Lemon Tart

I’m honestly not the biggest lemon fan, but this tart completely changed my mind. The delicious pastry and the creamy and perfectly tart curd are literally all you need for a mindblowing dessert. Also, how fancy does it look?? I love a dessert that looks fancy but is relatively simple, so this one is a winner.


There are only 2 parts to this dessert, with an optional third:

  • the pastry – honestly, I’ve yet to find or make one that I like more than Claire Saffitz’s, so that’s what I recommend! You can find her recipe here or in her book Dessert Person, which I adore
    substitution ideas: you can definitely use whatever tart dough you like, or buy some from the store
  • the lemon curd – just a few ingredients and it’s amazing. it’s also simple to make, it mostly just takes patience. You’ll be tempted to increase the heat to make things go faster, but don’t do it! That’s how you end up with scrambled eggs which is not what we’re going for
    substitution ideas: any kind of curd you’d like would be perfect here!
  • the (optional) meringues – I hate wasting ingredients, so I like to use up the egg whites leftover from the curd to make meringues! You could make my favorite meringue cookies as little kisses to top your tart, or make my chocolate swirl meringues if you want a second dessert option. it’s up to you!

I made this recipe in my mini tart pans, but you could also make it with one large tart pan or a spring form pan, just increase your cooking time a tiny bit, up to about 10 minutes to account for the extra volume. I found that one batch of tart dough intended for a 9 inch tart pan makes about 5 mini tarts.

Also, did you end up with extra lemon curd? Freeze it! It freezes beautifully and is perfect on pretty much any carb you’ve got around.

Lemon Tarts
Yield: 5 small tarts

Lemon Tarts

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These Lemon Tarts prove that all you really need for a fancy, mind blowing dessert is a bit of delicious pastry and a creamy and perfectly tart curd. Decorate them with meringues and berries, or just a dusting of powdered sugar, either way you'll be glad you made them.


  • 5 small tart shells, fully cooked
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter, cubed


  1. prepare your tart shells: make your sweet pastry dough and cook the tarts until fully done according to the instructions. while they bake, make your curd
  2. make the curd: combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and butter in a medium pot over medium low heat. cook, stirring frequently, until it thickens. this will take a while, but be patient and don't turn up the heat or you'll have scrambled eggs. you know the curd is thick enough when a dollop of it that is dropped back into the pot stays on the surface and isn't immediately absorbed. run the curd through a sieve to remove any lumps and transfer to a container with a spout
  3. assemble the tarts and bake: preheat your oven to 350*. assemble your tart shells on a baking sheet and fill each one with curd up to the very top. bake for 5-7 minutes or until just set, but with a jiggle in the middle
  4. enjoy! let cool and enjoy, decorated with meringues and berries or just a dusting of powdered sugar


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