This classic lemon tart recipe features silky smooth lemon curd—but not just any lemon curd! The lemon curd used for this tart is naturally sweetened with honey which offers more depth and nuance to the bright sweet-tart dessert. 

This tart recipe is:

  • Classic
  • Sweet
  • Tart
  • Versatile (the topping options are endless!)
  • Impressive
  • Easy!

How to make lemon tart:

Or check out the Web Story on how to make this Lemon Tart!

Make the classic tart crust

  1. Pulse the dry ingredients together, then scatter the butter over top and pulse until a coarse meal is formed. Add the yolk and cream mixture and pulse until a dough comes together.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and form into a disk; wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
  3. Roll the dough out then press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan; trim edges and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Blind bake crust in a 375-degree oven until golden brown and set, about 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. (To blind bake: line frozen tart shell with foil, covering edges to prevent burning, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.)
  5. Remove weights and foil and continue baking crust for an additional 5-10 minutes until deeply golden brown.

Make the naturally-sweetened lemon curd

  1. Whisk the yolks, egg, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt together in a saucepan until smooth. Add the butter.
  2. Cook lemon curd mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture has reached 170-degrees and mixture has thickened, this should take 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Remove the saucepan from heat and strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer.
  4. Stir in cream. 

Bake the tart!

  1. Spread the warm curd into pre-baked crust and bake until the curd is shiny and opaque and center jiggles slightly when shaken.

FAQ: why did my lemon tart crack?

The most common reason why your tart cracked is because the oven was too hot (350ºF is as hot as your oven should be) or the tart was baked too long and overbaked. It’s best to pull your lemon tart from the oven when its center is still slightly jiggly when the pan is gently shaken.

Another reason your tart may have cracked is if it was still slightly warm when removed from the pan. This is why it’s so important to let the tart cool completely before removing from the pan!

close up image of a bite of lemon tart on a fork

How to store lemon tart and for how long

For the best quality, enjoy this lemon tart on the same day as it is made. However, this lemon tarts lasts well for up to three days wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator. Stored any longer and the crust will start to soften and the lemon curd will start to weep. 

Can you freeze lemon tart?

I do not recommend freezing your lemon tart. As much as it may save time, the sacrifice in texture just isn’t worth it. 

HOWEVER, I’ve got some make ahead tips below that will save major time—making this totally doable for a dinner party.

If you really want to freeze the tart: let it cool to room temperature then place it in the freezer for about an hour to firm up. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to one month. Pull the tart out from the freezer about 2 hours prior to a serving. Unwrap and transfer to a serving platter to thaw.

close up overhead image of a lemon tart with a slide set on its side

Make Ahead Tips

  • Make the tart crust dough ahead of time: wrapped the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. If frozen, let the dough thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  • Make the dough and line the tart pan ahead of time: make the dough, roll it out and line your tart pan as directed in the recipe. Wrap the dough-lined tart pan tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. 
  • Do not thaw the tart shell prior to baking; blind bake the frozen tart shell as directed in recipe. 
side angle of a piece of lemon tart being held up on a spatula

Are there raw eggs in lemon tart

Lemon curd is made with both whole eggs and egg yolks. However, the curd mixture is cooked on the stove top to 170-degrees fahrenheit which is above the recommended food safety temperature of 160-degrees. So, lemon tarts are safe to eat!

Serve lemon tart with…

More tart recipes…

side angle of a slice of lemon tart pulled away from the rest of the tart

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or tag #zestfulkitchen on social media if you make a recipe! 

Don’t forget, if you make this lemon curd tart, leave a comment and rating below!

To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the bar below the recipe. Happy cooking!

