Oops! I dropped the lemon tart

A recipe by Massimo Bottura, taken from Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Ingredients for the lemongrass gelato

200 g whole milk
50 g double (heavy) cream
3 stems lemongrass
30 g sugar
40 g sugar syrup
grated zest of 1 lemon
10 drops Villa Manodori Essenziale lemon oil


Process the ingredients in a thermal mixer and bring them to 85ºC (185°F) at full speed.

When it reaches temperature, remove and strain the liquid. Let cool in a bowl over ice.

Freeze in a Pacojet container and process just before serving.

Ingredients for the tart crust

40 g cold butter
20 g icing (confectioners’) sugar
1 egg yolk
50 g flour
2 g ground spices (a mixture of star anise, cinnamon, juniper, pepper and cardamom)


In a bowl, knead together the cold butter and sugar by hand. Add the egg yolk and flour and knead thoroughly until smooth. Let rest for 2 hours in the fridge.

Roll out the dough on a silicone baking mat until it is 2 mm (1/3 inch) thick. Use it to line moulds with a diameter of 8 cm (3 1/4 inches) at the base and 6 cm (2 1/2 inches) at the top to obtain the shape.

Bake at 160ºC (320°F) for 8 minutes.

Ingredients for the mint sauce

50 g fresh peppermint leaves
20 g mineral water
6 g Xylitol
0.5 g mint essential oil


Bring a pan of water to a boil and blanch the mint in it for 10 seconds, then cool in iced water.

Blend the mint thoroughly with the other ingredients, making sure the temperature does not go above 35°C (95°F). Pass it through a fine sieve.

Ingredients for the zabaglione

85 g egg yolk
50 g sugar
80 g lemon juice
80 g Amalfi limoncello


Prepare a pan of boiling water and a heatproof bowl the right size to sit over it without touching the water. Whisk the egg yolk and sugar in the bowl with a hand whisk, off the heat.

When sugar has dissolved well, set the bowl over the pan of boiling water and continue beating vigorously.

As soon as the eggs are warm, and before they start to thicken, add the lemon juice and limoncello gradually, pouring them very slowly, while continuing to whisk energetically.

When it is well whisked and frothy, with a creamy texture, it is ready to be served.

Ingredients for the lemon powder

1 lemon


Wash the lemon, cut it into thin slices and remove the pips (pits). Put the slices in a dehydrator for 5 days.

Process in a thermal mixer and pass the powder through a fine sieve.

Ingredients to serve

4 g candied lemon (rind and pulp)
2 g candied bergamot
1 g candied ginger
1 g lemon powder
1 g capers


Place the tart crust on the plate. Add the ingredients as though making a mud pie.

Gently crush before serving.

Massimo Bottura: Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Osteria Francescana is Italy’s most celebrated restaurant. At Osteria Francescana, chef Massimo Bottura takes inspiration from contemporary art to create highly innovative dishes that play with Italian culinary traditions. It’s an approach that has won him three Michelin stars and the number three place on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list.

Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is a tribute to Bottura’s twenty-five year career and the evolution of Osteria Francescana. Divided into four chapters, each one dealing with a different period, the book features 50 recipes and accompanying texts explaining Bottura’s inspiration, ingredients and techniques. Illustrated with photography by Stefano Graziani and Carlo Benvenuto, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is the first book from Bottura - the leading figure in modern Italian gastronomy.