Lemon and sesame tart

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Graham Hornigold's beautiful lemon tart recipe is paired with a wonderfully refreshing lemon ice cream, French and Italian meringues for contrasting texture and a hint of sesame.

First published in 2015




Lemon ice cream

  • 85g of single cream
  • 190g of water
  • 66g of caster sugar
  • 65g of glucose powder
  • 40g of dextrose
  • 4g of ice cream stabiliser
  • 55g of milk powder
  • 110g of lemon juice

Sesame meringues

Lemon confit

Lemon tart mix

  • 125ml of lemon juice, fresh
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 360g of egg
  • 200ml of whipping cream
  • 1 gelatine leaf, softened in cold water

Sesame sablé Breton

Italian meringue



  • Hand blender
  • Sugar thermometer
  • Fine chinois
  • Ice cream maker
  • Food mixer
  • 6cm pastry ring 11
  • Piping bag and fine nozzle


Begin by preparing the lemon ice cream. Combine the cream and water together in a pan and bring to 40°C. Whisk in the dry ingredients and bring up to 80°C, then pass the mixture through a fine chinois. Allow to cool, then use a hand blender to blitz in the lemon juice
  • 85g of single cream
  • 190g of water
  • 66g of caster sugar
  • 65g of glucose powder
  • 40g of dextrose
  • 4g of ice cream stabiliser
  • 55g of milk powder
  • 110g of lemon juice
Refrigerate overnight and churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Freeze until ready to serve
Preheat the oven to 90˚C
For the sesame meringue, whisk the egg to a light foam, then slowly pour in the sugar and continue to whisk to form stiff peaks
Transfer the meringue mix to a piping bag and pipe small domes onto a baking tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Place into the oven for 1 hour, or in the dehydrator overnight to create dry and crispy meringues without browning
For the confit lemon, peel and julienne the zest, making sure that there is no pith on the inside of the skin. Blanch and refresh the zest twice in boiling water, strain and set aside
Make a syrup by combining the sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, add the blanched zest and simmer until it turns translucent. Remove from the heat, strain off the syrup and allow the zest to cool until required
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 2 lemons, juiced
To make the tart mix, whisk the sugar and eggs in a large bowl to combine. Add the cream and lemon juice and continue to whisk to form a very smooth mix. Place over a bain marie of simmering water and cook while stirring until it reaches 77°C
  • 360g of egg
  • 125ml of lemon juice, fresh
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 200ml of whipping cream
Remove from the heat, whisk in the softened gelatine and strain through a fine chinois into a jug. Wipe the inside of the 6cm pastry rings with a thin film of vegetable oil and place on a tray lined with cling film. Pour 75g of the filling into each mould and place in the fridge to set
  • 1 gelatine leaf, softened in cold water
To make the sablé, cream the butter and sugar in a food mixer with the paddle attachment until light and creamy in texture. Reduce the speed to the lowest possible setting and gradually add the egg yolks and salt, followed by the flour, sesame seeds and baking powder
As soon as the mix comes together, stop the machine. Do not over-mix
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
Roll the sablé dough thinly between two sheets of baking paper to fit a large baking tray. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes until baked all the way through
Remove from the oven and whilst still warm, cut them out with a 6cm pastry ring and set aside to cool. Crush the offcuts into crumbs and set aside for plating
For the Italian meringue, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and place on a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and using a sugar thermometer, bring to 121°C
  • 150g of sugar
  • 50g of water
Just before the sugar reaches the desired temperature, place the egg whites in a food mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on a low speed until they begin to slightly foam
Increase the speed slightly and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into mixer. Increase the speed to full until the outside of the bowl is lukewarm to the touch. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle
To serve, place a circle of the sablé on the base of the plate, followed by a portion of the lemon tart. Pipe a dollop of the Italian meringue on top of the tart and brown with a blowtorch
Garnish with the small French meringues, confit zest, chocolate discs, lemon balm, toasted sesame seeds and flowers. Finally, add a little pile of the crushed sablé to the plate and use as a base for a quenelle of the ice cream before serving
First published in 2015

Graham Hornigold’s expert pastry skills have been refined in some of the best restaurants and hotels in London, effortlessly adding delicate, refreshing touches to dessert menus. Today, he runs gourmet doughnut brand Longboys, which has three sites and stocks the likes of Harrods and Selfridges.

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