This Lemon Tart is an explosion of citrus flavor topped with fluffy meringue and tangy apricot preserves. It doesn't just look like it was crafted at a top-notch bakery—it tastes like it, too!
Though this tart may take longer to make than simple lemon bars, you’ll find that the tart's rich creaminess is worth the work. You’ll never want to go back to a lemon bar again!
For those who love to bake, this lemon tart will be a breeze. For those new to baking, this recipe will quickly teach you all the tricks to making delicious tarts—then you'll be able to make all kinds of tarts, like this Rhubarb and Custard Brioche Tart or this Almond Chocolate and Cumquat Tart.
This lemon tart recipe is…
- A fancy dessert
If you love vegan baking, make sure you grab a copy of my free vegan baking cheat sheet while you're here. It's packed with all my favorite plant-based substitutions to help you vegan-ize any recipe!
How to Make Lemon Tart
- Preheat the oven.
- Place the pie shell into the tart pan and press it down with some of the dough draping over edges of the pan.
- Use a rolling pin to roll across the top of the pan. This will trim the edges of the dough off.
- Poke the dough with a fork. This will prevent shrinking later on.
- Cover the edges of the dough and pan with a strip of foil to prevent burning.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the foil, and bake for 5 more minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a saucepan, beat eggs and egg yolks. Then stir in lemon juice and sugar.
- Stir the mixture until it thickens. Then add butter and stir until melted.
- Pour the filling into the cooled shell and refrigerate.
- Once set, cover the edges of the tart with a foil strip again and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
- Put the tart in the broiler until the sugar melts and browns.
- Remove the tart and put it in the fridge to chill.
- Then remove the tart from the pan and add warm apricot preserves to the top.
- Prepare meringue by beating egg whites, granulated sugar, and cream of tartar until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Pipe the meringue on the border of the tart, and then return the tart to the broiler or use a bakers torch to brown the meringue.
- Chill the tart and serve!
Scroll down for the full recipe with measurements and detailed instructions.
Tips & Tricks
A tart pan is slightly different than a regular deep-dish pie pan. It has straight, instead of sloped, sides. Tart pans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some have a removable bottom which makes it easier to remove the tart while preserving the crust.
If you’ve never used piping supplies, you can easily find some at a local craft store or online. You’ll slide the piping tip into the cut-off corner of the bag, fill the bag with the meringue, and then squeeze the meringue out the piping tip.
If you don’t want to go out and buy piping supplies, and you don’t mind not having a picture-perfect tart, then you can just use a Ziploc bag. Just cut off one of the bottom corners. I’d suggest starting with a small cut and testing it out before making the opening larger.
A bakers torch, also known as a kitchen torch, is used for things like caramelizing or roasting. It’s a handheld device that can quickly broil foods. It uses a butane canister to create the flame, and is great for adding fancy, finishing touches to your food.
There are a couple options for changing out the crust. For example, you could try a shortbread crust if you want your tart's crust to be a little more flakey.
If you’re not a fan of apricots, try a different fruit preserve. You could even make your own preserve that’s a combination of your favorite fruits.
Lemon Custard Tart
- 1 refrigerated pie shell 10 inch
- 8 large eggs
- 8 large egg yolks set aside whites from 3 of the eggs for meringue
- 1½ cup lemon juice approx. 9 lemons
- 1½ cup granulated sugar for filling
- 8 oz butter
- 6 tbsp granulated sugar for browning on top of tart
- 4 tbsp apricot preserves
- ¼ cup granulated sugar for meringue
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- Tart Pan
- 1M open star piping tip
- piping bag
- bakers torch
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Fit pie shell into bottom of tart pan and fit into and around edges. Some dough should drape over top edges of pan.
- Using a rolling pin, roll across top of pan, trimming edges of dough even with top edge of pan.
- Prick the shell with a fork to help prevent shrinking.
- Cover edges with a strip of foil to help prevent burning.
- Bake on center rack of oven for 10 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, using a wire whisk, beat eggs and egg yolks until combined.
- Stir in lemon juice and sugar.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. (approx. 15 minutes)
- Stir in butter until melted.
- Pour filling into shell and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat broiler.
- Cover edges of tart with a foil strip to prevent overbrowning. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar across top of lemon filling.
- Place the tart under broiler, closest to heat source. Broil for several minutes, until sugar melts and browns. Watch carefully so sugar does not brown too much.
- Remove tart from broiler and chill for about 1 hour.
- Remove sides of tart pan by pushing up from the bottom and put on a plate.
- Warm apricot preserves in microwave or on stovetop just until melted.
- Brush top of tart with the preserves.
- Place 3 large egg whites in mixing bowl. (saved from egg yolks used in filling.) Beat on high speed while slowly adding ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ tsp. cream of tartar. Continue beating until mixture thickens and forms stiff peaks.
- Pipe border of tart with the meringue, using a #1M open star tip.
- Place tart under broiler to brown meringue or use a bakers torch to brown it.
- Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
And don’t forget to grab a copy of my free vegan cheat sheet too! It’s packed with my favorite easy substitutions to help you make just about any recipe vegan!