Tangy Lemon and Pomegranate Tart


y Lemon Tart with Pomegranate

No Excuses


“After Will had gone Lee brought out one-third of a lemon pie and cut it in two.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


I make no excuse for my love of lemon desserts. They are my obsession. Bright tangy lemon is the perfect match for the commanding sweetness of white sugar. Cradle these opposing forces in a rich buttery dough and this is my favorite dessert. Add a dimension of intrigue with a different tangy, some crunchy and the sparkling ruby color of pomegranate and then we have a dessert that is phenomenal. If lemon is a temptation, toss the excuses and make this tart.

Lemon Tart Prep


Tangy Lemon and Pomegranate Tart is adapted from Flo Braker’s, Tangy Lemon Custard Tart with Pomegranate Gelee found in Baking for All Occasions. Reaching for sunny yellow perfection I used my favorite pastry crust recipe and added a hefty sprinkle of cornmeal and lemon zest. Crème fraîche is used in both the pastry and the filling but sour cream could be substituted. The original recipe calls for cream in the filling and no lemon zest. But with tangy as the main descriptor in the recipe title I felt omitting the lemon zest would be a travesty. (Flo Braker’s recipes are flawless but I couldn’t help myself.) Add zest as the love of lemon dictates. Meyer lemons will yield a mellower tart, but be sure to omit tangy from the title of the recipe. The Tangy Lemon Pomegranate Tart is made in a 9-1/2” tart pan with a removable bottom with pomegranate jelly floated across the surface of the cooled tart. The pomegranate can be omitted entirely and this lemon tart still needs no excuses.

Pomegranate and Lemons

1 egg yolk
2T ice cold water
1-1/2C all-purpose flour
1/4C cornmeal
1T lemon zest
2T sugar
1/2t fine grain sea salt
1/2C/4oz unsalted butter
1/2C crème fraîche or full fat sour cream
Tangy Lemon Filling
3 eggs
3/4C sugar
1/2C lemon juice
1T lemon zest
1/2C crème fraîche or full fat sour cream
Pomegranate Jelly
1pkt/1-1/2t unflavored powdered gelatin
1-1/2C pomegranate juice
2T sugar
1/2C pomegranate arils
1 lemon, zested with a channel zester
  1. To make the pastry mix together the egg yolk and ice cold water, set aside. In the bowl of a food processor pulse together the flour, cornmeal, lemon zest, sugar and salt. Cut the cold butter into cubes and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse a few times until the butter is the size of small coins, mostly dimes and a few pennies. Pour the egg mixture through the feed tube while the food processor is running. The dough will come together in large clumps. Add cold water, a tablespoon at a time if the dough is too dry. Do not over mix. If the dough comes together in a solid mass, it will be over processed and perhaps too moist. Scrape the dough out on a floured work surface. Bring the dough together into a flattened circle. Wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour.
  2. With a floured rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface roll out the dough in a circular shape that is at least the size of the tart pan with the dough approximately 1/8” to 1/4” thick. Don’t be dissuaded by any large pieces of butter as you roll out the dough. Add a little flour and keep rolling. Those pieces of butter will make the flaky in your crust. Fold the circle of dough in half and transfer to the 9-1/2” tart pan with a removable bottom. Center the dough in the middle of the tart pan. Unfold the dough back into a circle. Gently push the dough down into the contours of the tart pan without stretching the dough. Trim the dough flush with the edge of the tart pan. Chill the dough lined tart pan for thirty minutes before baking.
  3. Heat the oven to 375°. Prick the bottom and sides of the tart crust and bake for 15-20 minutes. When ready, the crust edges will turn light brown and the center will no longer be glossy with melted butter. Check the crust after five minutes and prick any areas that have puffed.
  4. Leave the oven on at 375°. While the crust is baking prepare the Tangy Lemon Filling by whisking together the three eggs. Once the eggs are broken up and uniformly mixed add the sugar. Mix again to combine and then add the lemon juice, zest and crème fraîche. Mix just to combine and pour into the warm tart crust. Bake the tart for 18-20 minutes. The tart will be done when the outside edges are set and the center still jiggles. Set the tart on a rack to cool. After 20 minutes remove the rim of the tart pan.
  5. To make the Pomegranate Jelly sprinkle the gelatin on top of the pomegranate juice. Let the mixture rest for five minutes to soften. In a small saucepan add the pomegranate mixture and the sugar. Heat until the sugar dissolves, but do not boil. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill. Check the jelly after fifteen minutes and when the mixture has cooled and just begins to set, pour it across the surface of the cooled tart. Take care not to fill the tart too full, leave at least 1/4” of crust above the level of the jelly. Depending on the height of the tart crust there may be extra jelly. Chill the tart for three hours before cutting and serving. Garnish with pomegranate arils and lemon zest.

