The delicate flavor of Meyer lemons can get lost in the shuffle of most lemon desserts. But this recipe is the perfect reason to seek out the special citrus; the simple curd filling really lets them shine. The dish was inspired by recipes in " Chez Panisse Desserts," by Lindsey Remolif Shere.


Recipe Summary

25 mins
2 hrs 25 mins
Makes one 9-inch tart


For the Crust
For the Lemon Curd


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the crust: Whisk together flour, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the lemon zest in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers until dough begins to hold together.

  • Stir together 1 tablespoon water and vanilla, then mix into dough. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  • Using your fingers, press dough evenly into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze for 30 minutes.

  • Bake tart shell until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

  • Meanwhile, make the lemon curd: Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Whisk in lemon zest and juice. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time.

  • Pour filling into cooled tart shell. Bake until filling is browned, slightly puffed, and set, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

Cook's Notes

The tart can be refrigerated up to 3 days.

Reviews (5)

210 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 46
  • 4 star values: 53
  • 3 star values: 70
  • 2 star values: 31
  • 1 star values: 10
Rating: 4 stars
Has anyone actually made this recipe? The amount of dough for the crust was barely enough and was so thin that the tart cracked when transferring to a serving platter. The amount of curd didn’t cover the bottom of the tart pan, so had to whip up another batch. The flavors were awesome. I did strain out the zest...didn’t want to have to chew through it. Will definitely make it again, but 1.5x the dough and 2x the curd.
Rating: 5 stars
My five star rating is for the crust only. I'm not a fan of pie crusts, but I love a pâte brisée. I made 25% more of the dough, which was just enough for six tartlet pans. I did freeze the tartletes, after docking them, to reduce shrinking of the dough. A couple of them puffed up a little bit, but I was able to gently press them down. Once baked and cooled, I filled them with M/S's lemon curd, and piped meringue on top. This crust is a keeper!
Rating: 2 stars
I hate to say it, but this one was a bust. I am a HUGE fan of most Martha recipes, but was left disappointed with this one. The curd was terrible. It was almost curdled in texture. It tasted lovely before being poured into the shell and baked, but once it went into the oven, it was terrible. Martha's lemon squares recipe, however, is OMG fantastic. I make it at least once a month and fight with my husband over the pan.
Rating: 5 stars
A couple of summers ago, my feller and I wanted a glider for our back patio and bought one off Craigslist. The woman also gave us a potted Meyer Lemon tree. This year, we patiently watched our five little lemons grow and wanted to make something special and chose this tart. We could not have made a better choice. This is absolutely delicious, the world's most perfect lemon tart: buttery, citrusy, beautifully textured... quite heavenly, especially with our very special lemons. Thank you!
Rating: 5 stars
Excellent - curd took 2 mins vs. 8 mins so watch carefully. And dough is just enough for 9" pan - don't try to use a larger pan! I very thinly sliced another lemon and put the rounds on top. looked beautiful.