How To Make The Best Lemon Tart Recipe (with video)

The ‘Best Lemon Tart Recipe’ made with fresh lemon juice, zest, a splash of Limoncello, all baked in individual tart shells with zested whip cream!

Best Lemon Tart Recipe
Best Lemon Tart Recipe

Lemon Tarts

In the dead of winter, it seems I crave lemons; Lemon Muffins, Lemon Meringue pie, Lemon Scones, anything with the bright lemon flavor to brighten the grey days of winter. 

Their color, refreshing flavor and tangy scent offers the promise for long sunny days in the months to come. 

And so today, I want to share with you, my take on a Classic Lemon Tart. 

Individual Tarts Are Great For Gatherings

I’ve chosen to make these as individual sizes, making them easy to serve for a gathering, or simply to store what remains in the refrigerator without having slices removed.  

For an added tart twist, I have brought a favorite Italian liquor, Limoncello, into the recipe, but you can use another citrus liquor, or simply a splash of extract. 

Lemon tarts Ant Their Pastry

What exactly is a fruit tart, you ask? Much like a pie only smaller but a tart is much more delicate… more dainty. 

The pastry dough can be anything from a buttery shortbread crust, crushed nuts held together with egg whites which eliminates the use of fat, or an old fashioned flaky pie crust, often using shortening instead of butter. 

Filling Options For Lemon Tarts

Inside the pastry is a filling made from the perfect balance of sweet and tart. usually some type of custard. 

The custard can be a rich egg yolk custard with plenty of lemon juice and zest, baked inside of the crust, or a smooth lemon curd that has been cooked, chilled and added after the crust has baked. 

I often prefer to bake the custard right inside of the crust, simply because it is faster. 

Citrus Desserts

I am a Yellow, Orange and Green kinda gal. These colors capture my attention and inspire me. When the grey of winter sets in and there is no green on the trees and very little sunshine lighting my day, I find solace in these colors. 

It’s no wonder foods made with lemon, oranges, limes or grapefruit become an indulgence for many in the winter months, or perhaps our body telling us we need vitamin C and some sunshine!

Citrus - Lemons Limes Oranges Grapefruits
Citrus – Lemons Limes Oranges Grapefruits

Best Lemon Treats

Absolutely, everyone of these is my favorite, so don’t ever ask me to choose just one!

What Exactly Is A Tart Pan?

Tart pans are actually a ‘thing’. They are a baking pan with shallow sides and often a removable bottom, making them easy to un-mold.

Making it easy to pop out the tart from the pan it is baked in, rather than serving in that pan, as is often the case with a pie. 

Mason jar lids make for the ideal tart pan for a variety of reasons:

Mason Jar Lids As Tart Tins
Mason Jar Lids As Tart Tins
  • Cheap, being the first reason since about a dozen wide-mouth lids will cost around seven bucks, even less at a farm supply store 
  • Since mason jar lids are designed for canning in high pressure and heat they hold up perfectly in an oven
  • The portion size is perfect for a tart measuring about 3-4 inches in diameter for a wide mouth lid, or even smaller for the smaller lids
  • Removable bottom, making them easy to remove from the baking tin and serve however you want to serve them
Tart Crust Hack

How To Make The Best Quick Lemon Tart

While we could use a store bought pie crust, a puff pastry or even Phyllo dough for a fast crust, with a food processor this tart crust comes together quickly. 

The dough forms easily in the small tart pans and are ready to whisk up the filling to add and bake. 

Once the filling is divided between the tart pans, it bakes in about 10-15 minutes. 

While cooling the lemon tarts on a wire rack, the whipping cream is prepared, lemon zests formed for garnish and this fabulous dessert is ready to serve. 

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Lemons
  • Limoncello – optional
  • Corn starch
  • Whipping cream
  • Confectioners sugar

Equipment Needed

  • Using a hand mixer and (my favorite), glass bowl with a lid makes it easy to mix now, store in the fridge to bake at a later time.
  • Rolling pin
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wide mouth Mason jar lids or tart pans
  • Saucepan – for melting butter
  • Baking sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Spatula
  • Citrus press – this one is heavy duty and catches the seeds.
  • Citrus zester
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Stovetop or microwave – for melting butter
  • Oven
Lemon Tart Ingredients
Lemon Tart Ingredients
Best Lemon Tart Recipe

BEST Lemon Tart Recipe

Refreshing Lemon Custard Tarts with a splash of Limoncello in a lemon scented tart crust makes the perfect burst of citrus for a memorable dessert. 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Tarts
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings


  • 8 Small tart pans


  • Crust
  • 8 oz Butter cold
  • 1 3/4 cups All purpose flour more for rolling
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg fork whipped
  • Lemon Filling
  • 2 Large eggs room temp
  • 2 Egg yolks room temp
  • 1 tsp Lemon peel finely chopped
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • cup Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Limoncello or other lemon liquor
  • 1 tbsp Corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Whipped Cream Topping
  • 1 cup Whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp Powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp Limoncello


  • Buttery Crust Instructions – Heat oven to 350
  • In a food processor place cold butter, flour, sugar and salt and give it a whirl to combine the ingredients. While the machine is running, slowly pour in the whisked egg and water until the pastry comes together into a ball. If too wet, add a little flour, if too dry, a little water.   
    The pastry can also be formed in a large bowl with a pastry cutter to work the butter and egg into the dry ingredients. 
  • On a lightly floured surface, with a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch. If using mason jar lids as your tart pan, use a cup with  measurements to accommodate the bottom and sides, and press circles. 
  • Place the circle of pastry into the lid, centering it. Press the dough onto the bottom, up the sides of the pan and crimp the edges.  This step can be done in advance, even months in advance and frozen. 
    If using a single tart pan, omit pressing circles and simply press dough into the pan, up the sides and crimp the edges. 
  • Lemon Filling – In a small saucepan, melt the butter and cool slightly. 
  • Whip the eggs and sugar until ribbons form and cling to the back of a spoon. 
    Add melted/cooled butter and whisk well. 
  • Sprinkle cornstarch across the lemon juice and give a whisk. 
    Add the lemon mixture and finely chopped lemon peel to the batter along with salt. Mix well.
  • Pour the filling into the prepared pie crusts/crust. 
    Bake until tart crust is golden brown and the center of the custard filling is set firmly, about 20-25 minutes for mini tarts, a little longer for a single tart.   Remove and let cool on a wire rack. 
  • Whipped Cream – Whip the the heavy cream along with remaining ingredients until soft peaks form.  Serve a dollop of whipped cream on top of the Lemon Dessert with a thin sliver of a lemon for garnish. Fresh berries can also be served alongside.


Best Lemon Tart Recipe
Best Lemon Tart Recipe


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