My Lemon Tart with Poppy Seed Shortbread Crust is a sunny, tangy dessert that’s perfect for sweetening up these last weeks of winter. Just whisk together the lemony filling and bake, it couldn’t be easier.
I love this lemon tart. Lemon tarts have always been one of my favorite desserts, and there are several schools of thought when it comes to putting them together ~
- One method is to cook a lemon curd on the stove and then pour it into a baked tart or pie shell. The filling sets up as it cools and requires no further baking. It’s nice and tangy, but has a soft set.
- The way I did it here was to simply whisk together my filling, then strain it and pour into my mini crusts. Everything bakes together. Doing it this way saves steps and results in an incredibly smooth filling that slices beautifully. It’s firm but still has that silky mouthfeel we all love in a great lemon tart.
In keeping with the quick and easy theme, the shortbread crust for these tarts is a press-in, rather than roll-out, kind of deal, so put away the rolling pin and use your (clean!) hands. The poppy seeds add a bit of interest to this otherwise very classic crust. They look pretty and provide a nice delicate crunch. Leave ’em out if you want.
I made four mini tarts with this recipe, but it’s also easily adaptable to one standard (9 inch) size tart. Simply follow the same recipe, but adjust your baking time to more like 30-35 minutes, keeping an eye on it while it cooks and watching for when it is just set in the middle.
Tip ~ place your tart shells on a baking sheet before filling them. They’ll be much easier to transfer to the oven without sloshing. Plus, the baking sheet will capture any leaks that might dribble out during baking.
If you’re not feeling up to baking a full-on pie or layer cake, but you’re craving a little something sweet, give this recipe a try. There’s something about tarts that makes them perfect for spring (or almost spring)
Other pretty tarts to try ~
My Lemon Tart with Poppy Seed Shortbread Crust is a sunny, tangy dessert that's perfect for sweetening up these last weeks of winter. Just whisk together the lemony filling and bake, it couldn't be easier.
- 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, melted and cooled slighlty
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 eggs + 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup plus one tablespoon lemon juice
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 350F
- For the poppy seed crust, combine the flour, melted butter, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and poppy seeds in a bowl and mix until all dry flour is incorporated and a dough forms. It will be slightly crumbly, but will hold together when pressed between your fingers.
- Pat the dough into four mini tart pans with removable bottoms, and put the tart shells in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- For the filling, whisk the ingredients together well, making sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer and then into the mini tart shells. (Note ~ before filling them, place your tart shells on a baking sheet, that way they'll be a lot easier to transfer to the oven. The baking sheet will capture any leaks that might happen during cooking, too.)
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the filling is cooked through. You should have a very slight wobble in the middle of the tarts, but nothing that still feels liquid-y. The shortbread tart shells should be lightly golden.
- Let the tarts cool at room temperature completely in the tart pans, then remove the tarts from the tart pans, and top with powdered sugar when ready to eat.
Tart filling lightly adapted from Donna Hay
Make these Lemon Poppy Seed Tarts your own ~
- I think these little tarts are the perfect canvas for edible flowers like lavender buds, rose petals, or pansies.
- You could also top them with a layer of fresh raspberries, and then give it all a shower of powdered sugar for a gorgeous presentation.