What are the Best Tips for Baking a Lemon Tart?

K. Gierok

One of the most important tips to keep in mind when baking a lemon tart is to start with high-quality ingredients. Read the ingredients list closely before heading to the grocery store, and compare what you already have in your cupboards to what is called for in the recipe. Though required ingredients will vary from recipe to recipe, at a minimum you will need flour, sugar, butter, and water for the crust — unless you plan to use a prepared crust — and eggs, sugar, and lemon for the actual filling of the lemon tart.

A lemon.
A lemon.

When making a lemon tart or any type of baked good, use the freshest eggs you can find. While older eggs may still be OK for scrambling, they can separate while baking and negatively affect the appearance of your tart. Finally, use fresh lemons instead of packaged lemon juice. Using actual lemons will ensure that you are only putting lemon juice in the tart, and not any additional salt, preservatives, or other additives.

Tangy lime juice can be added to a lemon tart for a more intense citrus flavor.
Tangy lime juice can be added to a lemon tart for a more intense citrus flavor.

Another important tip regarding baking a lemon tart is to remember to bake the crust while it is still empty. This is essential to achieving optimal results with your lemon tart. Once you have prepared the crust, carefully place it into a tart pan that has been buttered and floured. Finish the edges of the crust with a scallop if desired. Place a sheet of waxed paper on the crust and carefully fill the tart dish with uncooked beans or pie weights.

Bake at the temperature stated in the recipe for the appropriate amount of time. Carefully remove the pie from the oven. Allow it to cool completely before removing the weights/beans and waxed paper.

One last important tip to keep in mind when baking a lemon tart is to make sure that the tart has set completely before attempting to cut and serve it. Most lemon tarts will be composed of a custard filling, and cutting such pies too quickly can be disastrous. If the filling of the lemon tart is still even remotely warm, it can spill out, leaving a soggy mess. Ideally, make the tart several hours before you plan to serve it. If you are in a rush, place the baked tart in the refrigerator for at least two hours to let it set completely. This way, your lemon tart should taste great and look great, too.

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Discussion Comments


Does anyone know how to prevent homemade lemon tarts from becoming soggy after they stand for a couple of days Is there a proper way to store them?

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