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Creamy Lemon Tart slice garnished with raspberries and cream

Creamy Lemon Tart

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This Creamy Lemon Tart is bursting with lemon flavor and incredibly luscious and tasty!

This Lemon Curd Tart was created for a bridal shower. When I learned the bride to be loved lemon, I turned to Dorie Greenspan for her take on a glorious citrus dessert.

Overhead view of Creamy Lemon Tart on a white plate

Creamy Lemon Tart

I made two of these exquisite lemon tarts for a bridal shower last weekend. As with most French sweets, they had just enough sugar and a nice citrus bite. Dorie Greenspan created a creamy filling without cream by using eggs, butter and a blender. Such an intriguing method to make lemon curd. She was inspired by Pierre Herme’s emulsified lemon “cream” or curd.

Plus her recipe utilized one of my favorite tricks—to rub the lemon zest into the sugar to release all the essential oils from the peel. That provides an extra boost of lemon flavor that makes this lemon curd tart one crazy delicious dessert!

 

Slice of Creamy Lemon Tart on a white dessert plate

Tips for Making a Creamy Lemon Curd Tart Filling

The lemon curd filling is not made in the typical fashion. Because the butter does not melt and resolidify, it’s super silky and luscious.

PRO-Tip: Rubbing lemon zest into the sugar releases the lemon oils which adds even more lemon flavor than simply mixing.

Once the custard thickens over a double boiler, it’s slowly added to a blender to be emulsified with a boatload of butter. Definitely a new method for me.

If your blender motor starts getting warm, just blend for short spurts until the mixture is thick and creamy. A food processor is another alternative, but Dorie states that the blender is her preferred method.

An offset spatula is perfect for smoothing and swirling the top of the lemon curd tart. 

Lemon slices make a pretty garnish, but remove before slicing. Alternatively, pipe whipped cream stars around the perimeter of the filling and top each mound with a ripe red raspberry.

Bill, a bona fide lemon lover, sampled the leftover lemon filling in my blender and gave it two thumbs up. This Creamy Lemon Tart was a smash hit at the shower! This double Dark Chocolate Tart would pair nicely with this lemon gem if you need another alternative!

Close view of Creamy Lemon Tart on a white serving dish

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This recipe was originally posted in March, 2016. The text and photos were updated in 2019.

Creamy Lemon Tart

Creamy Lemon Tart

A tart and dreamy Creamy Lemon Tart adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
  • 2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (10 1/2 ounces) butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 1 9-inch pie crust or tart shell, baked and cooled ( I used Dorie's press in tart dough

Instructions

  1. Set up your double boiler by bringing a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan (choose one whose size works to fit on top of the pan).
  2. Put the sugar and zest in a large, heat-proof bowl that can be fitted into the pan of simmering water. Rub the sugar and zest between your fingers till it's well incorporated and fragrant. Whisk in the eggs then the lemon juice.
  3. Fit the bowl into the pan and make sure the water doesn't touch your bowl. Whisk until the mixture reaches 180º. Don't stop whisking or you may get bits of scrambled eggs in your custard. Start checking the temperature when you notice the custard getting thick.
  4. Remove from heat, then strain the lemon custard (to remove any bits of egg) right into your blender. Let cool about 10 minutes, then blend on high, adding 4-5 pieces of butter at a time. Scrape down the sides of your blender as needed. Once all butter is added, blend for a couple more minutes.
  5. Pour the lemon filling into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. When you are ready to construct the tart, just whisk the filling to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell. Spread and swirl with an offset spatula if desired.
  6. Best when served immediately, but can be chilled overnight to serve.

Notes

You will need an instant read thermometer to make the filling.
Total time does not include chilling time or the making and baking the crust if you choose to do a homemade version.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 99mg Sodium: 149mg Carbohydrates: 52g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 32g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g

 

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54 comments on “Creamy Lemon Tart”

  1. Mm, fresh taste of spring!

  2. I0m a citrus lover!!!!
    May I have a slice, please?
    Have a nice day

  3. Yes please! A very nice spring dessert too:@)

  4. This makes a perfect Easter brunch dessert!

  5. Hi Liz, this would be a great contribution to Food on Friday: Birthday Food over at Carole’s Chatter. Please do bring it over to join in the Birthday fun. Cheers

  6. That creamy lemon filling is calling my name, what a gorgeous tart!

  7. I love this tart and you’ve made it look so beautiful!

  8. That does sound like a crazy-delicious dessert!! Happy Spring, Liz. 🙂

  9. Ooo – this sounds wonderful Liz! Wish I had read this earlier (I’m so behind with my reading) before I made a Key Lime Pie for Easter. I think this would have trumped the Key Lime! I love the hint of grinding the zest into the sugar for more pronounced flavour! Have a wonderful Easter.

  10. I love how creamy this lemon tart looks. It looks just so beautiful and looks so tasty!!

  11. So pretty and sunny and lemony, Liz! The perfect spring shower dessert! Unless it is snowing like it is here!

  12. This looks delicious, Liz, and I remember Dorie’s zest in the sugar technique although I didn’t make this particular recipe. Tasty, yummy and a beautiful presentation.

