tart recipe adapted from Mar-a-Lago Key Lime Pie on 

Makes one 9-inch tart 

Ingredients for the Crust: 

  • 150g Digestive Biscuits
  • 1 tbs granulated sugar
  • 70g melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for the Filling: 

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 (14oz or 400g) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • zests of 2 lemons


1. Preheat oven to 160C. 

2. Break up and process biscuits into crumbs. Add melted butter, sugar, salt and mix to combine. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 10mins. Allow to cool. 

3. While the base is baking, with an electric hand mixer whip egg yolks and lemon zest until fluffy, about 5-6 minutes. Gradually add condensed milk and mix on high till thick, about 3-4 minutes. Lower mixer speed and add the lemon juice until fully incorporated. 

4. Pour mixture into the cooled base and bake for 15 minutes. Let the tart cool before refrigerating for the best texture. The tart will store well in the fridge for about 4-5 days. 

  Notes: It will be a lot less tedious to purchase bottled lemon juice instead of squeezing the lemons yourself. If you are juicing the lemons, remember to strain the juice of all seeds and pulp. Also, depending on how sour or sweet your lemons are, you may need to reduce the amount of condensed milk or add in sugar. Such a shame that we don’t have key lemons here. 

10 responses to “Crunchy-Bottomed Lemon Tart

  1. nattietan May 23, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Ooh yum! Maybe you should skip uni altogether and enrol in some baking/cooking school! I’ll def patronise your patisserie or restaurant if you ever open one – for real!! That’s if your yum-yums taste as good as they look. Lol. Which I’m pretty darned confident they do. Listen to Nat! Don’t go Uni!! Hehe. Uhm… Ok maybe don’t listen to me – I don’t want your parents running after me with a cleaver =x

    • Christine Leow May 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm

      Hahaha. Oh well, next week’s the application deadline and I honestly still don’t know what to accept. And as much as I love cooking and baking and all, I can’t see myself in the kitchen. I refuse to anyway. It’s a tough job. Decisions, decisions…

      I actually just want to travel the world. But that’s not gonna happen as a job. Haha. =/

  2. Pingback: Baked Falafel, Lemon Tart « EAT

  3. Nicole August 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I am so glad to have this recipe.I made it and it came out great.It tasted amazing.This is a
    Thank you so much.

  4. Pingback: Crunchy-Bottomed Lemon Tart | fairy spoon

  5. m August 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I tried making this after seeing your post, and although mine is nowhere near as pretty as yours, it tasted delicious. 🙂

  6. Jeanne S August 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Unbelievable! I have been looking and craving for Key Lime, Lime, or Lemon Pie that’s ‘Limey’ or ‘Lemoney’ enough for my Western taste buds for the last 6 years in Singapore! Even my husband has been going around a few malls during his lunch breaks to see if he could find me a good one — all in vain! Then I start searching and find this! Can’t wait!!

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