IMG_9621As is typically the case when a brilliant new book hits the market (especially by some of my favoured sources of inspiration) I waste little time getting my hands on it. By some gross error, I landed up ordering this gem a tad behind schedule, but oh, it is so worth having in my arsenal! I’ll admit, a lot of the main meals are primarily not vegetarian, but the other chapters {Meatless Mains, Vegetables} quickly make up for that. What I love about this book is that it is an amalgamation of people’s favourites, by phenomenal chefs/bloggers/geniuses, and genuinely meant to be catered towards honest home cooking – none of that layered and complicated deconstructed stuff! Hence, I used two recipes from the book as inspiration for my Lemon Brown Butter Tart. The first is Paule Caillat’s Brown Butter Tart (which BTW is ridonkulously easy) and the second is Elizabeth Falkner’s Eggless Lemon Curd.

d096d8ddc507127f2a3406a2344d05b8Right so in case you thought that this is my latest crush, it isn’t. I mean, I love recipe books and all, but this crush is totally legit. And Yellow too! It’s none other than the Minions! I absolutely adore animated movies, and get hugely entertained by the comical characters like the penguins in the Madagascar series and more recently the minions in the Despicable Me series. I’m so excited to catch their movie later this month! Their persona has made huge waves, including the Minion Yellow being added to the Pantone catalog!

When SS and me visited Universal Studios last year, I ensured we endured the 1½ hr winding queue to get onto the Minion Ride! I’m so loopy, I actually want to go to McDonalds (which I don’t love, and even lesser since Burger King has cropped up) to taste the Bananananana soft serve + a happy meal (yes, all for the Minion toy!). 

I did admit to being loopy about this upfront! 

IMG_9609IMG_9628It seemed only appropriate to make something oh-so-yellow to commemorate the Minion Movie – so here comes my Lemon Brown Butter Tart. I never knew that one tart would lead to me making dozens and dozens over the last few months, and each tart has been great fun! The pastry always needs to be the best and most perfect part, not visually always but more essentially it needs to form the perfect firm and yet crumbly base to any filling. Most recipes call for butter bring cut into the flour with your fingertips (which I really don’t enjoy) or a pastry cutter. Now while it is all worth the effort, I went ahead and found a recipe that uses the tools of a food processor to make the most perfect pastry. But after laying my paws on this recipe, which doesn’t even involve pulling a machine out — I am smitten!

IMG_9587IMG_9590Any title that contains ‘Brown Butter’ seems like a sure-fire success. But this one makes it shockingly simple and quick! The recipe calls for plopping butter, a tiny amount of oil, some water and a spoonful of sugar into an ovenproof bowl and place in oven for about 15 minutes till the mixture is brown buttery and sizzling and fragrant. The next step will blow your mind —- just add in the flour in small clumps, mix with a spatula and that’s it! No need for any effort whatsoever. Plus, you get the most glorious brown butter tart. Trust me, when I was done it almost seemed like I had put in zero effort, which I don’t mind AT ALL!

The last time I attempted a similar concoction was lemon bars, which in essence were just shaped differently that a tart but had the same layers – a flour + butter base topped with a molten lemon layer that solidifies in the fridge. The difference in the two lemon layers was that the lemon bar version is lighter in the sense that it uses a little bit of milk to lend the desired amount of creaminess whereas this version is more of a lemon curd hence is heavier with its use of butter and sweetened condensed milk. I personally think that the two can easily be interchanged, and I would definitely try doing the lighter version in the brown butter tart. That being said, this is a real treat! I used a mix of lime and lemons, but in hindsight would definitely recommend sticking purely to lemons – the flavour profile difference is surely palpable. Go ahead, treat yourself to a gorgeous and simple lemon brown butter tart on a rainy afternoon, because you’re missing out if you don’t!


David Lebovitz has the most genius trick for fixing pesky cracks in baked tart shells: just reserve a knob of dough to spackle into any cracks after baking — no need to bake again! But FYI- although some cracks did appear in this tart, I didn’t need any extra pastry as the shell was perfectly patched up by the lemon curd! 

Lemon Brown Butter Tart
Beautiful brown butter pastry shell doused in a rich and creamy eggless lemon curd
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
  1. Brown Butter Tart
  2. 90gm butter (I used Amul)
  3. 1 tbs vegetable oil
  4. 3 tbs water
  5. 1 tbs sugar
  6. 150-170gm all purpose flour, as needed
  7. [In case you use unsalted butter, add 1/2 tsp salt)
  8. Eggless Lemon Curd
  9. 2 tsp lemon zest (I use a Microplane zester)
  10. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  11. 2/3 cup lemon juice
  12. 115gm butter (I used Amul)
  13. 2 tbs agar agar flakes
  14. ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (I used Milkmaid)
  1. Preheat the oven to 210*c and start with the brown butter tart – mix together all the tart shell ingredients except the flour, in an oven safe pyrex type bowl. Place in oven for 15-17 minutes, till boiling and browning.
  2. Add the flour. It will splutter and hiss, but keep going. Mix together till it forms a nice and neat little round. Once slightly cool, press into an 8-9” tart tin and pierce the bottom with a fork. If you want to increase the visual appeal, use the back of a fork to create ridges on the sides. Bake for about 15-18 minutes till brown. Let cool slightly on a cooling rack before filling with eggless curd or any other filling of choice.
  3. Now for the lemon layer - Mix everything except the condensed milk in a large enough saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking. After 4-5 minutes (when you don't see solid agar flakes anymore), reduce heat to a simmer for another 2-3 minutes before taking off the heat. Transfer to a bowl, and slowly pour in the condensed milk while whisking continuously. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before filling into tart shell. Leave to set in the fridge for 4-5 hours before slicing and enjoying.
  1. The original recipe calls for more sugar and lemon juice, which I have reduced to make a not-oversweet tart tart (pun intended)!
  2. Whenever using unsalted butter, add a little salt to balance the flavours.
  3. I have used a few shortcuts from the original recipe, because I am a little lazy and I love shortcuts!
Adapted from Food 52’s Genius Recipes
Joie De Vivre

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