Sunday, September 08, 2013

Liverpool Tart

Here comes something I've never tried before. The recipe for this tart requires you to boil whole lemons for almost two hours until they are very soft. To create the filling, you blend the boiled lemons in a food processor together with butter, sugar and eggs. Liverpool tart is a British treat. According to Google searches, the original recipe dates back to 1897. I was very keen to find out how this tart was going to turn out flavor-wise. Its taste is somewhat different from other lemon tarts which are usually almost overwhelmingly sweet. This filling is very soft and creamy, and it has a very distinctive taste which I would describe as a mixture of sour, bitter and sweet. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I liked it a lot - and don't you love its golden color?!

(from Marcus Wareing & Chantelle Nicholson: The Gilbert Scott Book of British Food)

Makes 1 tart

4 lemons
150 g unsalted butter
250 g caster sugar
2 free-range eggs

75 g soft unsalted butter
40 g icing sugar
1 free-range egg, beaten
150 g plain flour 
pinch of salt

Put the whole lemons in a pan of water and bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 1-2 hours, until soft; drain. Place in a blender or food processor with the butter, sugar & eggs and blend together. Set aside.

For the pastry, cream the butter with the icing sugar in a food processor or with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, then fold in the flour and salt. Roll out to a round 3mm thick to fit a 26cm tart tin that is 2,5cm deep. Transfer to a tray and place in the fridge to rest for 20 min.

Line the tart tin with the pastry, taking care not to stretch it; reserve the pastry trimmings. Put the tart case in the fridge to rest for 20 min.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the tart case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans, then bake blind for 25 min. Remove the beans and paper. Patch any holes with the pastry trimmings. Bake for a further 10 min,

Reduce the oven temperature to 165C. Fill the tart case with lemon mixture. Bake for 20-25 min, until lightly golden; there should still be a slight wobble in the centre of the filling. Leave to cool before serving.


  1. Sorry, Katrin, but this is NOT the Liverpool Tart, not as it has been eaten and sold in Liverpool since its existence was re-discovered in 2005. . Please see my email to you for fuller details, bona fides etc. The recipe insists on MOIST SUGAR, which implies something closer to reeacle or molasses. It was never intended to be a "lemon" tart, and only uses ONE lemon (shredded). Yours would not be recognised in Liverpool.

    1. How many recipes have EXACTLY the same ingredients or amounts and come out EXACTLY the same when cooked. Cooking is like a language, always changing. This recipe may not be the same as your apparently authentic one Gerry, but that does not take away its authenticity. By the way its fantastic!

  2. Yes it is the most intense lemon flavour ever

  3. I've also tried dozens of authentic but different versions of this going back to the 1970s, however, yours Katrin worked well and was delicious, thanks for taking the time to share.


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