Lemon Cream Tarts

When the weather starts heating up, I have some pretty significant urges to make chilled desserts. I’m a confessed heat wimp, so having a lovely cool dessert in the refrigerator is pretty much mandatory in the summer.

I’ve made these tarts previously, but I realized that I’d never shared them with you. So, I gladly took the opportunity to make them again.

Lemon Cream Tarts feature a sweet, tart, creamy lemon filling inside a sugar cookie crust. Delicious!

The crust for the tarts is much like a sugar cookie. The filling is a simple lemon mixture combined with whipped cream. The total package is a lovely combination of sweet, tart, smooth, and crunchy.

These little tarts are just perfect for summer. They’re tart and sweet and creamy, and the crispy cookie crust is a great complement to all that filling. I like to garnish these with some chopped pistachios for a bit more crunch and a little color.

Lemon Cream Tarts are the perfect combination of sweet and tart, creamy and crispy.

Lemon Cream Tarts

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 4.75-inch tarts

Lemon Cream Tarts


    For the crust:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • For the filling:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)


To make the crust:

Thoroughly grease four 4.75-inch pie or tart pans.*

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in vanilla. Add flour and salt, and mix until combined. Add milk and beat until dough is mixed and holds together when pressed between your fingers.

Press dough into bottom and up sides of prepared pans. Using a fork, prick holes over the bottom of the tart dough. Place pans in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place pans on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and center is set. If edges are getting too brown, cover with foil and continue baking. Cool completely.

To make the filling:

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add water and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until sugar is dissolved. While continuing to whisk, add egg yolks, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Continue whisking and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for about one minute.

Remove from heat. Add butter and stir until combined. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.

Beat cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into cooled lemon mixture.

Divide filling evenly among baked tart shells, spreading evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. If desired, sprinkle with chopped pistachios before serving.


*If you don't have small tart pans, a standard 9-inch round tart pan will work fine. I highly recommend using tart pans versus pie pans. Being able to remove the sides of the pan will make serving simpler.


This recipe was originally developed for Go Bold with Butter, where I am a paid contributor.

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  1. These look like such a light and refreshing summer dessert!

  2. Sugar cookie crust? Lemon and pistachio? Yes yes and yes! And as you know I too cannot handle the heat. Get me out of TN already!

  3. Catherine June 18, 2014 Reply

    I love anything lemon. This sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to make it tonight!

  4. marcie June 18, 2014 Reply

    This tart looks so creamy and lemony! This looks like a wonderful citrus, summer dessert. :)

  5. tahnycooks June 18, 2014 Reply

    I am so glad you cut into one so I could see the beauty of the crust and gooey tart filling! This is a keeper; i love lemon, actually all year!

  6. Looks so creamy & delicious! We are huge lemon fans at our house. Adding to the list! *pinned*

  7. Anne June 19, 2014 Reply

    Okay, these look heavenly. I am totally trying this weekend.


  8. Ami@NaiveCookCooks June 19, 2014 Reply

    This tart looks so gorgeous and delicious!

  9. Glyn June 20, 2014 Reply

    Looks irresistible and so delicious.. The ingredients are easy to prepare, definitely gonna try these!!

  10. easyhomecooking June 23, 2014 Reply

    Please deliver a large quantity of these to my home just for testing purposes of course :)

  11. Joanne Bruno June 24, 2014 Reply

    Ooo that cool lemony filling! I would be tempted to just lick that out of the shell!

  12. I don’t have air conditioning, so I definitely try to create as little heat as possible in the summer. I’d love to come home from a long, hot walk to one of these waiting in the fridge. They look beautiful.

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