Luscious Lemon Tart in Graham Cracker Crust

Attention lemon lovers! Pucker up!
This smooth, tangy tart is rich with lemon flavor from fresh lemon juice and zest. The easy to make graham cracker crust adds the perfect base for a flavor combination sure to delight your palate! Serve just plain or fancy it up with berries or a dollop of whipped cream.

Make this recipe dairy free by using coconut oil or margarine instead of butter.
Make this recipe gluten free by using gluten free graham cracker crumbs.

Recipe:
Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
8 Tablespoons butter, melted

Lemon Filling:
2 lemons
1-1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cup)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs

Start with the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange racks so the pan sits in the middle of the oven. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly. Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon.

I find the crumbs are at the right consistency if you can squeeze the crumbs in your hand and they don’t quite hold together. You don’t want them too wet. If using the gluten free graham cracker crumbs, follow directions on the package as the melted butter required may be different.

Set a 10″ tart pan with removable bottom on a sheet pan. Dump the crumbs onto the pan and press them into the bottom and edges of the pan using your finger tips.

Make a fist and use your knuckles to shape the edge. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. If using the gluten free crumbs, browning might not happen.

Set the baked crust aside and let cool completely.

Prepare the lemons:
Wash the lemons then dry with paper towels. Place a sheet of wax paper over a plate. Use a cheese grater or zester to grate the lemon rind onto the wax paper, avoiding the bitter white pith under the yellow peel. Tap the grater on the plate to knock off the remaining zest onto the wax paper. Set aside.

Cut the lemons in half and juice by hand or in a juicer. Remove the seeds and pour the juice through a strainer to remove the pulp.

Make the lemon curd filling:
In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat.

Add the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix well and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

In a separate bowl, crack 3 eggs and whisk together until well blended.

Place a strainer over the sauce pan and pour the eggs into the strainer. This will keep any undesirable egg bits out of the lemon curd. Scrape the egg from the underside of the strainer into the pot. Discard the remaining egg bits.

Stir constantly over medium heat until thickened and the mixture coats the back of the spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour the lemon curd into a small mixing bowl.

Fill a large mixing bowl half full with ice cubes or a refreezable ice sheet.

Set the small bowl of lemon curd on top of the ice to cool and thicken. You can refrigerate the lemon curd to use later in the day, just cover the bowl with plastic wrap but avoid the plastic wrap touching the filling.

While cool and still spreadable, pour the lemon curd onto the tart crust and spread evenly.

Refrigerate to set filling, about two hours. Plastic wrap will stick to the filling, so either use a large lid from a pot to cover the tart or stick a few toothpicks in the tart to hold up the plastic wrap.

Remove outer ring of the tart pan before cutting into slices. Serve plain or top with a dollop of whipped cream or fresh berries. Enjoy!

Recipe:
Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
8 Tablespoons butter, melted

Lemon Filling:
2 lemons
1-1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cup)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs

Start with the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange racks so the pan sits in the middle of the oven. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly. Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon.

I find the crumbs are at the right consistency if you can squeeze the crumbs in your hand and they don’t quite hold together. You don’t want them too wet. If using the gluten free graham cracker crumbs, follow directions on the package as the melted butter required may be different.

Set a 10″ tart pan with removable bottom on a sheet pan. Dump the crumbs onto the pan and press them into the bottom and edges of the pan using your finger tips.

Make a fist and use your knuckles to shape the edge. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. If using the gluten free crumbs, browning might not happen. Set the baked crust aside and let cool completely.

Prepare the lemons:
Wash the lemons then dry with paper towels. Place a sheet of wax paper over a plate. Use a cheese grater or zester to grate the lemon rind onto the wax paper, avoiding the bitter white pith under the yellow peel. Tap the grater on the plate to knock off the remaining zest onto the wax paper. Set aside.

Cut the lemons in half and juice by hand or in a juicer. Remove the seeds and pour the juice through a strainer to remove the pulp.

Make the lemon curd filling:
In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix well and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

In a separate bowl, crack 3 eggs and whisk together until well blended. Place a strainer over the sauce pan and pour the eggs into the strainer. This will keep any undesirable egg bits out of the lemon curd. Scrape the egg from the underside of the strainer into the pot. Discard the remaining egg bits.

Stir constantly over medium heat until thickened and the mixture coats the back of the spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour the lemon curd into a small mixing bowl. Fill a large mixing bowl half full with ice cubes or a refreezable ice sheet. Set the small bowl of lemon curd on top of the ice to cool and thicken. You can refrigerate the lemon curd to use later in the day, just cover the bowl with plastic wrap but avoid the plastic wrap touching the filling.

While cool and still spreadable, pour the lemon curd onto the tart crust and spread evenly. Refrigerate to set filling, about two hours. Plastic wrap will stick to the filling, so either use a large lid from a pot to cover the tart or stick a few toothpicks in the tart to hold up the plastic wrap.

Remove outer ring of the tart pan before cutting into slices. Serve plain or top with a dollop of whipped cream or fresh berries. Enjoy!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura Bailey is a professional pastry chef, blogger and owner of Beachouse Baking Company.

Creative Commons License
This work by Laura Bailey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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