Our best ever lemon tart

In this lemon tart recipe the curd filling is not baked, but rather set in the fridge. The end-result is a crisp, buttery tart shell filled with golden curd. Make this recipe a day ahead.
lemon tart on a plate sliced in half
1H 5M
1H 30M

How to blind bake pastry

Sugar is particularly good to use as a weight when blind baking. It conducts heat well and the texture fills all parts of the pastry case. You need 1kg of caster, white or raw sugar. Brown or icing sugar are not suitable. You can also use pastry weights, or dried beans or rice. After baking, store foil and sugar in a plastic container to reuse.

How to make a lemon meringue tart

Our best ever lemon tart is amazing as-is. But lemon meringue fans rejoice! You can use this recipe as the base and add the meringue top. Here’s how.

Whisk 4 egg whites and ½ tsp cream of tartar in a large bowl of an electric mixer; place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let base of bowl touch water).

Using a balloon whisk or handheld electric mixer, whisk egg white mixture continuously for 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm. Remove bowl from pan; return to electric mixer.

Beat egg white mixture on low speed gradually increasing the speed to high; beat for 4 minutes or until firm glossy peaks form. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract; beat until combined.

Spoon mixture over lemon tart in peaks. Using a kitchen blow torch, brown the frosting. If you don’t have a blowtorch, brown the frosting lightly under a hot grill.


Shortcrust pastry
Lemon curd


Make the shortcrust pastry


Whisk egg, egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Pulse flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor until butter is pea-sized pieces. Gradually add egg mixture while pulsing until ingredients just come together. Transfer to a work surface and gently press dough together. Flatten into a 2.5cm thick disc; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.


Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to line a 3.5cm deep, 24cm round, loose-based, fluted tart tin. Trim edge of pastry (refer image below). Freeze for 1 hour.


Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan-forced.


Place chilled pastry case on an oven tray. Line with two layers of foil; fill with sugar or pastry weights (see notes above). Bake for 30 minutes. 


Carefully remove foil and sugar or baking weights; bake pastry case for a further 20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool. 

Make the lemon curd


Half fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. Whisk eggs, egg yolk, lemon rind and juice, and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl until combined. Add one third of the butter. Place bowl over pan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water), whisk occasionally for 5 minutes or until butter has been incorporated; repeat twice more with remaining butter until the curd coats the back of a spoon. (Makes 3 cups.)


Strain lemon curd through a fine sieve into a jug. Pour curd into pastry case; gently tap to remove any air bubbles. Refrigerate to set for at least 8 hours or overnight.

You’ll need 6 lemons for this recipe. The tart will keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

Test Kitchen tip

Related stories