Whether for a luncheon dessert, alongside an espresso, capping off a dinner party, or for a just-for-me treat, Lemon Tart is a slice of elegance and sunshine. Made with a buttery shortbread crust and fresh lemon curd, this lemon tart recipe is refined, yet is actually easy to make.
Lemon tart tastes like sunshine.
Just a whiff of it is like a dose of vitamin C.
The fresh, bright lemon in the custard filling bursts through its richness, with the homemade, buttery Shortbread Crust complementing the sweetness.
This lemon tart (or as the French say, tarte au citron) is served cold and would do the French proud.
Like Lemon Cake, it complements really any meal and occasion and makes it extra special.
Lemon tart, like Lemon Bars, is allll lemon, baby.
Lemon Tart is Classy and Easy
Pinkies up, this no-bake, classy lemon tart is perfect for your next gathering.
When you hear lemon tart with homemade shortbread crust, you probably imagine hours squeezing lemons and rolling delicate 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 blended with a stand mixer, pressed into a pie dish and baked. No pie weights, foil, or parchment paper needed!The filling is prepared in one pot on the stove, poured into the prepared crust, then chilled, and DONE.
If lemon pie is what you’re after rather than tart, Grammy’s Lemon Cream Pie is a knockout, made with a cream cheese and lemon custard filling. It’s also no bake, and even better than a lemon meringue pie.
How to Make Lemon Tart
Lemon tart is made with melted butter, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolks. Super simple!
You can make everything in advance and let it chill overnight.
No turning on the oven required.
Sugar. To make the fresh lemon tart just-right sweet!Lemon. Fresh lemon juice + lemon zest for the full lemon flavor. No lemon extract needed; the lemon here is pure.Egg Yolks. For making the custard. You can reserve the egg white for making Egg White Frittata.Cornstarch. For making a slurry to thicken the tart filling.
Prepare and bake the crust.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
Mix the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolks.
Whisk egg mixture frequently, until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
Make cornstarch slurry in a separate bowl.
Whisk in cornstarch slurry.
Increase the heat to medium heat and cook while whisking until mixture is thickened.
Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve (optional).
Pour lemon curd mixture over the cooled tart crust and level with an offset spatula.
Cool for 1 hour, then let set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or (for best results) overnight.
Remove from tart pan, garnish as desired, and serve chilled. ENJOY!
Lemon Tart Garnishes
The lemon tart is pretty on its own, and even more of a looker with garnishes such as the following:
Lemon slicesFresh berries, such as raspberries or blueberriesSliced, toasted almondsDusting of powdered sugarMint leavesWhipped cream
To Store: Keep lemon tart in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.To Freeze: You can freeze individual slices, the entire tart, or the filling and pie crust separately. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Meal Prep Tip
Lemon tart is perfect for making ahead as it tastes best after refrigerating overnight.Crust can be baked the day before and stored covered at room temperature until filling is prepared.
What to Serve with Lemon Tart
Lemon tart is a beautiful dessert after any meal, or enjoyed as a little slice of heaven all on its own. Serve with a scoop of ice cream and/or a bubbly drink for an even more fun treat.
Ice Cream. Rhubarb Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream would be a nice fruity pairing, or the classic creaminess of Oat Milk Ice Cream.Champagne. The lemon twist and bubbles in St. Germain Cocktail would be fitting, or the classic French cocktail Kir Royale would make this dessert royal.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
Tart Pan. If you’re going to make at tart, let’s go all in and get the proper bakeware.Sauce Pan. Thought about upgrading your cookware? All Clad is going to last your lifetime and then some.Small Whisk. This little guy works harder than my full-sized whisk. I love how it’s easy to maneuver and can really get into the corners of pans and bowls.
You’re going to feel all kinds of refined when you serve this bright and beautiful lemon tart.
Grab a slice of sunshine!
Frequently Asked Questions
There are different 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 vertical-edged tart pan so they can be presented freestanding out of the pan (this Vegan Chocolate Tart is another example). Pies (like Sweet Potato Pie) are made with a flaky dough crust, filled, and baked and served in a pie dish. A galette is a free-form pie pastry wrapped around the filling and baked without a pie dish.
Tart crust is not the same as traditional pie crust. Pie crust is flaky. Tart crust, while also buttery, is more like a cookie; it is crumbly and more substantial.
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Sliced lemon raspberries or blueberries, light dusting of powdered sugar, mint leaves
Prepare the Crust:
Make the Lemon Curd:
TO STORE: Keep lemon tart in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.
TO FREEZE: You can freeze individual slices, the entire tart, or the filling and pie crust separately. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
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Lemon Poke Cake