Savory Hand Pies

After rolling out the tart crust I had enough extra pastry left to make small savory hand pies. I stuffed them with peppered goat cheese and lemon thyme. To make the hand pies use the scraps of dough to roll out an equal number of circles for the top and bottoms. I used a circular cutter that was 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Chill the circles for fifteen minutes before filling. Place a teaspoon of goat cheese heaped in the middle of half the pastry circles. Sprinkle the goat cheese with more pepper and a few leaves of thyme. Moisten the outer edge of the filled pastries with egg white and place a second circle of pastry on top. Crimp the edges shut with the tines of a small fork. Brush the tops with egg white and sprinkle with pepper. Make a small slash in the center of each pastry and fill with a small piece of lemon thyme. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 12-18 minutes. The pastries will be a shiny golden brown on top and along the bottom edges when finished baking. Serve hot or cold.


Tangy Lemon and Pomegranate Tart

Monterey Jack Cookies

I have another buttery recipe to share. I won First Place in the Rumiano Cheese, Holiday Recipe Contest with Buttery Monterey Jack Cookies with Pepper and Cocoa Nibs. The history of Rumiano Dry Monterey Jack Cheese is intriguing. I developed a recipe to compliment the appealing pepper and cocoa coating of the sumptuous and historical cheese. The savory Buttery Monterey Jack Cookies with Pepper and Cocoa Nibs are a perfect accompaniment to other appetizers. Olives, charcuterie, nuts, dried fruit and creamy cheeses will pair well with these charming savory cookies. It’s difficult not to eat the entire batch warm from the oven.

This entry was posted in Baking, Pies, Tarts, & Pastries and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Tangy Lemon and Pomegranate Tart

  1. Carol Sacks says:

    What stunning post! That tart is magical and I love the goat cheese hand pies. And, congrats on your win. Another clever, sumptuous recipe!

  2. Deena kakaya says:

    Deb that looks outrageously alluring! Pomegranate on top looks divine x

  3. That tart is just asking to be pierced with a fork, the flavors are so lovely and the hand pies are just stunning!

  4. That tart looks so wonderful – from the crust, to the lemon filling and pomegranate jelly. I bet the tang of the lemon works so well with the pomegranate! Love the use of the leftover crust, too. By the looks of them, you’d never think the hand pies were an afterthought. What beautiful pictures, too! 🙂

  5. Cathy says:

    I bet that tart wakes up the taste buds! It looks so pretty too. Congratulations on winning that contest too Deb!

    • Deb says:

      Thank for the gracious comment Cathy! The tart is tangy but not so much so, as there is plenty of sugar in the recipe!

  6. I want one of these beautiful tarts and those ruby red pomegranates. I haven’t been able to find any good pomegranates for a while now.

    • Deb says:

      Thank you for the delightful comment, much appreciated! I know what you mean I couldn’t find any pomegranates at the grocery store either. I got mine at the local fruit stand.

  7. Mimi says:

    Absolutely beautiful! And congratulations!

  8. I’m already salivating just looking at the pictures, Deb. Great post! (And of course, congratulations on your contest win!)

  9. Jacquee says:

    This speaks to me on so many levels and the colours in your photos are as delectable as the dessert itself. I used Pomegranates on a tart I made a few weeks ago, so appealing to the taste buds and camera. Congratulations on your win!!

  10. Valentina says:

    another beautiful recipe. as always the images are stunning — i want to hang the one of the split pomegranate (3rd from bottom) on my kitchen wall. and the cheese cookie recipe is so interesting — congrats on the win! 🙂

  11. Such a stunning tart, the colors of the bright citrus and ruby pomegranates truly pop! Your hand pies are adorable as well!

  12. This tart is so pretty, Deb! Lemon is one of my fave flavors…It goes well with everything! This would be a great dessert for V-day as well with the gorgeous pom red seeds garnishing the top of the tart.

  13. Wow – a contest win, hand pies and a lemon tart. You make me swoon and drool. Can our first get together be a baking and photography lesson at your house??!!

  14. Wow! This looks stunning, really! I love tangy tarts, love pomegranate, love pretty things. Just gorgeous. I suppose I could play with veggie gel instead of gelatine in the jelly. And cute hand pies too. Just the thing to make son a grey, rainy day. Which it is not today! Very sunny today, but predicted storms this weekend 🙁

  15. shannon says:

    Deb: I woke up to negative temperatures and snow covering the ground, which won’t melt, because of the aforementioned temps. I NEED this sunny, sparkling tart in my life. like right now.

    • Deb says:

      I am beyond pleased that you enjoyed the bright and shiny tart! Wishing you the thaw and bright light of spring Shannon!

  16. lara dunston says:

    This looks so divine! We just bought some pomegranates in our market today here in Siem Reap, Cambodia, so I will be getting my husband (who recently made a sublime lemon tart) to make these. Beautiful photos too!

  17. Wow Deb, truly wonderful pies! I’ll start with the goat cheese minis and end with a fat slice of tangy lemon! Adding the zest in the filling is perfect; sugary lemon needs to be tart too! Gorgeous pics my friend!

  18. Congratulations on your cookie win.

    Your photos are STUNNING.

    I love the citrus combination with the pomegranates! Beauty and flavour packed into a crumbly, perfectly short pastry shell 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *