Classic Lemon Tart Recipe

Beautiful Spring Lemon Tart
Lemon Tart. Tony Briscoe
  • 2 hrs
  • Prep: 75 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Ratings (4)

This simple classic lemon tart is a work of art!  Making the lemon curd filling takes a bit of work but goes fast and is well worth the effort.  The texture is perfectly smooth and the taste is bursting with lemon flavor.

The tart crust used here is made with toasted almonds and a touch of vanilla. It really complements the lemon well and has a very nice crumb texture.  

This classic dessert really says Spring and is perfect for holidays or family dinners.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted*
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 2 large egg yolks, cold
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • Powdered sugar, optional

How to Make It

  1. Toast sliced almonds by spreading them evenly onto a cookie sheet and placing into a preheated oven or toaster oven at 325° F.  
  2. Watch carefully and roast until you get the desired color you are looking for (7-10 minutes).  
  3. Transfer to a plate to cool before using.

Make the Crust:

  1. Place a buttered 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom into refrigerator until needed.
  2. Place the flour, almonds, sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and salt into a food processor.
  1. Cover and pulse until just blended. Ingredients will stick together when you press them with your fingertips.
  2. Gradually add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture forms a soft dough. Don't over mix or the crust will not be as tender.
  3. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan.
  4. Place buttered parchment paper or aluminum foil onto the tart and cover with about a cup of rice or dry beans.
  5. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove paper or foil and bake for another 10 minutes until lightly browned.
  7. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Prepare the Lemon Curd:

  1. Over medium-high heat bring an inch or two of water in a pot to a simmer.  Select a large metal bowl that will fit nicely over the simmering pot.  (A double boiler doesn't work too well for this technique because you really need a wide area to whisk vigorously!)
  2.  In your large metal bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is combined.
  3. Set the bowl over the simmering pot and whip the mixture. A large whisk will make this easier. Turn the bowl while you whisk so it doesn't get too hot in any one area and scramble the eggs! Your mixture should be warm but never so hot you couldn't stick your finger in it.
  4. When your egg mixture thickens (about 2 minutes), begin adding the lemon juice a little bit at a time. Continue to whisk and when the mixture thickens again, add a little more lemon juice. Repeat until you have used all the lemon juice. The resulting  mixture should be smooth and glossy.
  1. Turn off the heat but leave your bowl over the hot water. Whisk in the butter one piece at a time. 
  2. Pour your lemon curd evenly into your precooked tart shell.
  3. Allow the tart to set at room temperature for at least an hour or two to thicken.
  4. Serve at room temperature or cold. Sprinkle with a light dusting of powdered sugar, if desired, just before serving.

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