Lemon Tart

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BLENDER STRAWBERRY TART! The best thick crust loaded with a custard-like filling and loaded with sweet strawberry pie filling. Recipe via chelseasmessyapron.com

This Lemon Tart starts with a thick, sweet, and buttery crust which we load with a creamy, custardy tart lemon filling. Top your tart with fresh berries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar for the perfect finishing touch!

Love lemon desserts? You’ll love these Lemon Bars, this creamy Lemon Pie, or these Lemon Cookies!

Overhead view of the Lemon Tart

A Homemade Lemon Tart

This lemon tart is a variation of my favorite lemon bars recipe. But instead of a shortbread crust, I’ve created more of a sugar-cookie-inspired crust. The crust is divine! It’s buttery, sweet, and has the perfect texture — it’s got a great bite without being too firm.

The lemon filling is tangy, sweet, and a little creamy. It’s the perfect complement to the cookie-esque crust. With a few kitchen tools, you’ll be well on your way to Lemon Tart heaven! More on the tools you’ll need below.

Process shots to make the crust: Add cold cubed butter, flour and powdered sugar to the bowl of a food processor; pulse to break down butter; add egg yolk, salt and vanilla

Tools You’ll Need

This Lemon Tart recipe isn’t too hard to re-create with a few kitchen tools:

  • A large food processor makes a world of difference in creating the crust.
  • You’ll also need the right size tart pan for the recipe to work properly.
  • It’s also important to have pie weights or dried beans (or lentils or rice!). After chilling the pie crust, use a large sheet (or two) of parchment paper to cover the inside of the crust. Then fill up the parchment paper with pie weights or dried beans. This keeps the dough from bubbling up and the sides from shrinking or sliding down.
  • We’ll pour the lemon filling through a sieve so it can catch everything we don’t want in our tart. (The lemon zest prevents an ultra-smooth custard.)

Process shots--making the crust: pulse ingredients to form the dough; knead into a ball; press into the tart pan; top with parchment paper filled with weights.

Lemon Tart Crust; And All About Par-Baking

For this lemon curd tart, the crust needs to be par-baked before adding the lemon filling.

Blind Baking, is the process of partially baking a crust before adding the filling. We want to evenly cook the pastry thoroughly so it is golden brown throughout. Because, once we add the filling, the pastry won’t cook too much more.

Par-baking can sometimes be tricky, but the tips below will make it a cinch!

  • Don’t stretch or pull the dough. This will cause the crust to shrink when baked. Instead gently press and coax it, taking your time to fill the tart pan evenly.
  • Prick the base of the crust with the tines of a fork to keep the crust from bubbling up. Don’t pierce all the way through the crust though; just about 1/2 way through.
  • Use pie weights or dried beans. The weight keeps the dough from bubbling up and the sides from shrinking or sliding down. Don’t skip the weights; I’ve tried and it has been disastrous! 
  • Bake with the weights in. After par-baking, remove the weights and bake again to fully solidify the crust without the parchment paper and beans or weights.

What Is A Lemon Tart Made Of?

We’ve got butter, sugar, an egg yolk, flour, salt, and vanilla in the crust. Eggs, cream, lemon zest, sugar, and lemon juice make up the lemon curd filling. See? It’s really not that much.

A few ingredients worth going into detail about: 

  • Butter: The better the butter, the richer the flavor of the cookie crust. We love Challenge® Butter. Choose unsalted to have perfect control over the amount of salt in the dough.
  • Vanilla: We love adding vanilla bean paste to add even more flavor and nuance to the crust. That said, a pure vanilla extract also works well.
  • Heavy cream: Perhaps a unique ingredient for a Lemon Tart, but I swear by this addition! It helps balance the tartness and adds a velvety feel to the custard.
  • Lemon zest. When zesting the lemon, avoid the white pith of the lemon — this is very bitter. Using a microplane (like this one), zest only the very outside yellow part of the lemon for this recipe. 

How To Get More Juice From Lemons

  • Microwave the lemons for 15-20 seconds.
  • Knead the lemons with your hand against the counter for 20-3o seconds.
  • Cut the lemon in half horizontally and juice the lemon using a juicer.

QUICK TIP

This citrus juicer makes juicing the lemons a breeze! You’ll have 2/3 cup in no time at all! A medium lemon generally yields 4 ounces of juice.

Process shots: Pour lemon filling through a sieve onto the par-baked crust; bake and let cool.

How To Make A Lemon Tart (Tips)

  • Number 1 Tip: Keep everything as cold as possible. For the crust, use ingredients right out of the fridge, handle them as little as possible and get the dough back in the fridge as quickly as you can. 
  • Handle the dough as little as possible. The less the dough is touched, the better the crust will taste, and the less it will shrink as it bakes.
  • Do not overmix the dough in the food processor. We don’t want to warm the ingredients too much.
  • Let the Lemon Tart cool in the tin before removing it, or you risk cracks
  • Bake the tart until the lemon custard is set with a bit of a wobbly center. Gently nudge the pan to check for this wobble.

