Say hello to your new favorite dessert! This lemon cream tart is made up of a buttery shortbread crust, followed by a thin layer of lemon curd, and topped with fluffy, whipped lemon cream. This is one of the easiest recipes out there and is quite the crowd pleaser. Not too sweet and not too tart, this dessert has a little bit of something for everyone.
I was originally inspired by Mary Berry’s Lemon Cream Tartlets recipe from Baking Bible, but found it a bit labor intensive. I’ve adapted the recipe to keep the prep time and kitchen clean up to a minimum. Both the crust and cream only require 4 ingredients each and one of them is pre-made!
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Lemon Cream Tart Recipe Walkthrough
I am going to walk you through all of the steps on how to make this easy lemon cream tart. All you have to do is make the 4-ingredient shortbread crust and a lemon whipped cream that uses a pre-made jam for all the lemony tartness. It doesn’t get any easier than this!
Making the Shortbread Pastry
While making any pastry sounds like a daunting task, I promise you this shortbread crust is a walk in the park. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I was inspired by Marry Berry’s Lemon Cream Tartlets recipe and adapted the crust portion to work with this recipe. All you need is your ingredients, a bowl, and some clingfilm:
Step 1: Mix softened butter with caster sugar, semolina flour, and all purpose flour.
If you’re unfamiliar with caster sugar, it’s somewhere between granulated and powdered sugar. It’s commonly used in British baking recipes and you can find it in some grocery stores here in the US.
If you have trouble finding it, have no fear. You can toss granulated sugar (gram for gram) in a food processor or blender for 10-15 seconds. Voila! You just made your own caster sugar.
Step 2: Mix until a dough forms. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to speed this up. Have a cup of tea in MB’s honor!
Step 3: Roll the dough on a floured surface to fit a 9″ tart tin.
The dough can be very delicate and hard to transfer, but you can reshape as needed. So, don’t stress if its not perfect.
Step 4: Transfer the dough to a tart tin and press it up the sides of the tin. Generously prick the base of the dough with a fork.
Poking holes in the dough helps avoid the dreaded soggy bottom.
Step 5: Bake the crust for 25-30 minutes at 325ºF, until fully set and lightly golden brown. Cool briefly before topping with lemon curd.
The recipe calls for six tablespoons of pre-made lemon curd, but you could use more. You could also use another flavor like raspberry. Have fun! Though you will need the lemon for the lemon cream.
I used Dickinson’s lemon curd and have also used Stonewall Kitchen, both from Central Market here in Austin. You could also make your own with this lemon curd recipe. If you have trouble finding any near you and don’t want to order online or make your own, I’m sure any pre-made curd will get the job done.
Making the Lemon Cream Filling
Whipped lemon cream may sound “fancy” or hard to do, but it is actually one of the easiest things you can make! I’ve adapted my 3-ingredient homemade whipped cream recipe to be the base of the lemon cream topping. It was super easy because the addition of lemon flavor is from a pre-made lemon curd! It comes together in less than five minutes and the result is light, fluffy lemon cream of dreams!
Step 1: Mix heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together for 2 minutes or until nearly set before adding lemon curd. Whip for an additional 2 minutes.
When making the whipped cream, make sure the heavy whipping cream is cold. I would suggest leaving it in the fridge until the moment you need to use it. You can even chill the mixing bowl in the freezer to help keep the ingredients chilled when whipping together.
Typically, my homemade whipped cream comes together in 3 minutes, but adding the lemon curd requires an extra minute of whipping for the perfect texture. Since the machine is doing all the work, you won’t even notice!
Be careful not to over whip, which can happen very easily. A second too long in the mixer will make the cream split and unsuitable to eat.
Note: I use the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can whip the cream by hand. Grab a balloon whisk and get to work!
Step 2: Add the lemon cream to the shortbread crust. Refrigerate for 1-2+ hours to set.
While you technically can eat the tart straight away if you’re feeing impatient, I would recommend chilling for a few hours until the filling has set properly. You should have perfectly defined layers and no “seeping” cream when the tart is cut into.
And that should cover it. If you have any questions about this lemon cream tart I didn’t cover, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. And if you try and love this recipe, I’d appreciate you sharing it to Pinterest or wherever else you hang out.
- 1/2 C (100g) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1/4 C (50g) Caster Sugar
- 1/4 C (50g) Semolina Flour
- 3/4 C (100g) All-Purpose Flour
Whipped Lemon Cream
- 1 C (240mL) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 Tbsp (18g) Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 10 ounce jar Lemon Curd, divided
For the Shortbread Crust
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- To make the shortbread, soften the unsalted butter in a bowl. Add the sugar, semolina flour and all-purpose flour and mix together until a smooth dough begins to form. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough. Evenly line the 9" tart tin with the crust and generously prick the dough with a fork.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is a light golden brown. Briefly cool before adding 6 Tbsp (120g) of lemon curd on the cooled shortbread crust.
For the Whipped Lemon Cream
- In a stand mixer with the whip attachment*, whip the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining 1/2 C (160g) of the lemon curd to the whipped cream and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the whipped lemon curd to the shortbread crust and smooth the edges. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours, until the filling has set.
*If you don't have a stand mixer, use a balloon whisk and mix by hand. Bon Appetit has a way to make whipped cream in a mason jar that we've not tested but found intriguing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Slices Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 28gCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 3g