Lemon Tart

By Shiran

A traditional French-style lemon tart with creamy, dreamy lemony filling.

Perfect Creamy Lemon Tart | prettysimplesweet.com

My favorite lemon tart tastes just like a classic ‘tarte au citron’ from Paris. It has shallow sides, a crumbly, sweet, cookie-like crust, and classic lemon curd filling with just enough butter to make it creamy and not too sour. Since the filling is quite rich, the lemon layer isn’t very thick. 

This tart requires 2 steps:

  1. Make the tart crust. In this post, you’ll find not just the recipe, but also tips for making a perfect crust. You’ll need to prepare the dough, then fully bake the crust before filling it with the lemon mixture. If you’re using a store-bough tart shell, you’ll only need to make the lemon curd.
  2. Make lemon curd for the filling. This post includes many tips on how it’s done, so be sure you read it. Once the lemon curd is ready, fill your crust with it and chill.

Perfect Creamy Lemon Tart | prettysimplesweet.com

The filling
The filling is similar to my favorite lemon curd, except for 2 adjustments. First, there’s the addition of heavy cream, which is optional but adds richness and great taste, and you can use up to ¼ cup of it.

Second is the amount of butter. I usually don’t like a lot of butter in my lemon curd, but here it helps to mute the bold lemon flavor, which I find really makes this tart superb. You can cut the butter by half if you prefer, or on the contrary, add more. The butter also adds a thick, creamy texture and the long whisking when adding it makes it light and airy. Instead of whisking the butter by hand, you can use a blender; just add the lemon mixture and blend, adding a few cubes of butter at a time, until completely smooth.

Chill the tart for several hours before serving or the curd will be too runny. After enough chilling time, the lemon curd will firm up, making it easier to cut through the pie.

An interesting and delicious option is to add basil to the lemon curd. Add ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves along with the sugar, eggs, and other ingredients, and let them cook together. You’ll discard the leaves upon sieving the mixture through a strainer.

Perfect Creamy Lemon Tart | prettysimplesweet.com

You could top the tart with meringue, whipped cream, or berries if you want, but it’s just as good as is.

Read more about crust making here.
Read more about lemon curd here.

4.5 from 2 reviews

Lemon Tart
Yields: one 9 in/23 cm tart crust

A traditional French-style lemon tart with creamy, dreamy lemony filling.
For the lemon curd:
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks (or 3 whole eggs)
  • ¾ cup (150 g/5.3 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons for both zest and juice)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, optional
  • ½ cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  1. To make the lemon curd: In a medium heatproof bowl, place eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and heavy cream and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (bain-marie). Cook on moderate heat, whisking constantly, until mixture becomes thick (mine was ready in 10 minutes, but it can take up to 20). If you have a thermometer, it should register 170F/75C; otherwise, it should coat the back of a wooden spoon and leave a clear pass if you run your finger through it. The curd will thicken more once cooled.
  2. Remove from heat and immediately strain mixture through a sieve. Add butter, a few cubes at a time, and whisk until completely melted and incorporated, and mixture is smooth. Take your time with it—the whisking makes for an airy and light texture. Allow to cool to room temperature before filling the tart. (Lemon curd can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or can be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, place overnight in the fridge. Whisk the mixture to smoothen it before using.)
  3. Fill the tart shell with lemon curd, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours until chilled. Serve with berries and whipped cream if you like. The tart is rich, so cut your servings small.


21 Comments on Lemon Tart

  1. Laila
    December 14, 2015 at 6:18 pm (1 year ago)

    I just made your lemon bars, which were winners, so I reckon I can put this next on the agenda for ma famille 😛 Looks dreamy as usual ♥

    • Shiran
      December 15, 2015 at 5:22 am (1 year ago)

      That’s so sweet of you Laila, thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoy my recipes 🙂

    • Shiran
      December 17, 2015 at 4:20 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks Nicole! 🙂

  2. Theodora
    December 16, 2015 at 11:38 am (1 year ago)

    Looks amazing! 🙂

    • Shiran
      December 17, 2015 at 4:17 am (1 year ago)

      Thank you Theodora 🙂

  3. Becky | The Cookie Rookie
    January 5, 2016 at 11:35 pm (1 year ago)

    I just found your site, and it’s STUNNING! I’m opening every post and gawking at all the gorgeous photos. Bravo!

    • Shiran
      January 7, 2016 at 9:54 am (1 year ago)

      Thank you so much, Becky! 🙂

  4. Kat
    March 7, 2016 at 11:36 am (12 months ago)

    I just found your site and I love all the detail and information you give! Thank you. I have an 11″ tart pan so how can I adapt the recipe to fit it? Going to make this lemon tart tonight! Thank you!

    • Shiran
      March 8, 2016 at 1:41 am (12 months ago)

      Thanks, Kat! 🙂 I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure, but I did make it once using a 10-inch pan and it was fine. If you want to make extra filling just to make sure you have enough, multiply the recipe by 1 and 1/3 (4 eggs, 1 cup of sugar…).

      • Kat
        March 8, 2016 at 10:45 am (12 months ago)

        Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! 🙂 I held off and will make this Sunday. I will let you know how it goes. Where are you based out of? I LOVE your blog!

        • Shiran
          March 9, 2016 at 10:02 am (12 months ago)

          Thank you so much! 🙂

  5. R.E.Cox
    March 7, 2016 at 11:40 am (12 months ago)

    Will definitely try this one,, sounds wonderful

  6. Eden Passante
    March 7, 2016 at 6:19 pm (12 months ago)

    This looks so delicious! The texture looks heavenly!

  7. Brittan
    March 29, 2016 at 4:10 pm (11 months ago)

    Hi, if I make the lemon curd in advance and fill my tarts after it I chilled and set up, will it not lay flat/look as nice?

    • Shiran
      March 30, 2016 at 4:59 am (11 months ago)

      Hi Brittan, you can make the lemon curd in advance – no problem. Before using, whisk the lemon curd for a few seconds until smooth, then fill your tart. It should look just as nice 🙂

  8. Mel
    May 22, 2016 at 5:44 pm (9 months ago)

    Made this for family dinner last night and it was divine! So creamy, delicious and not overly sweet!

  9. plasterer bristol
    July 19, 2016 at 12:50 am (8 months ago)

    My favorite of all time. So delicious. Awesome recipe.


  10. nabil
    October 7, 2016 at 1:57 pm (5 months ago)

    it is beautiful very good

  11. Michael
    January 12, 2017 at 6:05 am (2 months ago)

    This may be a really stupid question but Is it possible to make the tart crust and curd the night before and refrigerate ? And would it be better to chill them seperatley and then combine when needed or make the complete tart then refrigerate ? … baking newbie sorry!

    • Shiran
      January 12, 2017 at 8:23 am (2 months ago)

      There’s no such thing as a stupid question! Yes, it’s definitely possible, and both options you’ve mentioned are ok. You can make the complete tart a day ahead (I do this all the time), and keep in the fridge to let the custard set.


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