  13. This tart looks devine Liz!

  14. Lemon tart is one of my husband’s favorites ! Your creamy lemon tart looks beautiful and my husband and me would like a part !! Joyeux Pâques Liz !

  15. Wow! This looks so creamy and luscious! I adore lemon treats so I’m sure I’ll go crazy over this 🙂 (& what a perfect tart crust!)

  16. That’s a dessert that speaks to my lemon-loving heart! I use her trick of mixing the peel with the sugar all the time, and it’s made my lemon desserts so much better.

  17. Like Bill I love lemon treats and I would love a slice of this one, it looks seriously amazing!

  18. Soo lovely, Liz. My husand’s asst is a huge lemon fan…I almost feel obligated to make this sublime tart…I may have to give in and get a Vita Mixer =)

  19. This is gorgeous!! I love lemon desserts! It’s been a while since I made a lemon tart. Thanks for the reminder!

  20. Had I known you were serving Dorie’s Lemon Tart, I would have crashed the shower!!! <3

  21. My lips are puckering just looking at this gorgeous Lemon Tart, Liz!

    I really appreciate the tips you have shared. I may need to retrieve my blender from the shed and bake up this tart for Marion. She may just prefer it over a chocolate Easter bunny, lol…

    I’m sure it was a hit at the bridal shower, although I may have been tempted to keep one:) Thanks for sharing, Liz…

  22. Wow…Liz….what a pretty tart! But it’s hard to believe this creamy tart has no cream! An interesting method and I’ll have to try it! Lemon is such a great springtime flavor. This looks luscious!

  23. Looks like another great recipe, Liz, and your finished cake is gorgeous.
    Amalia
    xo

  24. YES!
    The colour and taste of SPRING))) YUMMmmmmmmmmmmmm

    HAPPY EASTER, Liz!! x

  25. This is a great alternative to the recipe I’ve been using. My youngest daughter is the lemon tart fan in the family and I know she would love it!

  26. We love lemon cakes and tarts 🙂 It’s a beautiful and most elegant looking tart Liz
    Have a very Happy Easter

  27. I can almost taste that sweet, tart, lemony goodness! I also like the simple elegant presentation, Liz.

  28. Lemon is my favourite dessert flavour!
    YUM!

    Thanks for sharing
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

  29. Just looking at your luscious pictures, my mouth starts to pucker. Love lemon and anything lemony. Thiwill make a huge it in this household!

  30. I read somewhere that lemons are really fantastic in our diets, a glass of lemon water before anything else each morning, lemon zest through our salads…. do you think this would count towards that healthy eating? Lol! Looks amazing, lemon tart is my absolute favourite. 🙂

  31. Wow this is soooo amazing! Plus, it’s VERY easy to make. The whole fuss is the double boiler (which is actually not a big fuss at all!), plus Panos LOVES custard, so he’ll definitely appreciate this delicious tart! Thank you so much dear!
    xoxoxo

  32. I love any citrus flavoured dessert. This is beautiful tart I would love to try. Also I love to try your trick to rub the lemon zest. That is great idea 😀 Thank you for sharing.

  33. Lemon is one of my favorites too! I’ve never tried it without the cream but this sounds so rich and creamy that I know I’ll be trying it soon. Love that you flavored the sugar with the zest. Great idea!

  34. Beautiful, silky smooth tart! And lemon seems to be a universally loved flavor!

  35.  I am definitely going to make this soon with some lemons from my tree. 

  36. We adore any lemony sweet and this looks like a serious lemon winner. I think I may have to whip this up for my birthday next week.

  37. Liz, you have outdone yourself. I want this tart soooo badly!

  38. This is my favorite kind of dessert in summer. Just can’t get enough lemon in my life! Your garnishes are so pretty and the tart looks perfect. Pinned!

  39. This looks incredibly tasty, and pretty, Liz! I can only imagine how good it tastes with the lemon flavors, makes a great finale to any festive dinner party!

  40. I love lemon desserts! And, this technique sounds so interesting. I have to try this!

  41. What a beautiful dessert! I love the citrusy bite of the lemon paired with the raspberries!

  42. This is so refreshing! love the flavor and was a hit at our BBQ!

  43. The ingredients are so simple, and the flavor is so clean- I absolutely love this!

  44. I am such a lemon curd fanatic and this pie is beyond fabulous! So creamy and smooth – delicious!

  45. Having been a lemon lover all my life I tried many lemon-y recipes. This one was one of the best lemon tarts ever! I will be sure to make it again. Thanks for such a great recipe.

  46. This quickly became my family’s favorite dessert! Amazing!

  47. The lemon flavor of this tart is amazing! This is my favorite tart!

  48. Looks so delicious and so pretty how you have garnished it with the cream and berries. Fascinating technique!

  49. A few months ago I went to one of Dorie Greenspan’s book signings and cooking demos. It was so much fun and she is a delight. And oh my goodness does this lemon tart look and sound delicious! I’m in. 🙂 ~Valentina

  50. This is such a delicious tart! Making a homemade crust is a must, in my opinion! The filling is superb!

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