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Marbled Lemon Tart with Sage-Cornmeal Crust

Flecked with lemon zest and fresh sage, this dessert tastes as bright as it looks.

  • Servings: 8
Marbled Lemon Tart with Sage-Cornmeal Crust

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2007


  • 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • Sage-Cornmeal Crust
  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche


  1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small bowl, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

  2. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in lemon juice. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and whisk constantly until mixture has thickened and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Whisk in gelatin mixture. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time, until smooth. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Prepare an ice-water bath. Place bowl of yolk mixture over bath, and stir until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

  3. Spread curd into crust; smooth top. Dollop creme fraiche on top. Using a wooden skewer or the tip of a knife, swirl creme fraiche into curd to create a marbleized effect. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours (or up to overnight).

Reviews (7)

  • montreal_bagel 25 Apr, 2014

    Made this twice, great crust with a crunch that surprises you every bite. The sage offers a masculine earthiness to a bright, tart and seductive curd. Just wish my creme fraiche swirls were as nice as this pic! Rave reviews, will become my "go to."

  • LadyVolChef 8 Apr, 2012

    Like all the others, I followed the recipe strictly and used an instant read thermometer (and yes, it had been tested in boiling water for accuracy), and my curd did not set -- delicious lemon soup, but a disaster as a dessert. Other lemon curd recipes recommend cooking to a temp of 170 degrees. I'll try this again once because the flavor was fantastic, but today's try was epic fail.

  • coffeelover86 27 Mar, 2010

    A lovely tart! Made it for the first time yesterday and it turned out perfect. Not living in the US, I couldn't find granulated gelatin so I used sheets of gelatin (the more common version of gelatin in continental Europe) - if you have the same trouble use 2 sheets, seems to be just the right amount.

  • Linpin1120 15 Mar, 2010

    I am sure this recipe is wonderful when it turns out. I have made it twice with newly purchased ingredients, neither time the lemon 'curd' thickened. Quite upset, now my mom will not have a birthday 'cake'...

  • Kaetchen 13 Aug, 2009

    I've made this twice and it turned out great. Because it you make the crust and later the filling, it really isn't that time consuming or difficult.

  • Mr_Myers 8 Mar, 2009

    Thank you You saved me a lot of time!!!

  • artgirlri 25 Apr, 2008

    I found this recipe to be extremely difficult. I was careful to use my thermometer and use fresh ingredients but after a lot of work, it never set up. I had lemon soup. I would not recommend this recipe for the feint of heart.

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