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Lemon cream tart

Total time: 60 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist
Lemon cream
500 ml
50 gr
100 gr
Lemon zest
from 2 lemons
Shortcrust pastry
00 flour
700 gr
160 gr
250 gr
Baking powder
1 tsp
Lemon zest
2 lemons

The lemon cream tart is an intensely fragrant tart which is perfect to be enjoyed at breakfast or at the end of the meal. The crispy pastry shell encloses a fresh and fragrant lemon filling that makes the dessert unexpectedly and pleasantly light. There are a lot of variations for this easy recipe: some include a richer filling, others feature pastry without butter. Let’s have a look at them, starting from a simple and classic version of the lemon tart.


Step 1

  • Make shortcrust pastry.
  • Place flour, baking powder 1 and a pinch of salt in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer; add lemon zest and sugar 2, mix ingredients quickly, then add butter still cold from fridge and cut into pieces 3.
  • Knead the mixture together until it feels sandy.

Step 2

Add the eggs 4 and knead the mixture until you get a smooth and compact dough; wrap in plastic wrap 5 and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Retire from refrigerator and roll out dough thin 6.

Step 3

Butter and dust with flour bottom of a tart pan and place the shortcrust pastry 7. Press onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan 8. Poke holes into dough using a fork 9.

Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice 10.

Preheat fan-assisted oven at 180°C and bake until golden brown.

Make lemon cream

Get the zest of two lemons avoiding, as much as possible, the white part. In a saucepan, mix corn starch and sugar thoroughly (11). In a different saucepan, warm the milk but do not allow it to reach its boiling point. Pour the milk slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk so as not to create lumps; add the lemon zest, place over low flame, always stirring, and bring to a boil. Continue stirring for a few more minutes until you just see whisk marks on the surface. If the cream is thick enough, it should coat the back of a spoon. Pour filling into crust. Spread the filling evenly with a rubber spatula (12).

You can decorate the tart with lemon zest or dust some powdered sugar along the edges.


There are several variations for the lemon tart. To always have a new version, you play by changing either cream or crust or both.

In the case of cream, you may choose to use a classic vanilla custard and add grated lemon zest on the surface. If you want a stronger flavor, use lemon custard. In both cases, the real difference with the recipe above lies in the use of eggs that make the cream richer.

For a vegan lemon tart, you can make pastry with olive oil to replace butter (100g of butter=80g of olive oil). For a softer tart, however, slightly adjust the ratio and order of the ingredients so that you get a tender crust or try hot water crust for an even crumbly and lighter result. Remember also that for a gluten-free lemon tart you have to use rice flour instead of 00 flour.

If you want a richer and yummier tart, make lemon meringue pie recipe. Follow the tart recipe, add meringue all over the surface and grill until golden brown.

How to store lemon tart

Lemon tart can be stored in the refrigerator in a hermetically sealed box for 2-3 days.

The excess crust can be frozen so you can use it even after 3 months but not later. However, I do not recommend that you freeze an already cooked tart, as the crust might need to be baked again after being defrosted and you’ll risk spoiling the lemon cream.

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