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Lemon Tart Recipe

This classic Lemon Tart recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, with a buttery crust and a silky smooth, intensely lemony filling. It's a dessert that's sure to impress, but is surprisingly easy to make at home.

You'll love the way the tangy lemon filling contrasts with the rich, crumbly crust. And the best part? You can whip this up with just a handful of simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.

Lemon Tart with whipped cream served on a wooden board.

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This Lemon Tart recipe is the ultimate lemon dessert. The filling is packed with bright, zesty lemon flavor, but it's not too sour or overpowering thanks to the perfect amount of sugar.

The crust is a dream, too. It's super buttery with just a hint of sweetness from the powdered sugar. And it's a breeze to make - no rolling out dough or other fussy techniques required.

I love serving this tart as a elegant dessert for dinner parties or special occasions. It always wows guests, and no one needs to know how simple it is to make. A dollop of fresh whipped cream and a sprig of fresh rosemary make it look extra fancy.

Ingredient Notes

See the printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make lemon tart set out on the counter.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour works great for the crust.
  • Powdered Sugar: Adds sweetness and helps create a soft crust.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt balances the sweetness in both the crust and the filling.
  • Butter: Melted butter binds the crust together. Use unsalted so you can control the salt level.
  • Eggs: The base of the custardy lemon filling.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the filling and helps it set.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must for the best flavor! You'll need about 3-4 lemons.

How To Make This Lemon Tart Recipe

Flour powdered sugar, melted butter, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Pie crust dough in a bowl.
Pie dough pressed into the bottom of the tart pan.

First, make the crust. Stir together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a bowl. Pour in the melted butter and mix until a soft dough forms.

Press the dough evenly into a 9-inch tart pan or pie dish. No need to grease the pan - the butter in the crust will prevent sticking. Use your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup to help press it in smoothly.

Pop the crust in a preheated 350°F oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until it's just starting to brown around the edges. This pre-bake helps the crust stay crisp under the filling.

Eggs, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a saucepan.
Butter is added to the lemon juice, eggs, sugar, and salt mixture in a saucepan.
Lemon tart filling in a saucepan.

While the crust bakes, make the filling. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Put the pan over medium-low heat and slowly whisk in the lemon juice.

Keep cooking and whisking until the mixture thickens, which takes just a few minutes. Take it off the heat and whisk in the butter until it melts.

Baked pie crust in tart pan.
Lemon filling added to baked pie crust.

Pour the hot filling into the pre-baked crust and pop it back in the oven for 10 more minutes. The center should still be a bit jiggly - that's okay! It'll firm up as it cools.

Let the tart cool to room temperature, then chill it in the fridge until you're ready to dive in. Serve it up with a dollop of whipped cream and a garnish of fresh rosemary if you're feeling fancy.

A slice of the Lemon Tart on a spoon, ready to serve.

Can I use a graham cracker crust instead of the flour crust?

Absolutely! Press about 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter into the pan and bake for 10 minutes before adding the filling.

How do I know when the filling is thick enough?

You want it to coat the back of a spoon and leave a clear path when you run your finger through it. It should be thick and smooth, like a warm pudding.


  • Use Meyer lemons. Try using Meyer lemons for a slightly sweeter, more floral flavor.
  • Try a lime tart. Swap out the lemon juice for lime juice, or incorporate a little of both for a lemon-lime twist.
  • Add herbs. Infuse the filling with herbs like lavender, thyme, or basil for a delicious change of pace.

Recipe Tips

  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor. The bottled stuff just doesn't compare!
  • Don't overbake the filling, or it can crack or become rubbery. It's okay if it's a bit jiggly in the center when you take it out.
  • Let the tart cool completely before slicing for the cleanest cuts. Dip your knife in hot water and wipe it clean between each slice.
  • No tart pan? No problem! A regular 9-inch pie dish works just fine for this lemon tart recipe.

Make-Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Make Ahead: To make the lemon tart recipe ahead, you can pre-bake the crust and store it at room temperature for a day or two. The filling is best made fresh, but you can juice the lemons and separate the eggs in advance to save time.

Store: Store the cooled tart in the fridge, loosely covered with plastic wrap or foil, for up to 3-4 days. The crust will get a bit softer over time, but it'll still be delicious.

Freeze: You can also freeze the whole tart or individual slices. Wrap tightly in plastic and foil, then freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.

Slice of lemon tart on a plate.

Check out my other lemon dessert recipes:

This Lemon Tart recipe is proof that simple, classic desserts are often the best. With its lemony filling and melt-in-your-mouth crust, it's impossible to resist. Whether you're an experienced baker or a total newbie, I promise this recipe is totally doable - and worth it. 

Lemon Tart topped with whipped cream with three slices cut and ready to serve.

Lemon Tart Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
This classic Lemon Tart recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, with a buttery crust and a silky smooth, intensely lemony filling.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 174 kcal


Crust Ingredients

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted

Lemon Filling

  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons butter


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9-inch tart pan with non-stick baking spray. 
  • To make the crust, combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a bowl.
  • Add butter and stir until it is thoroughly combined and dough forms.
  • Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared 9” tart pan.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust just begins to brown.
  • While the crust is baking make the filling. Whisk eggs, sugar, and salt together in a bowl.
  • Pour into a saucepan and heat over low-medium heat, whisking constantly. Slowly stir in the lemon juice.
  • Continue stirring until thickened; this should only take a few minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it is incorporated.
  • Pour into the crust and bake for 10 more minutes. The center should still jiggle a little—that’s okay! It will set up as it cools.
  • Allow the tart to cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Then, refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • I served with whipped cream sprinkled with a bit of rosemary.


Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.
A 9” pie plate can be used if you don’t have a tart pan.
Store the cooled tart in the fridge, loosely covered with plastic wrap or foil, for up to 3 days.


Calories: 174kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 173mgPotassium: 37mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 293IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Wednesday 26th of June 2024

I just love lemon tart! Going to try your recipe for sure! Thanks for joining in on Home Matters Linky Party! I will be featuring your post this week! #HomeMattersParty xx

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