This Easy Lemon Tart is fresh and tangy, made with a flaky pastry crust and creamy lemon curd filling! It is absolutely beautiful and elegant, and perfectly sweet and tart!
Why This Recipe Works
French & Fancy: This French lemon tart recipe is the epitome is of elegance. Just as you would find them in a french patisserie, this lemon tart uses a buttery and flaky pie crust along with a zesty lemon curd filling. Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh fruit! This elegant dessert will impress all those who eat it!
Easy to Make: All that being said, you don’t have to be a French pastry chef to know how to make a lemon tart from scratch! It is actually quite easy. You can make the pie crust in a food processor like I did here, or you can make it even easier and buy a pre-made pie crust at the store! No one will even know. It will still turn out absolutely delicious and decadent!
For the Pastry
- Flour: All-purpose flour is best for a pastry crust!
- Sugar: For a slightly sweet crust and to help the crust brown in the oven, I like to add a little sugar.
- Butter: You will want to use cold butter straight from the fridge, and cube it into smaller pieces.
- Water: Ice cold water is best to keep the butter cold!
For the Filling
- Eggs: Eggs are used to make a lemon curd filling that is a creamy, dreamy texture!
- Sugar: Sugar will make this dessert sweet and balance the tartness of the lemons.
- Heavy Cream: Some heavy cream makes the lemon tart filling rich and irresistible.
- Lemons: Lemons are the star of the show here! For a perfect lemon flavor, use both the zest and juice of two fresh lemons.
- Butter: Butter rounds out the flavors of the lemon curd filling!
Here’s How to Make It
Step by Step Instructions
- Prep the Pastry: First, make the pastry. In a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and butter, and blitz until you’ve formed crumbs. Gradually add all the water, pulsing each time, until you’ve created a rough dough. You may not need to use all the water. (photos 1-3)
- Roll out the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together into a ball. Roll out into a circle of between 1/4″ to 1/8″ inch thickness. (photos 4-6)
- Prep Pie Tin: Grease a 7 1/2 – 8 inch pie tin with butter. Line the tin with the pastry, making sure to press it into the edges. Trim the excess pastry and chill the pie crust for at least 40 minutes. (photos 7-8)
- Preheat & Make Filling: Preheat the oven to 355 F with a heavy metal baking tray inside the oven. Whisk together all of the filling ingredients. (photos 9-10)
- Pour & Bake: Pour the filling into the prepared tart shell and transfer to the heated tray to help make sure the pastry cooks all the way through. Bake for 15 minutes, before reducing the temperature to 320 F and baking for another 20 minutes. (photos 11-12)
- Remove & Rest: Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 1 hour before serving, dusted with powdered sugar and with sliced strawberries, if desired. Enjoy!
- Keep everything cold! When making a perfectly tender and flaky pie crust, it is important to use cold butter and ice cold water. The cold butter will evaporate in the oven to create those perfect layers. Without the cold butter, those flaky layers won’t happen!
- Don’t over work the dough! Another key to tender pie crust is to work the dough as little as possible. Make sure to pulse the water into the pie dough in the food processor only until everything is just combined. It wont look like it is fully together until you turn it out and press it into a ball.
- Let it sit prior to cutting into it! I know it is tempting to eat the lemon tart right away, but it is important to let it sit for at least an hour before cutting into it and serving. This gives the lemon tart filling enough time to set!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you need to make this tart ahead of time, I recommend making the pie crust a day ahead! So you can make the pastry crust, line the pie tin, and store it in the fridge for up to one day. The next day, you can bake it with the lemon curd filling in it!
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days!
More Dessert Recipes to Try
Did you make this recipe? FANTASTIC. Please rate the recipe below and be sure to tag me on social when you share a photo of your CDLC creation!
Easy Lemon Tart
For the Pastry
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 ½ sticks butter - fridge cold and cubed, plus a little to grease the pan
- 1 ½ tbsp ice water
For the Filling
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 small lemons - zested and juiced
- 3 tbsp butter - melted and cooled
- First, make the pastry. In a food processor, add the flour, sugar and butter, and blitz until you’ve formed crumbs. Gradually add the water, pulsing each time, until you’ve created a rough dough. You may not need to use all the water.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together into a ball. Roll out into a circle of between 1/4-1/8 inch thickness.
- Grease a 7 1/2-8 inch loose bottomed pie tin with butter. Line the tin with the pastry, making sure to press it into the edges. Trim the excess pastry and chill the pie crust for at least 40 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 355F with a heavy metal baking tray inside the oven. Whisk together all the filling ingredients.
- Pour the filling into the prepared tart shell and transfer to the heated tray to help make sure the pastry cooks all the way through. Bake for 15 minutes, before reducing the temperature to 320F and baking for a further 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 1 hour before serving, dusted with powdered sugar and with sliced strawberries, if liked.
- This recipe might give you a little leftover pastry to allow for rolling the pastry slightly thicker if you’re finding it a little difficult to work with (this will depend on the temperature of your hands and kitchen) and to allow for pie tins of different depths. Roll any leftover out and cut into manageable pieces before freezing for another project.
- The tart shell can be made and chilled up to a day in advance.