October 28, 2012


When we were on holiday in France in August, I invited my two young friends, Isabella and Amélie, round for a baking session.  We baked a whole load of stuff and these lemon curd macaroons were among the favourites.

lemon tarts1 The tarts are based on the old Be-ro book recipe that I used to make nearly every week with my mother when I was a little girl.  This is how I learned to make pastry with my mum, rubbing the lard into the flour by hand and rolling the pastry out – my mother always used lard, not butter or margarine, in her pastry and it was always delicious.  Maybe it’s what you get used to.

You can find the Be-ro recipe on their website here, in the pastry section.

lemon tarts2However, in France I used a pack of ready-made, ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, the sweet version called paté sablée, which you can get in all the supermarkets.  Amélie cut the circles of pastry and I showed her how to crimp the edges by hand.  She’s a very smart little girl and was keen to do a good job.

lemon tarts3My mum always made the tarts with Robertson’s strawberry jam, the one where you could send off for a golliwog using a coupon from the label on the jar.  This was in the 1950’s, when it never occurred to most of us that such a thing could be offensive to anyone.  I had quite a collection of the golliwogs – I wonder what happened to them.

I decided to make the tarts using lemon curd and some lemon rind in the almond filling.  We also sprinkled some Perles de Sucre, crushed sugar cubes, on top for decoration.

lemon tarts4 The tarts were a big hit with everyone and soon disappeared off the plate.

lemon tarts5 lemon tarts6

Isabella was creative with the pastry trimmings.  I told her that we usually make them into biscuits for Lulu so she decided to make them into a miniature Lulu.  Being a dog, Lulu scoffed it in one go, but I’m sure she appreciated the aesthetics really !!

Tea_Time_Treatrs_logoThis month’s Tea Time Treats Challenge, proposed by the lovely Kate of What Kate Baked, and Karen of Lavender and Lovage, is for preserves.  Lemon curd is a kind of preserve, in the sense that it comes in a jar and you use it for tarts, hence I am entering our lemon curd macaroons.

Here’s how we made them:


150g shortcrust pastry (either shop-bought or home-made)

50g caster sugar

50g ground almonds

1 egg, beaten

grated rind of ½ a lemon

lemon curd

1 tblsp perles de sucre


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°fan/gas mk 6.  Grease a 12-hole patty tin.

Roll out the pastry and cut into 7.5cm (3”) rounds.  Line each hole in the tin.

Mix the almonds, sugar, lemon rind and egg together.

Put about half a teaspoon of lemon curd in to each tart.  Drop a spoonful of almond mixture on top of each one, dividing it equally between the tarts.

Sprinkle a few perles de sucre on each tart.

Bake for 15 minutes or until risen and golden brown.  Cool in the tin for a few minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

(You could also dust with icing sugar or drizzle a little lemon water icing on top and sprinkle with yellow sugar crystals if you like.)

Makes 12 tarts.


  1. Delicious and (in a good way) old-fashioned treat. There wasn't a lot of baking going on when I was growing up but I seem to remember Stork margarine gradually replacing lard for most things. But Robertson's jam was definitely the only choice. I've no idea why perles de sucre are not easy to buy in this country - I bought a supply back from France.

    1. Phil, perles de sucre are one of the many things I stock up with, along with apple compote and morteau sausage......and to think some people only bring back the wine !!

  2. These look wonderful.... I still have my old Be Ro book somewhere...falling to pieces, with my mother and my grandmother's notes scrawled over various pages. I'm going to give these a go. J.

    1. Janice, cherish that Be-Ro book. It will become a family heirloom !!

  3. Lovely little tarts. I love the crimping! We used to send off for the little enamel robinsons badges but they stopped those too. How times have changed eh?

  4. What pretty little tarts! And fantastic flavours - I adore anything with lemon curd and the addition of almondy frangipane takes these to another level! I'm salivating as I write...

  5. Yum. I can taste how good these are! I've got an old fashiioned biscuit tin that used to belong to my granny. It has the alphabet round it and the 'g' word is - golliwog.

  6. Ooo, I love anything with almonds and/or lemon, so these are a must, Jean. I still make pastry with half lard, half butter/marg as it's what my mother taught me. :-) I didn't realise the little sugar sprinkles in France are called Perles de Sucre. I must put some on my shopping list for next summer. :-)

  7. Zesty lemon, delciious frangipane and sweet pastry- what a fantastic recipe to bake with your little helpers! Thank you very much for entering these into TTT!

  8. These seem like they would be so lovely & light! Is the texture more like a cookie or like a cake?

    1. Lucas, it's like a cake in a pastry shell.