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Classic Lemon Tart

4.77 from 17 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Yield 8 servings (one 9-inch tart)
Category Dessert
Cuisine French
Author Lauren


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


Tart Crust

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cups (6 ¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces and chilled

Lemon Curd

  • 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


  • Berries, optional
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional


Tart Crust

  • Heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC) with rack set in middle position.
  • Whisk 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla together in bowl.
  • Process 1 ¼ cups flour, ½ cup sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter 8 tablespoons chilled butter over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 pulses.
    cubes of butter on top of flour in a food processor
  • With processor running, add yolk mixture and process until dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.
    tark dough crumbles on a counter
  • Form dough into 6-inch disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour. (Dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, let dough thaw completely on counter before rolling.)
    tart dough formed into a disk
  • Let chilled dough sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, roll dough out to a 11-inch circle on lightly floured surface. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, letting excess dough hang over edge. Ease dough into pan by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into corners and fluted sides of pan with your other hand (make sure edges are about 1/4-inch thick).
    tart crust dough set inside a tart pan
  • Run rolling pin over top of pan to remove any excess dough.
    tart crust dough in a tart pan
  • Wrap dough-lined pan loosely in plastic, place on a large plate, and freeze until dough is chilled and firm, about 30 minutes. (Dough-lined tart pan can be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F (190ºC). Set dough-lined tart pan on baking sheet, discard plastic and line with a double layer of aluminum foil, covering edges to prevent burning; fill with pie weights. Bake crust until golden brown and set, about 30–40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
  • Remove weights and foil and continue baking crust for an additional 5-10 minutes until deeply golden brown.
    baked tart crust in a tart pan
  • Transfer tart crust to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Lemon Curd

  • Whisk ¼ lemon zest, ½ cup lemon juice, 2 eggs, 7 egg yolks, ½ cup honey, and pinch salt in medium saucepan until smooth.
    lemon curd mixture in a saucepan
  • Add 4 tablespoons butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with rubber spatula, until mixture thickens and registers 170ºF (76ºC) 6–8 minutes.
    lemon curd in a saucepan with a thermometer set in it
  • Immediately pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into bowl.
    lemon curd in a strainer set over a glass bowl
  • Add 2 tablespoons cream.
    lemon curd with a splash of cream in a glass bowl with a whisk
  • Whisk until smooth.
    lemon curd in a glass bowl with a whisk


  • 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.
    lemon zest being spread into a tart crust
  • 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.


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.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 7gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 304mgSodium: 183mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20g
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