You’ll love this beautiful lemon lime tart, bursting with tart citrus flavor and encased in an irresistible shortbread crust!
Why you’ll love it: This dessert looks really elegant but it’s relatively easy to prepare.
How long it takes: about an hour and 15 minutes, additional time to cool
Equipment you’ll need: tart pan, mixing bowl
Isn’t this a beautiful dessert? I love how tart pans make a dessert look so fancy. Take a regular shortbread crust and press it into a tart pan with its fluted edges and wowza! it’s an elegant creation.
Lemony desserts are so refreshing. I love this lemon pudding (unbelievably it has only 3 ingredients!) and adorable lemon parfaits. When I want a really spectacular lemon dessert, I go for layer cake with homemade lemon filling and lemon cream cheese frosting.
Are you a fan of lemon bars? I just love lemon bars with the sweet buttery crunchy crust and smooth tangy filling. They are a perfect combination, aren’t they? I just realized I don’t have a recipe for them on my site. We’ll have to rectify that soon.
You’ll love this lemon lime tart, too. It’s pretty much lemon bars dressed up in a tart pan. I like the combination of lemon and lime, too, for a little extra pizzazz!
Look for specific instructions and measurements in the recipe card below. You’ll also find nutrition information and tips.
How To Make This Recipe
This is a pretty easy dessert to make. The shortbread crust doesn’t have to be rolled out or anything. You just press it into the tart pan with your fingers as evenly as you can. The crust is prebaked before adding the filling.
The filling is easy, too. Once you juice a lemon and a couple of limes, it takes about two minutes. Remember to zest the limes before you juice them. It’s so much easier.
Just whisk a few eggs, add flour and sugar, and the juice. You can mix it up while the crust is baking.
Once the crust is firm to the touch, carefully pour in the filling. This is the trickiest part. That tart pan is shallow and the filling goes nearly up to the top. Unless you have really steady hands, it’s hard not to jostle it, making it spill over the edges.
Leave the crust right in the oven, placed on a baking sheet to catch any spills. Pull the oven rack out a bit, and pour the filling in. Then carefully slide the oven rack back into the oven. Phew! Pat yourself on the back if you don’t slosh any of the filling out!
Bake the tart an additional forty minutes or until the filling is nearly set. Give the pan a little shake and see if the filling jiggles. If it looks really liquidy yet, it’s not done. Bake it for a few more minutes.
Once the tart is cooled, sprinkle it with powdered sugar. It’s wonderful at room temperature or chilled. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Most lemon tarts have a shortbread crust and a simple lemon curd filling, made of lemon juice, butter, eggs and sugar. The filling is baked and is firmer than lemon meringue pie, which is made with lemon pudding.
Lemon tart tastes best at room temperature, neither warm nor cold. If you try to slice the tart when it’s warm, it may crack or run.
To make the tart ahead, cool it completely, cover and refrigerate it, and take it out an hour or so ahead of time so it can warm up.
Make It Your Own
- Don’t have a tart pan? Use a springform pan or pie plate.
- Instead of a lemon/lime combination, make the tart with all lime juice or all lemon juice.
- Substitute a cookie crust or graham cracker crust for the shortbread crust.
The tart can be kept at room temperature for a few hours but if it’s going to be longer, it should be refrigerated. Although I’ve never tried it, other recipes say that lemon tart freezes well and will keep for up to 3 months.
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 ½ sticks)
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Set a rimmed baking sheet on oven rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9- or 10-inch tart pan by spraying lightly with non-stick spray.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together powdered sugar, flour, and salt. Add butter, and mix ingredients together until a dough forms. Pat dough evenly into bottom and sides of tart pan.
- Bake crust for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm. Meanwhile, prepare filling.
- In a medium sized bowl (you can use the same bowl), lightly whisk eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Carefully pour the filling into baked crust. I leave the crust in the oven and pour the filling into it so I don’t have to transfer it.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F or until mostly set. Cool completely on wire rack, at least 30 minutes. Remove sides from pan.
- Dust with powdered sugar and slice. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Refrigerate leftovers.
- If desired, make the tart with all lemon or all lime juice.
- Remember to zest the lime before you juice it.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Note: This post was extensively updated June, 2020.