Lemon Curd Tart Recipe

lemon curd tart

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Cool and Chill: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 1 tart
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
398 Calories
25g Fat
37g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 398
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 15g 73%
Cholesterol 187mg 62%
Sodium 89mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 32mg 2%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 95mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bright and luxurious homemade lemon curd is poured into a buttery shortcrust in this classic lemon dessert. It’s tart, sweet, crunchy, and creamy. It's the perfect bite when served alongside black tea or coffee for dessert.

The lemon curd is whisked together on the stovetop, strained through a fine-mesh sieve to remove lumps, and poured into the par-baked crust. It’s then baked to help the curd set up completely. Serve topped with fresh berries and a little powdered sugar or even some freshly whipped cream.

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling

  • 6 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, cubed

  • Fresh berries, for serving

  • Confectioners' sugar, for serving

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Crust

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and salt. Pulse until the ingredients have combined and fine crumbs are formed.

  3. When you squeeze the mixture it should form a dough. Squeeze together the dough to create some large lumps.

  4. Press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan. Use a measuring cup to help evenly distribute the dough along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. 

  5. Prick the entire crust with a fork including the sides.

  6. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. You will finish baking later after the filling is added.

Prepare the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar until they are well incorporated.

  3. Add the lemon juice, zest, and vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook while whisking until the mixture has thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter until it is well blended and smooth.

  5. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lumps. Use a rubber spatula to force the curd through the sieve.

  6. Add the lemon curd to the partially-baked tart shell. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Place it back in the oven and bake until the curd has set but still jiggles slightly in the center when shaken, about 15 minutes.

  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the counter until just warm. Place in the refrigerator to chill, at least 3 hours or overnight.

  8. Top with berries and powdered sugar, then slice and serve.

How to Store

  • Make sure to cool the tart to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator. 
  • You can wrap the tart in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days. This tart also freezes very well. You can wrap and freeze the entire tart or in individual slices. It can be frozen for up to six months.

Recipe Tips

  • Lemons are the star of the dish, so make sure to use fresh, high-quality lemons.
  • Make sure to use a food processor to blend the crust ingredients. This is the best way to evenly distribute everything in the crumbly dough. 
  • It is a must to strain the lemon curd through the fine-mesh sieve. Otherwise, there may be unpleasant lumps in the tart. 

Recipe Variations

  • You can make this with Meyer lemon juice if you wish. Since Meyer lemons are a bit sweeter, you can cut down the sugar to 2/3 cup. 
  • You can also turn this into a lime tart. Key limes work best as they have great flavor. 
  • Some lemon curd tarts are topped with meringue. Try piping our favorite meringue recipe onto the top and finishing in the oven at 350 F for 5 minutes.

How Do You Fix Eggy Lemon Curd?

If your lemon curd turned out eggy, you can remove any bits of scrambled egg by straining it through a fine-mesh sieve.

Why Is My Lemon Curd Not Setting?

If you're following a good recipe like this one, your lemon curd should set up just fine. Make sure to heat it evenly and on medium-low heat, whisking frequently. Don't stop cooking until it begins to thicken. It also helps the lemon curd to set up if you bake the entire tart. This finishes up the cooking process and helps it adhere to the crust and form a nice even layer on top.