Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart Recipe

Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 50 Mins

Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart is a delightful dessert, boasting a crisp shortcrust pastry filled with smooth and tangy lemon cream. This classic British dish is known for its refreshing flavor and elegant presentation, making it a perfect choice for gatherings, afternoon teas, or as a sophisticated finish to any meal.

Let’s get started!

What is Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart Recipe?

Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart is a delicious dessert that combines a crisp and buttery shortcrust pastry with a smooth and creamy lemon filling. It’s easy to make and has a refreshing citrus flavor that’s perfect for any occasion. The lemon posset filling is made with cream, sugar, and lemon juice, which are boiled together and then chilled in the fridge. The lemon juice causes the cream to set into a silky texture, without the need for any eggs or gelatin.

This recipe serves 8-10 people and can be prepared in about 2 hours, including chilling time.

mary berry lemon posset tart
Mary berry lemon posset tart

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Why You Love this Recipe

This Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart stands out for its simplicity and elegance. Here’s why it will become a favorite:

  • Ease of Preparation: The recipe is straightforward, requiring minimal ingredients and steps. Even novice bakers can create this stunning dessert with ease.
  • Customizable: Adorn your tart with an array of toppings or pair it with different sides to suit any taste or occasion. Whether it’s fresh fruit or a dollop of cream, the tart is a versatile canvas for your culinary creativity.
  • Sophisticated Presentation: With its golden crust and creamy, citrusy filling, this tart is not only a treat for the palate but also a feast for the eyes. Its refined appearance makes it perfect for any gathering or a luxurious everyday treat.
  • Rich and Flavorful: The tart offers a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, from the crisp pastry to the velvety lemon cream, balanced with the right touch of sweetness and tang.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart

To make this lemon posset tart, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 175 g (6 oz) plain flour
  • 75 g (3 oz) cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 25 g (1 oz) icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tbsp cold water

For the filling:

  • 600 ml (1 pint) double cream
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice

Useful Equipment

You’ll also need the following equipment to make this lemon posset tart:

  • A 23 cm (9 inch) loose-bottomed fluted tart tin
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A pastry blender or a food processor
  • A rolling pin
  • A fork
  • A baking sheet
  • Baking paper
  • Baking beans or rice
  • A small saucepan
  • A whisk
  • A measuring jug
  • A fine grater
  • A citrus juicer
  • A sieve
  • A spatula
  • A wire rack

Instructions Make the Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart

Now that you have all the ingredients and equipment ready, let’s see how to make this lemon posset tart in six easy steps:

Step 1: Make the pastry

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan, gas mark 6) and lightly grease the tart tin.
  • In a large mixing bowl, rub the flour and butter together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can also use a pastry blender or a food processor for this step.
  • Stir in the icing sugar and then add the egg yolk and enough water to bring the dough together into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough or it will become tough.
  • Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle that’s slightly larger than the tart tin. Carefully lift the dough and line the tin with it, pressing it into the edges and trimming off any excess. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and chill in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
  • Line the pastry with baking paper and fill it with baking beans or rice. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp. Leave the pastry to cool slightly on a wire rack.

Step 2: Make the filling

  • In a small saucepan, bring the cream and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, whisking constantly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the lemon zest and juice. The mixture will thicken slightly as the lemon juice reacts with the cream.
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve into a measuring jug to remove any lumps or bits of zest. Leave the mixture to cool slightly.

Step 3: Fill the tart

  • Place the tart tin on a baking sheet and carefully pour the filling into the pastry shell, leaving a small gap at the top. You may have some filling left over, which you can enjoy as a separate dessert.
  • Gently tap the baking sheet on the counter to remove any air bubbles and smooth the surface of the filling.

Step 4: Chill the tart

  • Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the fridge and chill the tart for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, until the filling is set and firm.
  • To remove the tart from the tin, place it in a large can or a bowl and gently slide the tin downwards. Transfer the tart to a serving plate or a cake stand.

Step 5: Decorate the tart

  • You can decorate the tart as you like, with fresh berries, whipped cream, mint leaves, or more lemon zest. You can also dust some icing sugar over the top for a snowy effect.
  • Cut the tart into slices and serve with some extra cream if desired.

Step 6: Enjoy the tart

  • Enjoy this lemon posset tart with your family and friends, or keep it for yourself as a special treat. This tart will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, but it’s best eaten on the day it’s made.

Easy lemon posset tart recipe inspired by mary berry

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart?

