Refreshing Lemon Custard Tarts with a splash of Limoncello in a lemon scented tart crust makes these tarts the perfect burst of citrus for a memorable dessert.
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 basic butter and flour pie type crust to a nut crust also held together with butter.
Inside the pastry is usually some type of custard. The custard can be an egg custard baked inside of the crust, or a cooked custard that has been chilled and added after the crust has baked. I prefer to bake the custard right inside of the crust, together.
I am a Yellow, Orange and Green kinda gal. These colors capture my attention and inspire me. When the grey’s of winter set 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 me in the winter months, which is when I created this scrumptious Lemon Tart!
While you can certainly use a store bought pie crust, a puff pastry or even phyllo dough to quick fill your tart pan, and whip up the lemon custard recipe I have here for you, I promise you, an extra 15-minutes to make your own tart crust will spoil you forever!
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, or rather ‘pop out’ from the pan it is baked in rather than served 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:
- 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
Lemon Yellow For Sunshine Spirits
While we all have a favorite color, two or three perhaps, I think we all would admit there is something about the energy the color of a lemon makes us feel. When winter has been long and grey and the trees are naked for several month (sorry guys, I know you need to rest for a few months), a sad slump is easy to creep in.
During these sad slump times of year, I go out and buy a huge (Sam’s Club or Costco size), bag of lemons, put them in a wooden bowl on my kitchen counter, squeeze them into my daily chug of water and mix them into just about any food item I can think of. Some how, this makes my grey winter slump disappear! It was in the dead of winter that I created this sunshine Lemon Tart for me and for you. Enjoy!
- Limoncello – optional
- Corn starch
- Whipping cream
- Confection sugar
- Food processor or hand mixer and a bowl
- Rolling pin
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Wide mouth Mason jar lids or tart pans
- Sauce pan – for melting butter
- Baking sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- Citrus press
- Citrus zester
- Cutting board
- Stovetop or microwave – for melting butter
Best Lemon Tart RecipeCourse: Dessert, Pies
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.
Butter – 1 stick (8 oz.) cold
Flour – 1 3/4 cup, plus more for rolling surface
Sugar – 2 tablespoons
Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
Egg – 1, fork whipped
Mason jar lids – 12, or small tart pans
Eggs – 2 whole plus 2 yolks
Sugar – 1 cup
Butter – 6 tablespoons, melted and cooled
Lemon juice – 1 cup
Limoncello – 1 tablespoon (optional)
Corn starch – 1 tablespoon
Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
Whipping cream – 1 cup
Powdered sugar – 1 tablespoon
Lemon zest – 1/2 teaspoon
Limoncello – 2 tablespoons (optional)
- In a food processor or bowl with a mixer, place 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.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch. If using mason jar lids as the tart pan, use a cup or bowl with the same measurements of the lid plus its sides (most are about 4 inches). Press circles. Place the circle of pastry in the lid and center it, press it and crimp it. This step can be done in advance, even months in advance and frozen.
- Whip the eggs and sugar until ribbons fall off the spoon. Add melted (cooled) butter and size well.
- Sprinkle corn starch across the lemon juice and give a whisk. Add the lemon juice to the batter along with salt. Mix well. Pour into prepared pie crust.
- Bake at 350 for 20 – 30 minutes until crust is golden and custard is firm.
- For whipping cream – whip these ingredients together until desired thickness is obtained. Serve a dollop on top of the Lemon Tart with a thin sliver of a lemon for garnish!
- Limoncello is optional and can be expensive so, if you have vodka around, you can simulate Limoncello by taking 1/2 cup vodka, 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and several lemon zests, mix and let stand over night.