Lemon curd tart is a sweet and citrusy dessert that can be easily made from scratch. Serve this dish at Easter or for Mother’s Day!

lemon curd tart garnished with lemon slices and two slices cut from tart

Citrus desserts provide a sweet and tart flavor combo. This lemon curd delivers just that in a beautiful presentation. The creamy zesty lemon filling sits on top of a flaky homemade tart shell. This dessert is the perfect dish to serve at Easter or Mother’s Day.

Why this recipe works: The filling calls for both fresh lemon juice and a generous amount of lemon zest to guarantee plenty of citrus flavor. The egg yolks provide richness of flavor while the homemade tart crust has a buttery flaky texture.

lemon curd tart ingredients in bowls labeled with text

How to make lemon curd tart

  1. Make the pre-baked tart shell. You can either buy one or follow my recipe.
  2. Combine filling ingredients: Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar. lemon juice, lemon zest and salt.
  3. Heat mixture: In a saucepan, cook the lemon egg mixture with the butter. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes.
  4. Strain lemon curd and stir in heavy cream. Transfer mixture to pre-baked tart crust.
  5. Bake lemon tart at 375 F for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are set and the center jiggles just slightly. Cool completely.
  6. Chill lemon tart for at least an hour. Garnish with lemon slices and serve.
photo collage demonstrating how to make lemon curd in mixing bowl and saucepan
photo collage demonstrating how to strain lemon curd filling and add it to prebaked tart crust

Helpful tips

Lemon curd requires a few helpful tips in order for it to be successful. To start, be sure to use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. This is necessary in order to achieve the best lemon flavor. When cooking the lemon curd, use a nonreactive saucepan such as stainless steel, enamelware or ceramic. This type of pan conducts heat evenly and prevents giving acidic foods a metallic taste.

While cooking the lemon curd, whisk the mixture constantly so the eggs do not curdle. Then once the mixture has a sauce-like consistency, immediately pour it into a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to separate any clumps from the mixture. This will guarantee a smooth, creamy lemon curd filling.

lemon curd tart garnished with lemon slices and dusting of confectioners sugar on a plate next to lemon halves, dessert forks and a kitchen cloth

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use store bought lemon juice for this recipe?

I do not recommend store bought lemon juice. It does not provide nearly as much flavor as fresh lemons. Plus, you need lemons for the lemon zest!

Why did my lemon tart crack?

The oven was either too hot or the tart was baked for too long. I recommend using an oven thermometer for baking to determine if your oven temperature is accurate.

Why did my lemon tart curdle?

If the lemon juice comes into direct contact with the eggs then the eggs will curdle. Be sure to whisk the eggs with the sugar first to minimize this effect. Another reason could be that the lemon curd was cooked on too high a heat, which can scramble the eggs. Cook on medium-low heat and whisk constantly to prevent this from happening.

How long do lemon tarts keep

Lemon tarts are best when enjoyed the day they are baked, however they will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Can you freeze lemon curd tart?

Yes, lemon curd tart may be frozen after it is chilled and set. Place it in the freezer uncovered for 2 hours until firm, then securely wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. The lemon tart will last for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and serving.

lemon curd tart slice on a white round plate with dessert forks

More lemon recipes

Lemon desserts are some of the best! My mom’s homemade lemon bars are a fan favorite for their gooey filling and shortbread crust. I personally love these fluffy lemon cupcakes. They are so tender and sweet with the most delicious lemon buttercream frosting. If you’re looking for a simpler recipe, then try these lemon sugar cookies, which are chewy and zesty.

lemon slices and mint leaves on a lemon curd tart

Lemon curd tart is the perfect dessert to serve on Easter Sunday or Mother’s Day. You can make it a day ahead of time and garnish it right before serving. What occasion are you baking lemon tart for? Let me know in the comments and tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen when you bake!

lemon curd tart with two slices cut and pie server under one slice

Lemon Curd Tart

Lemon curd tart is a sweet and citrusy dessert that can be easily made from scratch. Serve this dish at Easter or for Mother's Day!
5 (7 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe prebaked tart*, fully baked and still warm
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup finely grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream, room temperature
  • Lemon slices for garnish

Instructions 

  • After baking the tart shell, keep the oven at 375° F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and eggs until combined. Add sugar and whisk again. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and salt, then whisk once more (no over-whisking in these steps–just about 10 seconds per addition).
  • Transfer mixture to a nonreactive saucepan (stainless steel or enamel, not aluminum or copper). Add the butter pieces and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Lemon curd is finished when it reaches a thin, sauce-like consistency, about 5 minutes.
  • Immediately pour the lemon curd through a fine mesh sieve into a nonreactive bowl. Stir in the heavy cream, then transfer the mixture to the warm prebaked tart shell (see notes).
  • Place the filled tart shell on a baking sheet and bake it for 10 to 15 minutes. The tart is done when the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly when gently shaken. The filling will be shiny and opaque.
  • Allow the tart to cool to room temperature, then chill the tart in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove the rim from the tart pan, garnish the tart, slice and serve.

Notes

Warm tart shell: If the tart shell cools before starting the curd, simply place it in the oven for 5 minutes and heat it until warm. You can keep a piece of aluminum foil over it to keep it warm while sitting on the counter.
Store lemon curd tart in an airtight container or tightly covered in the pan. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Freeze lemon curd tart for up to 3 months. Once chilled, freeze the tart for 2 hours until firm, then wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze on a flat surface. When ready to serve, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
Recommended tools: Tart pan, nonreactive saucepan, fine mesh sieve
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 224kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 155mg, Sodium: 75mg, Potassium: 60mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 366IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg

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