Limoncello Tart

I am not much of a fruit dessert girl, but every once in a while I like something different from chocolate.  I had some fresh lemon juice that needed to be used and I chose lemon curd instead of lemonade. I absolutely love lemon curd as a filling for cake, or a topping for a cheesecake, it’s so refreshing, but that is a different post.

Anyway, this dessert was made with leftover pate brisee dough  I used in my Quiche post, adequate, but not ideal.  If I was starting from scratch I would make a short dough, more like cookies than a pie dough.  I will include the short dough recipe, which is the standard dough to use with sweet tarts, so it will not look exactly like my tart, but will taste sweeter and crumble like a cookie.

Since this was not made with fresh squeezed juice, at least not that day, I did not have the zest from the lemon and was looking for a way to up the lemon flavor without using an extract. I used some limoncello liquor just one shot for the whole tart, so no one is going to get tipsy, but lends extra flavor to the finished tart. If you prefer to leave out the limoncello just add lemon zest and it will work as well.

Ingredients-lemon curd

1 1/2 cups lemon juice, fresh squeezed, not from the jar
zest of 4 lemons, or 1 shot of limoncello liquor
14 yolks
4 whole eggs
10.5 oz sugar
4 oz unsalted butter, 1 inch squares


  1. Mix together the juice, zest or limoncello, yolks, eggs and sugar in a bowl that will work as a baine marie.
  2. Stir  constantly over simmering water bath, until the curd becomes thick.  I call it a jello jiggle when stirring it swings back.
  3. Take off the heat and add pieces of butter one at a time, stirring until incorporated and all butter is added.
  4. If the curd is not smooth looking, strain before placing over an ice bath.  Occasionally stir until completely cool.
  5. Pour over the pre-baked tart shell.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours until completely set.

This is where you have some choices. You can top the tart with a meringue or whipped cream, which I hate, so no thank you.  You can sprinkle powdered sugar over it just before serving, or you can top with a raspberry coulis, sweetened raspberry puree. Or you can enjoy it plain like I did.

Ingredients-Short Dough (from the professional pastry chef cookbook by bo friberg)

Yield is 2 lbs 6 oz which is a little more than one tart.  Use the extra to make shortbread-like cookies.

6 oz sugar
14 oz unsalted butter, room temp
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb flour


  1. Mix sugar, butter, egg and vanilla at low-speed until combined.
  2. Add the flour and mix til just incorporated.
  3. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes.
  4. To roll out dough, use as little flour as possible to keep from sticking into a round about 1/8 inch thick at least 1 inch from side of tart pan.
  5. Place in tart pan without stretching the dough to make it fit.  It makes the dough shrink away from the sides.
  6. Using a fork, prick the dough to inhibit air bubbles. Bake in a 375F oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
  7. Let cool and fill with the lemon curd from above.


Citrus pies and tarts

stephslyter View All →

I’m a wife, mother, pastry chef and amatuer gardner. I travel as much as possible, can what I grow, and taste as many new things as possible.

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