Classic Lemon Tart

Print Recipe
4.58 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Chilling Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Yield 8 servings (one 9-inch tart)
Category Dessert
Cuisine French
Author Lauren

Description

A sweet-tart lemon curd filling floods a cookie-like crust to create a simple yet stunning dessert perfect for any occasion.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup lemon zest
  • ½ cup lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup honey
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and chilled
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 fully baked 9-inch tart crust
  • Berries, optional
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC) with rack set in middle position.
  • Whisk lemon juice, lemon zest, egg and yolks, honey, and pinch salt in medium saucepan until smooth. Add butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with rubber spatula, until mixture thickens and registers 170ºF 6–8 minutes.
  • Immediately pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into bowl and stir in cream.
  • Pour warm lemon curd into cooled 9-inch tart crust. Set tart on baking sheet and bake until filling is shiny and opaque and center jiggles slightly when shaken, 10–15 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
  • Transfer tart with baking sheet to wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
  • To serve, remove outer metal ring of pan, slide a thin spatula between tart and tart pan bottom, and carefully slide tart onto serving platter.
  • Top with berries and dust with confectioners’ sugar, if using.

Notes

The curd recipe calls for large eggs, but depending on the size of your eggs the yield may differ. To ensure you have enough filling adjust as needed. (1 medium egg = 1.75 oz.; 1 large egg = 2 oz.; 1 extra-large egg = 2.25 oz.; 1 jumbo egg = 2.5 oz.)
DO NOT use the convection setting on your oven when baking tarts. This will cause the tart crust to burn. 
Store tart in the refrigerator covered with plastic for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 7gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 304mgSodium: 183mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20g
Keywords homemade lemon tart, lemon curd tart, lemon tart, lemon tart recipe
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
Overhead image of a lemon tart set on parchment paper with powdered sugar and berries scattered around it

Pin This Recipe

Love this recipe and want to save it? Pin this recipe!

Pin This Recipe
Get Zestful (Almost) Daily
The latest zestful recipes, tips and insights to your inbox.

Share it with the world

Pin

About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

Learn More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

How many stars would you give this recipe?




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is so pretty and delicious. I like that I can make the curd and crust ahead of time. It makes preparing so much easier. Great tart!!!

    1. Hi! I have a question about cooking temperature. The recepie says to after pouring the curd into tart crust, bake the whole tart for next 10- 15 minutes. What temperature and fun should I set in my oven. Please let me know. I am really exciting to make this amazing looking tart ;).

  2. 5 stars
    After the coconut curry I read up on your other page… This is now dessert! Your recipes are amazing… I hope they look as amazing as you make them… 😮

  3. 2 stars
    I just made this and followed the recipe 100%. It says to blind bake the crust for 40 minutes at 375 and mine came out so burnt it’s black on the bottom! I just read another recipe with identical ingredients and it says 20 minutes at 375!!!!

    1. Hi Sarah—I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ve made this crust countless times and that has never been the case. I would recommend checking your oven temperature by placing an oven thermometer on the oven rack and heating it to 400. Once it’s been preheated for a while, check the thermometer. Many ovens either run high or low, which could have caused this. Again, I’m sorry to hear this. None of my readers have had this experience before and this crust recipe is used in multiple tart recipes on my site. I’ve updated the recipe with a time range now to account for potential ranges in oven temperature.

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is perfect! I had no trouble with the crust—buttery and cookie-like. I will say, you need to use large eggs like she specifies here. I used medium eggs this last time and I had less filling. This is my new go-to tart recipe!

  5. Could I leave the tart to chill overnight? I really want to make this tart for my friend but the only way I could is if I do it a day before.

    1. Hi Sonia,

      Great question, you can absolutely do it a day ahead of time! Once it’s cooled to room temp, I would wrap it loosely in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Pull it out of the fridge about an hour before serving and decorate as desired. You may need to dab a bit of moisture off the top of the tart once it has warmed to room temp.

      I hope this helps!

    1. Absolutely, you can definitely swap out the lemon zest and juice for orange zest and juice. When I make orange curd I find it lacks some tartness so I usually add a few tablespoons of lemon juice to the orange juice. Let me know how it goes, yum!