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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Smith

Lemon Sabayon

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

This lemon tart is just perfection. I love the pine nut crust and the lemon is the perfect combination of slightly tart with a creamy buttery finish.


2 large eggs, cold

2 large egg yolks, cold

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

1/3 recipe Pine Nut Crust (see recipe below)

Mascarpone Cream (see recipe below)


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

2. Using your fingertips, press the dough evenly into a tart pan with a removable bottom and up the sides of the pan.

3. Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes then rotate the shell and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes or until the shell is golden brown. Remove the shell from the oven and let it cool while you make the filling.

Lemon Sabayon

1. Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a pot that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the mixing bowl you will be using for the sabayon.

2. In a large bowl, wish the eggs, egg yolks and sugar from about 1 minute or until the mixture is smooth.

3. Set the bowl over the boiling pot and whisk the mixture. After about 2 minutes, when the eggs are foamy and have thickened, add one third of the lemon juice. (Pay attention to the time. If you go much longer, the eggs will curdle.) Continue to whisk and when the mixture thickens again, add another one third of the lemon juice. Whisk until the mixture thickens again, and add the remaining lemon juice. The total cooking time should be around 8-10 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat but leave the bowl over the water as you add the butter one piece at a time. Whisk each piece in allowing it to melt then adding the next.

5. Pour the warm sabayon into the tart shell and place the pan on a baking sheet.

6. Place the warm tart under the broiler. Leave the door open, brown the top of the sabayon, rotating the tart if necessary for even color. DO NOT LEAVE! The sabayon will go from no color to finished in just a few seconds. Remove the tart from the broiler and allow it to cool for an hour. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.

7. Garnish with Mascarpone cream.

Pine Nut Crust

2 cups pine nuts

1/3 cup sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

16 tablespoons unsalted room temperature butter

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


The recipe only uses one eggs so it is difficult to cut it down. The extra dough can be frozen for future use.

1. Place the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the sugar and flour and continue to pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Place the mixture in a mixing bowl (the dough can be mixed by hand or in a mixer fitted with the paddle).

2. Add the softened butter, egg and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate all the ingredients. Divide the dough into three parts. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before using. The dough can be frozen for future use.

Mascarpone Cream

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

1 tablespoon honey


In a bowl set over ice, whip the cream until it is frothy. Add the mascarpone and honey and continue to whisk for about 2 minutes or until the cream is thick and creamy. Place in a piping bag fitted with a star tip and store in a tall glass (to keep from leaking) in the refrigerator. Pipe around the outside edge in any design that makes your heart happy. Slice and serve.

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