Some claim the lemon tart is the Audrey Hepburn of desserts. Elegant and understated, the petite tarte au citron has a devoted following, who argue it is the greatest dessert of all time.
But where in Melbourne does the committed lemon enthusiast find the perfect lemon tart? And what constitutes the perfect lemon tart, anyhow?
For me, the filling must be custardy and smooth in texture, definitely not something akin to cheese cake. The flavour: a sublime mix of sweet with a lingering tang of lemon. And the pasty must be firm, short-crust in style, truly crisp and just a little bit buttery.
Another important factor is the price. Lemon tarts in Melbourne can be alarmingly expensive. Laurent's delectable specimen is a somewhat shocking $7.70 and frankly, this is just one tiny (albeit perfect, but still only tiny) tart. The French Lettuce sells a similarly wonderful (small) offering, icing-sugar-dusted, also with a frightening price tag.
My recommendation for the ideal combination of perfect tart and reasonable price is A Treat Of France Boulangerie and Patisserie at 765 Nicholson Road, Carlton North.
For $4.50, the lemon-sleuth is rewarded with a smooth, custardy lemon filling in a perfect pastry base. A cute unexpected addition is the little green "X" on top – apparently to differentiate it from the passionfruit version. My only complaint with this establishment is that it's closed on Mondays.
So what's your view? If you're aware of a secret stash of tasty lemon tarts in Melbourne or even know how to whip up a first-class one yourself, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Babka Bakery Cafe (358 Brunswick St, Fitzroy) serves up a rich lemon curd tart with burnt sugar topping for $7.50 :)
By debor - reader Thursday, 15th of September @ 03:26 am
Without doubt, Browns Bakers of Distinction, who have ten stores located all over Melbourne. It's delicious, and an all-time favourite at every family function.
By meg.h - reader Monday, 19th of September @ 01:35 am
Love me a good lemon tart. Thanks for the suggestions.
By Anna Bourozikas - senior reviewer Wednesday, 14th of September @ 09:27 am
Mr Tulk at the state library has a surprisingly good one
By tian_ - reader Thursday, 15th of September @ 12:43 am
For a very reasonable cost i can't go past Pelligra cakes pasticceria & gelateria 71 main street Greensborough... bit of a hike but extremely well worth it!
By roshi - reader Monday, 19th of September @ 12:10 am
Liliana's gourmet 8/150 kellets rd, Rowville. U need to order in advance but they r the best! I can get them in gluten free too!
By tanb - reader Tuesday, 20th of September @ 01:25 am
Ooh now I'm drooling over the babka variety, drats I was a few doors away today, must try it next time.
We were at barwon heads last week and they served up a delicious slice of lemon curd pie (huge with cream for $8) at the lovely pier side restaurant called "at the heads"
If you feel like making one, I have been told that my lemon tart, based on Stephanie Alexander's recipe (but I use a biscuit base) is comparable to those listed below. Don't tell Stephanie, but I use lemon juice from a bottle when lemons are not in season, and I can make a family sized tart for probably not much more than the tini (but delish) Laurent's single serve.
By Joanne Tarasuik - senior reviewer Monday, 28th of November @ 11:45 pm
Wow, jotar, I like the sound of your recipe. I hope you'll post it on Weekend Notes some day? It sounds delish :)
By Sue Williams - senior reviewer Tuesday, 29th of November @ 12:57 am
Babka in Fitzroy serves the best lemon curd brulee tart, hands down. The worst: Brunetti's. Didn't go past the first spoonful.
By heyad - reader Tuesday, 6th of December @ 04:36 am
I must try Babka - thanks for the tip. And thanks Lesley, next time I'm in Barwon Heads I definitely know where I'm headed....
By Sue Williams - senior reviewer Monday, 20th of February @ 09:07 am
Le Petit gateau for sure!
By Anonymous Wednesday, 25th of July @ 03:36 am
Shepherd's Bakehouse, Mt Eliza - Devine!
By jill_ - reader Tuesday, 11th of June @ 10:38 pm