This Creamy Lemon Tart with Shortbread Crust and Limoncello soaked berries is the ultimate spring dessert.
I have two favorite flavors when it comes to dessert - lemon and chocolate, though I rarely combine them together. In the spring and summer, lemon tends to be my go-to for dessert as I like the light, tart taste in the warmer months. This Creamy Lemon Tart is great for a special occasion, however easy enough to make for a special treat during the week too. I've made this for Easter Dinner several times and always get rave reviews from dinner guests!!
The press-in shortbread crust I use in this recipe is really easy to make and requires no rolling or chilling. The crust does get pre-baked to make sure it's not soggy. This is one of the keys with tarts, especially those with custard-like fillings. The shortbread crust also adds a nice contrast to the smooth, creamy lemon filling.
When you're making the filling be sure to cook the egg yolk mixture until it starts to thicken so don't end up with a runny filling in your tart - though it will still taste great if that happens for some reason. Since this filling calls for egg yolks only you'll have a bunch of egg whites left over. If you don't want to toss them out, you can make some type of meringue, like this Meringue Torte with Lemon Cream or maybe just some simple meringue cookies.
I use sweetened condensed milk in the filling, which results in the perfect balance of tart and sweet. When the tart is topped with the Limoncello soaked berries and a little bit of powdered sugar it's absolute heaven!
Things You'll Need for This Recipe
11-inch quiche pan - You can squeeze this into a 10" pan if that's what you have the slightly larger version will work much better
Microplane grater - This is a super useful kitchen tool - I also use it for grating hard cheeses
Cooking spray - While you can grease the pan with butter I prefer using this cooking spray from King Arthur flour
Creamy Lemon Tart with Limoncello Berries
For the crust:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 oz cold European unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 egg yolk
For the filling:
- ¾ cup fresh lemon juice, about 3 lemons
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons European butter
- 6 egg yolks
For the topping:
- 1 ½ cups mixed berries
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Limoncello
For the crust:
- Preheat over to 400°F and spray and 11-inch quiche or tart dish with cooking spray.
- Place butter in the freezer for a few minutes while you start the crust.
- Place the flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a standard blade. Pulse 6-7 times. Add lemon zest and salt. Pulse 7-8 times until combined.
- Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture, a third at a time. Pulsing after each addition until coarse crumbs form. Add the egg yolk and process until incorporated and the mixture becomes crumbly. The mixture will be quite dry.
- Pour mixer into the prepared pan and press up the side and into the bottom of the dish in an even layer.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
For the filling:
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan whisk the milk, lemon juice, cornstarch and lemon zest. Heat over medium heat and cook for 3 -5 minutes, whisking constantly until mixture begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the egg yolks and then the butter. Return to heat and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Pour mixture into cooled crust and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until mixture is just set in the center.
- Remove tart from oven and cool at room temperature. Once the tart is cooled, place in refrigerator to fully set (at least 45 minutes).
For the berries:
- Place the berries, sugar and Limoncello in a medium mixing bowl and toss to combine. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the tart from the refrigerator a few minutes before serving. Top with berry mixture. Slice and carefully remove slices from tart pan with a pie server.