Whether for a lunchtime dessert, alongside an espresso, to end a dinner party, or as a treat just for me, lemon cake is a piece of elegance and sunshine. Made with a butter cookie crust and fresh lemon curd, this lemon tart recipe is sophisticated but actually easy to make.
Lemon tart tastes like sunshine.
Just a whiff of it is like a dose of vitamin C.
The fresh, vibrant lemon in the custard filling bursts with its richness, while the homemade, buttery shortbread crust complements the sweetness.
Served cold, this lemon tart (or as the French say, tarte au citron) would make the French proud.
Like the lemon cake, it really complements any meal or occasion and makes it extra special.
Lemon tart, like Lemon Bars, is allll Lemon, honey.
Lemon tart is classy and simple
Pinkies up, this classic no-bake lemon tart is perfect for your next get together.
When you hear lemon tart with a homemade shortbread crust, you probably imagine spending hours squeezing lemons and rolling tender dough.
On the contrary, lemon tart is actually pretty easy to make.
- All the crust ingredients (simple and classic with flour, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt) are mixed together with a stand mixer, pressed into a pie pan and baked. No cake weights, foil, or parchment paper required!
- The filling is prepared in a saucepan on the stovetop, poured into the prepared crust, then chilled and DONE.
If you’re looking for lemon pie rather than tart, Grammy’s Lemon Cream Pie is a smash, made with a cream cheese and lemon custard filling. It’s also no-bake and even better than a lemon meringue cake.
How to make lemon tart
Lemon tart is made with melted butter, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolk. super easy!
You can prepare everything in advance and leave it overnight.
No need to turn on the oven.
- Sugar. To make the fresh lemon tart just right sweet!
- lemon. Fresh lemon juice + lemon peel for the full lemon flavor. No lemon extract required; The lemon here is pure.
- egg yolk. For preparing the pudding. You can reserve the egg whites for making egg white frittata.
- cornstarch. For making a paste to thicken the pie filling.
- Prepare and bake the dough.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Mix together the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolk.
- Beat egg mixture frequently, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Make cornstarch in a separate bowl.
- Stir in the cornstarch.
- Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve (optional).
- Pour the lemon curd mixture over the cooled cake base and smooth with an offset spatula.
- Allow to cool for 1 hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or (for best results) overnight to set.
- Remove from the tart pan, garnish as desired and serve chilled. ENJOY!
Garnished with lemon tart
Lemon tart is pretty on its own, and it’s even more eye-catching with toppings like these:
- lemon slices
- Fresh berries, like raspberries or blueberries
- Sliced, roasted almonds
- Dust with icing sugar
- mint leaves
- whipped cream
- To store: Store the lemon tart in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: You can freeze individual slices, the whole cake or the filling and the cake base separately. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Meal prep tip
- Lemon tart is perfect for making ahead as it tastes best when refrigerated overnight.
- Crust can be baked the day before and stored covered at room temperature until the filling is prepared.
What to serve with lemon tart
Lemon tart is a wonderful dessert after any meal or enjoyed on its own as a little piece of heaven. Serve with a scoop of ice cream and/or a fizzy drink for even more fun.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- pie pan. If you want to make a cake, let’s go all out and get the right baking pans.
- Pot. Have you thought about upgrading your cookware? All Clad will last you a lifetime and then some.
- Small whisk. This little guy works harder than my big whisk. I love how easy it is to maneuver and really gets into the corners of pans and bowls.
Measuring 9 inches tall, this tart pan with a removable base is perfect for shaping your lovely treats.
You’ll feel all manner of sophistication as you serve up this bright and beautiful lemon tart.
Grab a piece of sun!
frequently asked Questions
There are several versions of lemon tart: baked and no-bake. This recipe is a no-bake lemon tart (only the crust is baked) and is served chilled.
Tarts are made with a thick, cookie-like crust and baked in a tart pan with a vertical rim so they can be displayed free-standing from the pan (this vegan chocolate tart is another example). Pies (like Sweet Potato Pie) are made with a flaky pastry crust, filled and baked, and served in a pie dish. A galette is a free form pie dough that is wrapped around the filling and baked without a pie tin.
Tart crust is not the same as traditional pie crust. Pie crust is flaky. The tart crust, while also buttery, is more like a biscuit; it’s crumbly and more substantial.
- 1 Shortbread crust recipe
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter (separately if opting for the bain-marie method)
- 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice of about 3 lemons – reduce to 2/3 cup for a more subtle lemon flavor
- 1 tablespoon Lemon peel from about 2 lemons
- 6 large yolks at room temperature use the egg white for Egg White Frittata
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch mix with 2 tablespoons of water to form a slurry
- Sliced Lemon Raspberries or blueberries, light dusting with powdered sugar, mint leaves
Prepare the crust:
Grease a 9-inch round, removable bottom tart pan with nonstick spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a rubber spatula (or wooden spoon), combine all the crust ingredients: butter, all-purpose flour, whole white flour, confectioner’s sugar, salt, vanilla, water, and lemon zest (if using). Mix until a slightly dry looking, cookie dough-like mixture forms; When squeezed with fingers it should hold together. Press evenly on the bottom and sides of the prepared pie pan. Trim off any excess batter that is sticking out over the pan. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork.
Freeze the crust for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool completely.
Prepare the lemon curd:
In a medium non-reactive saucepan*, add the butter and melt over medium-high heat.
Stir in the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolk. Stir frequently, about 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved – this workout will be worth it. Make sure you use a small whisk so you really get into the corners of the pan.
Stir in the cornstarch. Increase heat to medium and cook, beating every 20 seconds. The mixture will thicken and bubble. Continue cooking, beating very frequently, until the mixture has noticeably thickened (it looks like lemon curd!), about 1 to 2 minutes longer.
If you’re a perfectionist, pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to ensure it’s completely smooth (skip this step if you’re happy with the consistency).
Pour the hot lemon curd mixture over the cooled tart base and, using a knife or offset spatula, spread it into an even layer.
Allow the lemon curd to cool in the pie crust at room temperature for 1 hour, then place in the fridge for 4 hours or (for best results) overnight to set. Serve chilled with your favorite garnishes.
*A non-reactive pot is made of a material that will not react with acidic ingredients. Stainless steel is most common; Enamel cookware is also non-reactive – most non-stick coatings are non-reactive. Don’t use cast iron (unless it’s enameled), copper, or aluminum.
- TO STORE: Store the lemon tart, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- FREEZE: You can freeze individual slices, the whole cake or the filling and the cake base separately. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Portion: 1 discCalories: 245kcalCarbohydrates: 28GProtein: 4GFat: 14GSaturated Fatty Acids: 8thGPolyunsaturated fat: 1.2GMonounsaturated fatty acids: 4GTrans fats: 0.4GCholesterol: 127mgPotassium: 44mgFiber: 1.1GSugar: 16GVitamin A: 481ieVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 0.8mg
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