This delicious, most elegant lemon tart is as light as a feather. It's made with a simple pâte sucrée dough and a quick homemade lemon curd. The finished results are impressive—and there are plenty of built-in make-ahead steps that allow you to take your time and enjoy the process.

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Ingredients

Crust
Filling

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolk until smooth. Reduce speed to medium-low and beat in flour until smooth. Shape dough into a flat disk, tightly wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.

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  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Let chilled dough rest at room temperature to warm slightly, about 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to an approximate 11-inch round (if dough cracks, press back together and let stand a few minutes to warm and soften more). Transfer to a 9-by-1-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom, pressing into edges and trimming excess dough. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, line dough with parchment, and fill with dried beans or pie weights.

  • Bake until dough is set and dry on the bottom, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and continue baking until golden on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

  • Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt until smooth. Add butter to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Cover surface of curd with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool and set, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

  • In a mixer bowl, whisk egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to high and gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, beating until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir 1/3 of egg-white mixture into curd to loosen. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture just until no streaks remain (do not overmix). Transfer filling to tart shell, gently smoothing top.

  • Bake until puffed and golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. Carefully remove tart ring and dust with confectioners' sugar to serve. 

Cook's Notes

The tart can be served at room temperature or loosely covered and refrigerated up to 1 day. If making ahead, dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

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