An easy recipe for lemon tartlets with lemon curd. Sweet pastry shells make the perfect container for the best lemon curd ever – it’s so silky and smooth.
You’re telling me you don’t have dessert nights? You should definitely make them a regular thing – there’s nothing better than catching up with friends over sweet treats.
With our backyard lemon tree making meyer lemons faster than we can pick them, everyone also got a handful of lemons as a parting gift. With multiple lemon desserts and these parting gifts, I probably overdid it a bit. Luckily I didn’t hear any complaints!
This recipe is so versatile – tartlets make a great (two) bite-sized appetizer, a fun dessert, or a good dish to pass at a potluck. Its sweet pastry dough is the perfect vessel for the best lemon curd you’ll ever have.
Making the Best Lemon Curd
There are lots of recipes out there for lemon curd, but I’m hear to tell you this is the best one, and it’s so easy to make. Even if you mess up a step, there are ways to troubleshoot it to almost guarantee success every time.
Overcook the curd so small chunks start to form? Just strain it through a fine mesh strainer. Undercook it and it doesn’t thicken when you add the cream and butter? Just put it back on the stove and cook it until it does. Was it too damn delicious and you ate the whole thing before you made the tartlets? I recommend always starting with a double batch. 🙂
Easy Make Ahead Dessert – Lemon Tartlets
As with so many of my recipes, these tartlets can be made ahead of time. The shells will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days. The lemon curd will keep in a sealed contained in the fridge for a week. When you’re ready to serve them, just spoon the lemon curd into the shells and you’re good to go!
Looking for other lemon recipes? Try these:
Lemon Tartlets with Lemon Curd
Pretty lemon tartlets with the best lemon curd you’ve ever had! Definitely a crowd pleaser as an appetizer or dessert at your next party!
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 15
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: French
For the tart dough:
- 1 1/3 cups (166 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 stick (115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
For the lemon curd: (makes extra, about 1 1/2 cup in total)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice, about 2 lemons
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch table salt
- Berries for serving (optional)
Make the tartlets:
- Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar, then add the egg yolk until just combined. Use your hands to work the mixture into a dough.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface.
- Cut the pastry into rounds with a cookie cutter and press into mini muffin tins. Optional :: Use a fork to make the crust design you see in the photos. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.
Make the lemon curd:
- Heat lemon juice over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
- Meanwhile, whisk eggs and yolk in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the sugar. While whisking, slowly pour hot lemon juice into the eggs. Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture registers 170° Fahrenheit and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in butter. Once melted, stir in cream, vanilla, and salt. If the curd didn’t come together and thicken, simply return to heat and cook a bit longer, stirring constantly, until it thickens.
- Curd can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, just cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
Assemble the lemon tartlets:
- Spoon the lemon curd into each tartlet shell.
- Top each tartlet with a berry (optional) and serve.
P.S. – This recipe is an update from a recipe I first published in March 2015. Wondering what my photos looked like from two years ago? Here’s one from the original post:
P.P.S. – Craving these lemon tartlets stuffed with the best ever lemon curd? Pin them for later!