Agnes B.'s Childhood Tart Recipe

How Sweet It Is: above, agnès b. at age 14, and the tarte au citron recipe her mother used to make. The French designer has collaborated with the West Broadway restaurant, Maman, in New York, to celebrate the Fashion Week season. 

what could be more tempting than a sweet french pastry baked with love, a fashion-lover's eye and a pinch of nostalgia?

This month, French designer agnès b. has teamed with the New York restaurant, Maman, to recreate a special family recipe in celebration of Fashion Week – and, naturally, it looks as chic as it is sweet. “My mother liked to cook, it was the time when she was most relaxed. She was great at making lemon tart, what we called the ‘Bonne Douce,’ a nickname taken from a Romain Gary book, and the name she chose to be called by her grandchildren," the designer said in a statement. "Madame Colette, our seamstress, would come to our house once a week. She would sew dresses for my mother and my sister, but rarely for me. It was when my mother would make her famous lemon tart. I have never eaten something so delicious!" See below for the recipe:

“Bonne Douce” Tarte au Citron

  2. Ingredients:
  3. One tarte pastry (see below)
  4. 3 tablespoons melted butter
  5. 3 teaspoons flour
  6. 1 ¼ cups sugar
  7. Zest of one lemon
  8. Juice of two lemons
  9. 3 eggs
  10. Tarte Pastry
  11. 1 ½ cups flour
  12. 1 ½ sticks butter
  13. 1 pinch of salt
  14. 1 glass of lukewarm water
  16. Combine together the flour, salt, butter and knead swiftly by hand. Slowly add water, and roll into a ball. Wrap tightly and leave for an hour in a cool place. Once dough is chilled, roll ¼-inch thick and press with fingers in greased pie form. Using the prongs of a fork, pierce holes in the base of the dough, then fill the form with any type of dried beans you have to weigh down dough to keep it from rising. Place in the oven for 20–25 minutes at 400F. Once baked, cool the pastry.
  18. To make the lemon filling:
  19. In a medium bowl, mix well together all other ingredients and pour over baked and cooled pastry. Return to the oven for about 10–15 minutes until slightly firm. For an extra touch, combine with a beater or hand-whisk one egg white with powdered sugar and drizzle over the top of the finished tart. Serves six.

“[My mother] would cover the crust with beans so that it wouldn’t curl, then put in the oven until golden and crunchy. She then added the filling, a mixture of egg yolks, sugar, lemon and flour. She cooked it fifteen minutes and added the beaten egg whites on top. She also added zest to give it acidity and to enhance the taste of the lemon. It's a recipe that all the women in my family - my sisters, my daughters, my nieces - pass on."

– agnes b. on her mother's signature recipe