Close-up view of the Lemon Tart

STORAGE

How Long Does Lemon Tart Last In The Fridge?

Tarts are best eaten the day they’re made and shouldn’t be refrigerated for extended periods. It’s best to make this Lemon Tart early in the day to allow plenty of time for it to rest before serving.

What To Serve With This Lemon Tart:

This gorgeous tart can stand on its own — it’s a delicious, show-stopping dessert. We love adding fresh (completely dry) berries and a few sprigs of mint. A sprinkle of powdered sugar finishes off everything beautifully.

More Delicious Desserts:

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Lemon Tart

5 from 1 vote
This Lemon Tart starts with a thick, sweet, and buttery crust which we load with a creamy, custardy tart lemon filling. Top your tart with fresh berries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar for the perfect finishing touch!
Print Recipe

Lemon Tart

5 from 1 vote
This Lemon Tart starts with a thick, sweet, and buttery crust which we load with a creamy, custardy tart lemon filling. Top your tart with fresh berries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar for the perfect finishing touch!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword lemon tart
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 1 (11-12 inch) Tart Pan
Calories 215kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter about 1.5 sticks
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Lemon Filling and Topping

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup white, granulated sugar
  • 3-4 large lemons (2 tbsp zest; 1/2 cup juice)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Optional, for serving: fresh berries, mint leaves, sprinkle of powdered sugar

Instructions

  • PREP: Cut 14 tbsp butter (straight from fridge) into small cubes. Place in the fridge until ready to use. Place the tart pan on a large tray. Grease the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • CRUST: In a large food processor (or powerful blender), add cubed butter, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, and 2-1/2 cups flour. Pulse in 1-second pulses until the butter is in small pieces, about 20-25 pulses.
  • CRUST CONT.: Add in 1 egg yolk only (no whites!), 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 2 tablespoons very cold water. Pulse until the dough begins to clump together, about 20-25 more 1-second pulses. The dough should be gathering together in large clumps, but still look a bit crumbly/shaggy. Dump the mixture from the food processor onto a clean work surface and roll/shape into a ball. Add a touch of flour only if needed (dough is too sticky). Add dough to prepared tart pan and press evenly into pan (don't stretch/pull, but rather gently coax and press) to cover the side and center as evenly as possible. Poke the bottom of the crust 8 times with a fork. (Don't press fork all the way through the crust-- only about 1/2 way.) Place in the freezer and chill for 20 minutes or cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
  • OVEN: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • BAKE CRUST: Remove the tart from the freezer and place a sheet of parchment paper over the tart. Fill the tart with dried beans, rice, or pie weights (this is to weigh down the crust, ensuring it keeps shape). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the edges are light brown and the bottom is nicely set. Remove and let cool until filling while making the filling.
  • FILLING: Meanwhile, add 4 eggs to a large bowl and set aside. In the food processor or blender used before, add 3/4 cup white sugar and the zest of 3 large lemons (about 2 tbsp packed zest). Pulse the two together until the zest is broken down, but we don't want to make the sugar into powdered sugar! Add this sugar mixture to the eggs along with 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup cream, and a tiny pinch of salt. Thoroughly whisk until combined.
  • BAKE ENTIRE TART: Pour half of the lemon filling through a mesh strainer into the partially baked crust. Very carefully (so the lemon filling doesn't spill over the sides of the crust) transfer tray back to the oven and then pour the rest of the lemon filling in (this helps prevent spills and makes it easier to get in oven). Bake tart for 18-25 minutes or until tart is set with a very slight jiggle/wobble in center. Remove and let cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge and chilling for at least 1 hour.
  • ENJOY: Remove the tart and slice. Use a hot, sharp knife (run it under hot water, dry with a towel) to make cuts into the tart. If desired, top with fresh berries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar (only top with berries right before eating!)

Video

Recipe Notes

Kitchen Tools:
  • A large food processor makes a world of difference in creating the crust.
  • You'll also need the right size tart pan for the recipe to work properly.
  • It's also important to have pie weights or dried beans (or lentils or rice!). After chilling the pie crust, use a large sheet (or two) of parchment paper to cover the inside of the crust. Then fill up the parchment paper with pie weights or dried beans. This keeps the dough from bubbling up and the sides from shrinking or sliding down.
  • We'll pour the lemon filling through a sieve so it can catch everything we don't want in our tart (the lemon zest prevents an ultra-smooth filling).

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.4g | Protein: 5.5g | Fat: 15.6g | Cholesterol: 113.4mg | Sodium: 28.7mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 21.7g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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3 Comments

  1. I’m usually not the biggest lemon fan, but this tart looks soooo good. My mom is a lemon fanatic, so I should definitely make this for her – she’d go nuts for it!

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