Recipe – Classic Lemon Tart

Everyone has their favorite dessert tarts, and lemon tart is one of mine. It is an elegant dessert tart with a melt-in-your-mouth crust and custard. The lemon tart has a perfect balance when it comes to taste – the filling is not lip-puckering sour or too sweet. Fancy that? Check out our easy lemon tart recipe below.

Basic Recipe Information

  • Approximate prep time: 25 minutes
  • Approximate cooking time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 8 slices


  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry cutter
  • Rubber spatula
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • 23cm/9-inch tart pan
  • Bowls, including a medium heat-resistant bowl
  • Measuring spoons and cups


Lemon tart filling ingredients

  • 2-3 fresh lemons for 1/2 cup (120 ml) juice and 2 tbsp. zest
  • 1/2 cup (8 tbsp. or 115 g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large whole eggs

Tart crust ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (187.5 g) plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1/2 cup (8 tbsp. or 115 g) unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) powdered or icing sugar

Preparation Directions

Making the lemon tart filling

  • Put lemon juice, zest, eggs, and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour water into a saucepan and bring it to simmer. Then, set the bowl with the mixture over the saucepan. Adjust your stove to medium-low heat and cook the mixture while whisking for about 10 minutes, or until you see the mixture thicken. Ideally, cook the mixture to 1700F.
  • Set a fine-mesh strainer over a clean bowl, and pour the lemon custard into it. Take the bowl with the tart filling off the heat. You can use the rubber spatula to push the curd through the sieve. Remember to strain while the curd is hot because it thickens more as it cools.
  • Add the small cubes of butter into the strained curd and whisk until you have a smooth mixture.
  • Let it cool to room temperature before you pour it into the tart crust.

Preparing tart crust

You can make a tart crust in a food processor or simply by hand.

  • In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, and salt.
  • If you are preparing it by hand, use a pastry cutter to cut butter into the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add unsalted cold butter. Pulse until you have a coarse meal-like mixture. Work the butter into pea-sized pieces.
  • Add in slightly beaten egg. Pulse for 10-15 seconds, or until the dough starts to come together. It should not form a large ball of dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a ball. Next, gently pat the dough down into a 1-inch thick disk.
  • Wrap it in cling film and put it in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Take the frozen dough out and set it on the counter for a few minutes.
  • Roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to form a 12-inch disc.
  • Grease the 9-inch tart pan and then lift the dough into it. If there’s excess flour, brush it away. Press it lightly into the pan and trim the edges with a sharp knife.
  • Dock the base of the pastry to prevent puffing up when baking.
  • Wrap the pan in cling film and place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes to make the dough less likely to shrink as it bakes.

Baking and Filling Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 3750F.
  • Tightly cover your pastry with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Next, fill with baking beads or pie weights. If you don’t have those, you can use uncooked rice.
  • Bake until the dough doesn’t stick to the baking paper, typically for 20 minutes.
  • Remove weights and continue baking for about 10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and dry.
  • Once the crust is fully baked, transfer it to a wire rack to cool.
  • Pour the lemon curd into the crust. Freeze the lemon tart for at least 4 hours before serving.

How to Serve/Plate or Garnish the Lemon Tart

  • When serving lemon tart, you can add whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or fresh berries to complete the plate.
Recipe – Classic Lemon Tart