Classic Lemon Tart Recipe
This classic lemon tart recipe is one you will love. With a sweet shortbread dough and a lip-puckering tart lemon curd filling, it is the lemon lover’s dream.
I realized the other day that I don’t have a classic lemon tart recipe on the blog. Actually, a reader made me realize this. She was making my grapefruit tart with a coconut crust and asked if she could use lemons instead as she didn’t like grapefruit. I was going to point her to a lemon tart recipe instead and realized I never shared one.
All my citrus tart recipes can be made into a lemon tart but I think it is easier for you all if I just create a post just for this recipe. I love when you tell me what to do and how I can help!
This classic lemon tart recipe is one that you will keep in your baking repertoire for a long time. With a sweet tart dough recipe and a lip-puckering tart lemon curd filling, it is the lemon lover’s dream. The recipe that I have been making for a long time is adapted from a few cookbooks. I love the tart dough recipe from Baking Chez Moi because it is so versatile and easy to whip up. It bakes up perfect every time, whether it is rolled out or pressed into the tart pan.
Making a lemon tart is truly simple. You make a simple buttery tart dough, that is baked and cooled before the filling. The filling in this classic lemon tart recipe is essentially a lemon curd. Smooth, sweet and lip-puckering. The resulting lemon tart is the perfect combination of sweet and sour in a pastry.
I dressed this tart up with fresh berries as I had plenty on hand. A dollop of homemade whipped cream and a few berries go a long way in making this lemon tart not just a beautiful centerpiece but a sweet delight with juicy berries.
With Mother’s day just around the corner, this classic lemon tart would be perfect for mom and all your spring celebrations.
Grab the recipe below along with some of my favorite spring recipes that would be great for Mother’s Day:
- Meyer Lemon Souffle
- White Chocolate Rose Cake for Mother’s Day
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
- Blood Orange Meringue Pie
- Grapefruit Yogurt Mousse Tart
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there!
Classic Lemon Tart Recipe
This classic lemon tart recipe is one that you will keep in your baking repertoire for a long time. With a sweet tart dough recipe and a lip-puckering tart lemon curd filling, it is the lemon lover's dream.
For Sweet Tart Dough:
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg, gently beaten
- ½ cup fresh berries
- ¼ cup whipped cream or cool whip
For Lemon Filling:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
For the Crust:
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and sea salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add in the butter and pulse until you have coarse pieces, the size of peas. Add in the egg yolk, a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. Once added, pulse the mixture a few more times until the dough comes together.
- Transfer the dough onto a work surface and blend the dough together in small pieces using the heel of your hand.
- Butter or grease the tart pan. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. You may not use all of the dough if you like a thin crust. Do not overwork the dough as you press it into the tart pan to preserve the shortbready texture of the dough.
- Prick the crust all over with a fork and freeze for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour longer, before baking.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease the shiny side of an aluminum foil and fit it into the crust. (If your crust is frozen you can bake it as is but if not fill in with pie weights before baking.
- Bake crust for 25 minutes, then remove foil (and weights if using). If the dough is puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Continue baking for another 7 to 10 minutes or until firm and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
For the Filling:
- In a large heat-resistant bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, butter, lemon zest, and juice. Whisk, by hand, for about 5 minutes until mixture is pale and fluffy. Set the bowl over a simmering pot of water (a double boiler) and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickened about 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and discard any solids. Cover the filling and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Pour the lemon curd into the cooled tart dough. Refrigerate tart until set, about 4 hours or preferably overnight.
- Just before serving, top with whipped cream and fresh berries, if desired.
I feel like I’m so often focusing on recipe twists that I totally forget about the classics! Love anything lemony.
Right? Me too! The classics are always so good!
This looks gorgeous and sooo tasty! I love anything lemon. Will have to give it a whirl!
Definitely! It’s amazing!!
Oh, yummy! That lemon tart looks delicious 🙂
it’s a favorite around here!
You can’t beat the classics or a great lemon dessert. This is just beautiful!
It looks delicious! A question on the egg in the crust. The ingredients list a whole egg, slightly beaten, but Step 1 notes adding only the yolk. Which is correct?
You are using the whole egg. I’ll rectify the recipe.
I wish I had seen this before I put the shell in the freezer :,)
My friend and I tried this in a Zoom bake-off yesterday. Unfortunately the 9 tablespoons of butter in the crust turned out to be too much – and the filling never set for us after 1 day and overnight refrigeration. We recommend the following tweaks:
1) 6 tbsp of butter in crust (Not 9 tbsps)
2) Only 1 stick butter or less in the filling
3) More lemon juice in the filling
4) Baking Filling for 15 mins so it begins to set then refrigeration
Just thought we’d share so you can learn from our experience and don’t waste any expensive ingredients!
Hi Zoom baker, thank you for letting me know how it came out for you guys. I think for that amount of flour and having the cold butter be cut into the flour helps with keeping the butter still in small chunks which is great for the crust. Great idea baking the filling slightly.
Can i use store bought pie crust?
You sure can!!
Hi, can we use cooking oil instead of butter in the crust as well as the filling ?
Hello Kavita,I have sadly not tested the recipe using oil. You are welcome to try it and let me know how it goes.
Tried this recipe and it worked PERFECTLY! I even messed up at times, like having to melt my butter when mixing it into the curd. It still turned out wonderful. I froze my crust, I let my curd set, all that. I was surprised to see using the whole egg for the curd because other recipes call for just the yolk, but I was glad because I don’t eat a lot of meringue and I never know what to do with my egg whites.
I’ll definitely try more of your recipes!
Hi, thank you for recipe, how do you think if bake it with the filling, after blending all ingredients together, would it work?
Hi Kati, I am not sure what you are asking. Do you want to know if you could bake the filling? I haven’t tried that and I do not know what the results would be.
How large is your tart pan? Mine is 9 inch and would like to know if the filling is enough for a 9 inch tart.
Mine is 9-inch as well and the filling in this recipe is enough for a 9-inch pan.
I was trying to make this tart just a while ago and i started off with the Crust. As i was making it, I must have Accidentally added the egg to the flour mixture before the butter and now the dough is very sticky and paste-like. Is there anyway to save it?
Hi Joele, yes you can still save it. Just keep going to add the rest of the crust ingredients. Since the egg goes in there anyway, I think you should be fine.
Alright, Thanks for the help😊
I am using an 11” tart pan. Do you think there will be enough filling?
There would be, but it would be a very thin layer.