Lemon Tarts

4.74 from 15 votes
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This smooth and tangy lemon-filled tart is sure to be a hit for any special occasion. Combining the tart acidity with some sweet and creamy filling, this tart is perfect for a dessert or to go alongside tea for a fancy afternoon snack.

Make sure you make your very own Cream Cheese Pastry for this recipe. Or why not try to make these delicious Butter Tarts instead?

Lemon Tarts on a white plate

Lemon Tarts

The humble lemon tart has never been the most popular dessert, probably because of its tart and overwhelmingly citrus reputation.

However, done properly, the tart flavor of the lemon juice is easily offset by a rich, custard filling. The richness of the egg and butter work together to help make the filling flavorful and delicious and taste way more than just basic lemon.

The use of a homemade cream cheese pastry tart also provides a ton of intense flavor and texture, so definitely go the extra mile and make it yourself.                         

Lemon Tarts ingredients

Lemon Tarts Ingredients

Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.

Cream Cheese Pastry

• Cream Cheese Pastry tart shells

Lemon Filling

• Lemon juice

• Eggs

• Sugar

• Salted butter

Lemon Tarts sauce in pot

How To Make Lemon Tarts

Cream Cheese Pastry

• Prepare and bake one batch of the pastry

Lemon Tart Filling

• In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer for about two minutes

• Slowly add the eggs in, and then beat for one more minute

• Stir in the lemon juice; don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled

• Place the mixture into a medium saucepan, cooking over low heat and stirring until it is smooth

• Increase the heat to medium and cook, constantly stirring, until the whole mixture thickens and sticks to a spoon

• If there are any lumps, strain through a sieve

• Let the mixture cool in the pot for about 15 minutes, and then fill the tart shells about ¾ full with the filling

• Place the tarts into the fridge and refrigerate until cooled and thickened completely  

Lemon Tarts on a brown cutting board

How To Assess When The Filling Is Done

Trying to get a thick filling cooked just right can seem pretty challenging sometimes because it seems so incredibly to overcook it and ruin it.

The trick to knowing when the filling is cooked to perfection is to keep an eye on how it behaves and how it looks.

When stirring it, the spoon you stir with should leave a little line behind it that the filling is slow to replace. When it is still uncooked, the filling will pour in, like the sea filling a hole dug in the sand.

When cooked for long enough, however, the filling with be slow and have a thicker, glossier texture.

If you are struggling to notice the exact consistency of your filling, then try the spoon test.

Simply dip a regular tablespoon into the filling, turn it so that the bottom part of the spoon is facing you, and rub your finger in a straight line.

If the mixture is done, it should leave behind a visible trail on the spoon, with the rest of the mixture sticking to the back of the spoon and not filling in the trail.

Lemon Tart beside a jar of milk

Could You Turn This Recipe Into A Lemon Pie?

This recipe makes a dozen lemon tarts from some cream cheese pastry tart shells that you have hopefully made yourself.

However, for those that don’t enjoy lots of little pies and instead want one big one, how could you convert this recipe into a much bigger pie?

You could absolutely just pour the lemon filling into a single large pie crust, but you might need to make some adjustments if using the original cream cheese pastry tart shell recipe.

Instead of baking them individually, baking the whole dough into one pie means that there will likely be some puffing in the very center of the pie shell.

You might want to weigh down the pie crust with some baking beans to help prevent this. Just lay a sheet of parchment paper loosely onto the pie dough pressed into a pie tin, and then weigh it down with some baking beans.

These little ceramic balls should help to weigh the dough down, preventing steam from rising up and ballooning the pie crust.

Once cooked, you should be easily able to pour your filling in and chill it as per the recipe, enjoying a nice, large lemon pie.

One thing to keep in mind is to try and only do this if you know that you will eat the whole thing with a big group. The lemon filling will probably start to brown a bit in the air when cut into slices, so any leftover slices of lemon pie might develop a bit of an unpleasant appearance after a while.

Looking for more delicious Tart recipes? Try these out:

Coconut Custard Easter Pie

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

Chocolate Chess Pie

Happy Cooking



This smooth and tangy lemon-filled tart is sure to be a hit for any special occasion.
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Lemon Tarts

This smooth and tangy lemon filled tart is sure to be a hit for any special occasion.
4.74 from 15 votes
Lemon Tarts on a white plate
Prep Time
15 minutes
12 Tarts
Karlynn Johnston


Cream Cheese Pastry

  • 1 batch Cream Cheese Pastry tart shells

Lemon Filling

  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter


Cream Cheese Pastry

  • Prepare and bake one batch of cream cheese pastry tart shells.

Lemon Tart Filling

  • In a medium bowl beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for about two minutes, just like you do to make cookies.
  • Slowly add the eggs then beat for one more minute.
  • Stir in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
  • Place the mixture in a medium sauce pan and cook over low heat until it's smooth. Increase the heat to medium and cook, continuously stirring, until the mixture thickens. The mixture should stick to the spoon slightly.
  • If there are any lumps, strain through a sieve.
  • Let the mixture cool in the pot for 15-20 minutes
  • Fill the cool tart shells 3/4 full with your lemon filling
  • Place the tarts in the fridge and the lemon filling will thicken more as it cools

Recipe Notes

These are best if kept in the fridge in a lidded container until ready to serve. For any left over filling, it is delicious on toast or ice cream!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 201kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 102mg, Sodium: 99mg, Potassium: 54mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 356IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Melissa says

    Perfect lemon curd, and it does thicken if you let it bubble for several minutes. I used pre-made shells and everyone loved them!4 stars

  2. Margaret says

    Was too runny…had to redo with cornstarch.2 stars

  3. Mary says

    Very tasty curd. i had to add some cornstatch to thicken at the end.

  4. yvette says

    I forgot the photo, but these were so good. Not too sweet. Just right. I have never made lemon curd with the whole egg, so I thought the recipe was missing something. It was correct and delicious. Thank you.5 stars

  5. Suzanne says

    Why don’t you include the recipe for the pastry……..

    • Jillian says

      Hi Suzanne! She does. The very first paragraphs of the blog where she mentions the other recipes, they are a bolder colour blue and bold, you just click on whichever recipe you want and it will then pop you right over. They are links. Hope this helps. She does this on almost recipe she puts up.

    • Denise says

      that’s what I’m looking for too??!
      bought ingredients, now no measurements

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