Enhance your tart experience with these delightful pairings:

  • Fresh Berries: Garnish with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries for an added splash of color and a complementary fruity tang.
  • Whipped Cream: A spoonful of whipped cream, plain or flavored with hints of vanilla, lemon, or orange, creates a luxurious and creamy contrast.
  • Mint Leaves: Sprinkle over whole or chopped mint for a refreshing aroma and a vibrant touch of green, enhancing the tart’s fresh, citrusy flavor.
  • Icing Sugar: A light dusting adds a decorative finish and a subtle sweetness, elevating the tart’s elegance and taste.

lemon posset tart recipe mary berry

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart

Enhance your baking with these expert tips for a flawless tart:

  • Pastry Rolling: For a more pliable pastry, chill it in the freezer for 10 minutes. This makes it easier to roll without it becoming too soft or sticky.
  • Preventing Pastry Shrinkage: Use a larger piece of baking paper for blind-baking and allow it to drape over the sides of the tin. The added weight helps to maintain the shape and prevent the pastry from shrinking.
  • Filling Stability: Set the tart tin on a baking sheet before filling to avoid any spills when moving. This ensures your filling stays perfectly in place from pour to chill.
  • Enhanced Lemon Flavor: For an extra zesty flavor, incorporate the zest of an additional lemon or a teaspoon of lemon extract. Alternatively, experiment with lime juice and zest for a twist on the classic taste.
  • Filling Firmness: A teaspoon of gelatin powder mixed into the cream and sugar mixture can improve the setting quality, giving you a firmer, more stable filling.

Variations of Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart

Personalize your tart with these delicious twists:

  • Chocolate Posset Tart: Create a rich chocolate version by substituting the lemon juice and zest with 150g of melted and slightly cooled dark chocolate. This creates a decadently smooth chocolate filling.
  • Orange Posset Tart: For a fragrant alternative, use the juice and zest of 2 oranges in place of lemon. The sweet citrus flavor pairs wonderfully with the creamy filling.
  • Ginger Posset Tart: Introduce warmth and spice by adding 2 teaspoons of ground ginger and a hint of nutmeg to the cream mixture before boiling. Garnish with crystallized ginger for an extra kick.

How do I store Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart Leftovers?

Preserve the deliciousness of your tart with these storage tips:

  • Refrigeration: Cover the tart with cling film or aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Note that over time, some weeping might occur, affecting the texture slightly.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, wrap the tart securely in cling film and foil and freeze for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before indulging.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Lemon Posset Tart Leftovers?

Enjoy your tart warm with these reheating methods:

  • Oven Reheat: Warm the tart in a preheated oven at 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4) for 10-15 minutes on a baking sheet, covered loosely with foil. This gently brings the tart back to a delectable warmth without melting the filling.
  • Microwave Reheat: If short on time, place slices of the tart on a microwave-safe plate, loosely cover with cling film, and heat for 10-20 seconds. Monitor closely to prevent the filling from overheating and altering its smooth texture.

Nutrition value per slice (based on 12 slices):

  • Calories: 465 kcal
  • Fat: 44.1 g
  • Carbs: 11.8 g
  • Fiber: 4.8 g
  • Net carbs: 7 g
  • Protein: 8.1 g
  • Sugar: 5 g


What is a lemon posset?

A lemon posset is a traditional British dessert that dates back to the Middle Ages. It was originally a hot drink made with milk, sugar, and lemon juice, which was curdled and thickened by the acid in the lemon. It was often served as a remedy for colds and sore throats.

Over time, the lemon posset evolved into a chilled dessert that’s similar to a custard or a pudding. It’s made with cream, sugar, and lemon juice, which are boiled together and then cooled in the fridge. The lemon juice causes the cream to set into a smooth and silky texture, without the need for any eggs or gelatin.

Can I make the lemon posset tart filling without cream?

The cream is essential for the rich and velvety texture of the lemon posset filling. However, if you’re looking for alternatives due to dietary restrictions, full-fat coconut milk can sometimes be used as a substitute. Keep in mind that this will alter the flavor and may not set in the same way as the traditional cream-based posset.

My lemon posset didn’t set properly. What could have gone wrong?

There are a few reasons why your lemon posset might not set. The most common issue is not boiling the cream and sugar mixture long enough — it needs to be boiled for at least 3 minutes to properly thicken. Another possibility is incorrect proportions of lemon juice to cream; too much lemon juice can prevent setting. Lastly, ensure the tart has chilled sufficiently; it often needs several hours or overnight in the refrigerator to set fully.

How do I prevent the pastry from shrinking or cracking?

To prevent the pastry from shrinking, make sure you chill it well before baking and use baking beans or rice to weigh it down. To prevent the pastry from cracking, avoid overworking the dough or rolling it too thin. You can also patch up any cracks with some leftover dough before baking.

How do I know if the lemon posset filling is thick enough?

The lemon posset filling should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and leave a trail when you run your finger through it. It will thicken more as it cools and sets in the fridge, so don’t worry if it seems a bit runny at first.

Can I make the lemon posset tart ahead of time or freeze it?

You can make the lemon posset tart ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve. However, you may notice some separation or weeping of the filling over time, which can affect the texture and appearance of the tart. You can also freeze the lemon posset tart for up to a month, but make sure you wrap it well and thaw it in the fridge overnight before serving.

Final Words

This lemon posset tart recipe by Mary Berry is a wonderful dessert that’s easy to make and tastes amazing. It has a crisp and buttery pastry and a smooth and creamy lemon filling that’s refreshing and tangy. It’s a great way to end a meal or enjoy a sweet treat.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make this lemon posset tart step by step. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading and happy baking! 🍰

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Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Setting time: 4 hours

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