Lemon Curd Tart Recipe

Lemon Curd Tart garnished with berries

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Cool and Chill: 3 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 1 tart
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
398 Calories
25g Fat
37g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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 with 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.

“A fresh citrus tart perfect for afternoon tea, brunch or just because. The lightly sweetened crust complements the tart filling nicely. I love to serve it with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar or maybe a few berries when they’re in season.” —Carrie Parente

Lemon Curd Tart /Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


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 pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling

  • 6 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, cubed

  • Fresh berries, for serving

  • Confectioners' sugar, for serving, optional

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Crust

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. 

    Tart crust ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  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.

    Flour, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and salt in a food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Dough in a food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Tart crust dough in a tart pan, pressed down with a measuring cup

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Tart dough in a tart pan, with holes pricked into the crust with a fork

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Blind bake the crust by lining it with parchment paper and filling with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust until lightly golden, about 20 minutes (you will finish baking later after the filling is added). Remove and discard the parchment once the pie weights have cooled.

    Baked tart crust in a tart pan, on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prepare the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Lemon curd ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined.

    Eggs and sugar mixture in a saucepan with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the lemon zest, juice, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture has thickened, and is able to coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.

    Egg, sugar, lemon zest, juice, and vanilla extract mixture in a saucepan on a burner, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter until it is melted and the mixture is smooth.

    Lemon curd with butter in a saucepan with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Lemon curd strained into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve, using a spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  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.

    Lemon curd in a tart pan with tart crust, on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack until room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

    Lemon curd tart on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Top the pie with berries and confectioners sugar, if desired. Serve.

    Lemon Curd Tart garnished with berries, and confectioners sugar on the side

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

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. 
  • You must 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 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.

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 continuously until it begins to thicken. Continuing to bake the curd in the tart after it has set in the saucepan also helps firm it up.