Lemon Tarts

Jennifer, Bake or Break

Lemons are one of my favorite summer ingredients. There’s just something about them that seems so essential to summer, whether it’s fresh lemonade or lemon bars or lemon pie.

These little pies feature a sweet, almost cookie-like crust topped with a creamy lemon filling. Fresh lemons are best for these, giving you the best lemon juice and fresh lemon zest. It’s like having all of the best parts of a lemon squeezed into a tart little tart.

Lemon Tarts
By Jennifer
Makes four 4-inch tarts

Crust Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk


Preheat oven to 350°F. Thoroughly butter four 4-inch pie or tart pans.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in vanilla. Add flour and salt, and mix until combined. Add milk and beat until dough is mixed and holds together when pressed between your fingers.

Press dough into bottom and up sides of prepared pans.

Place pans on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and center is set. If edges are getting too brown, cover with foil and continue baking. Cool completely.

Lemon Filling Ingredients:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
zest of 1 medium lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)


Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Add water and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice. Continue whisking and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for about one minute.

Remove from heat. Add butter and stir until combined. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into cooled lemon mixture. Spoon about 6 tablespoons of filling into each baked tart shell. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. If desired, sprinkle with chopped pistachios before serving.

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Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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2 thoughts on “Lemon Tarts

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  1. Dolly Gustefferson said:

    Does your website have an online recipe box to save the recipes? Thank you.

  2. Mary Anne D from Colorado said:

    This is a nice light lemon filling! I am also intrigued with trying the Italian Cream Cake Trifle and had great success with the Key Lime Pie in a jar. Love the recipes here <3