Tarta de Limòn (Lemon Tart)

Vegetarian · Can be made: Gluten Free

11 Aug · Written by Raquel Jones


Lemons, believed to have originated in north-western India, embarked on a journey to Spain in the 11th century, courtesy of the Arabs. By 1150, lemon cultivation had firmly taken root, flourishing throughout the Mediterranean. It's a captivating historical tidbit to ponder how this introduction of citrus to the Americas, thanks to the Spanish and Portuguese, transformed culinary landscapes – think of the vital role limes now play in dishes like guacamole! It makes one wonder what culinary secrets existed before citrus graced their shores.

Spain showcases two prominent lemon varieties, Verna and Fino, constituting 70% and 30% of the total lemon production, respectively. In a remarkable feat, Spain leads as Europe's foremost producer of organic lemons and ranks second globally, boasting an astounding 1,300,000 tonnes harvested during the 2018-19 season.

Lemons have always held a special place in my heart and kitchen. In my childhood, this lemon tart, or Tarta de Limón, was a frequent guest at our family table. My fascination with citrus knew no bounds, and lemons found themselves incorporated into a myriad of uses – from preserving and drying to cooking, juicing, crafting jams and syrups, and even serving as impromptu ball game props during abundant lemon-bearing tree seasons!

I genuinely hope you savor this effortlessly prepared tart as much as I do. And as a delightful bonus, I've included a quick recipe for lemon jam, which can be used as an alternative topping for this tart or as a versatile spread for toast, a delectable ice-cream topping, and beyond!

Bon Profit! Raquel x

Tarta de Limòn (Lemon Tart)

Serves 6-10 (depending on how generous - or not! - you are with portions)

INGREDIENTS for pastry 

  • 180 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting (I use Donna Hay's Cup-for-Cup Gluten Free Plain Flour as an alternative)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg white
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 90g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into cubes
  • Plus extra butter for greasing tin

OR you could simply cheat and buy a ready made shortcrust pastry!

INGREDIENTS for filling

  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting


Part 1. Make the Pastry

(If you’ve bought pastry, simply skip to Part 2. 'Make the filling' below)

  1. Place the flour and butter in a large bowl and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the sugar and the egg yolks, and mix until fully incorporated with the flour-butter mix.
  3. Mould the mixture into a large dough ball, place back into the bowl and cover with glad wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Part 2. Make the filling

  1. Preheat oven to 190° Celsius (fan-forced).
  2. Place the eggs and sugar in a bowl and using an electric mixer, whip the eggs and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and fluffy.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and double cream with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Place this bowl in the fridge and remove the pastry.

Part 3. Pre-baking the pastry

  1. Butter a 22cm pastry tin (I use the ones with the push up base).
  2. On a floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out into a circle, until it’s about 1/2cm thick
  • Note: Skip step 2 if using store bought pastry.
  1. Carefully transfer the pastry onto the greased tin, and press around edges gently to make sure it fits well up all sides of the tin.
  2. Trim any overhanging pastry and prick the base a few times with a fork.
  3. Blind-bake case in oven for 15 minutes, then remove and brush the case with the egg white.
  • Note: The egg white will help seal the pastry to prevent the filling leaking through.
  1. Return to the oven for 5-10 mins, or until a light, golden brown.
  2. Remove case from the oven and allow to cool.

Part 4. Put it altogether

  1. Lower the oven to 150° Celsius (fan-forced).
  2. When the pastry case has completely cooled, slowly pour the filling in and use a thin spatula or knife edge to smooth the top.
  3. Place tart into oven for 40-45 minutes until the filling is set.
  • The filling will still have a little wobble in the middle - don’t panic! as the tart cools, the filling will set.
  1. Remove tart from the oven and leave to cool completely before serving.


Alternative Lemon Topping (Quick Lemon Jam)


  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 250g sugar
  • Water, quantity will vary


  1. Place lemon slices into saucepan with sugar. and add enough water to cover.
  2. Stir to combine, then simmer for around 30 mins. Be sure to add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, if gets too thick, too quickly.
  3. Jam is ready once it coats the back of a spoon and a clean line made with your finger remains.

Once the lemon tart has completely cooled, place lemon slices from pan decoratively over top of tart and then pour over the jam.


You can simply serve with a dusting of icing sugar over the top of the tart and a dollop of fresh cream or scoop of ice cream. Or try my Quick Lemon Jam above.

This is not a recipe for a dry style of wine, however if serving as a dessert, I feel as though a sneaky glass of chilled Limoncello would pair wonderfully well. Go on, indulge.