Next to chocolate, lemons are my favorite dessert category. A very close second. I love their refreshing, tangy, citrusy, acidic flavor that completely transforms any dish that they are added to. So when I was going to bake something for a friend’s baby shower on a beautiful spring day, a lemon dessert seemed like a no-brainer. This tart has a buttery, sweet, flaky crust – one of the best I’ve actually had – and it is definitely making its way into my go-to crust recipes. It also comes together really quickly in the food processor, making clean up real easy.
I used normal eureka lemons in this tart, but feel free to use Meyer lemons in case you prefer their sweeter taste, over the taste of the slightly bitter and acidic Eureka lemons. I also found that this tart tasted much better on the second day after being refrigerated. So this is a great dessert to make in advance because it just gets better after cooling.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 large lemon (about 4 1/2 ounces; 130 grams), rinsed and dried
- 1 cup sugar
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
I followed Smitten Kitchen’s great unshrinkable tart shell directions to a tee and it turned out perfect! Some minor differences:
- I used pie weights so didn’t need to pierce the shell with a fork
- The tops and sides of the pie crust start getting brown significantly sooner, so I use this pie crust shield
- First, zest the entire lemon. Then slice the lemon, remove any seeds, and toss all the insides of the lemon flesh and juice along with the lemon zest, sugar, and chunks of butter into the container of a food processor.
- Process, scraping down the sides of the container as needed, until the lemon is thoroughly pureed. Add the eggs, cornstarch and salt and pulse until the batter is smooth. My filling was initially mealy and I had to process the entire mixture for at least a good two minutes before it came out as having a smooth consistency. If your feeling is still looking mealy, I would suggested processing it for a little bit longer.
Assembling the tart
- Pour the lemon filling into prepared tart shell. If you have too much, do not pour it past the top of of your crust or it will become difficult to unmold later (if the filling does not bubble over while baking!)
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the filling is set. You can test this by bumping the pan a little; it should only jiggle slightly. The point at which the filling is set is also when it starts to get very light brown on top.
- Let cool on rack, unmold tart pan and serve. I actually prefer this tart completely chilled. Dust with some confectioner’s sugar before serving!