Make Your Best Spring Tart: Lemon Tart with Toasted Meringue Recipe Included

This guest post is brought to you by Kala Boulard of Almonds and Apricots.

Imagine a light, yet buttery tart crust filled with citrusy lemon filling neatly topped with a sweet toasted Swiss meringue. This tart has a light and bright combination of flavors that will surely be a new family favorite! Personally, I love enjoying a slice of this delicious tart over a glass of bubbly prosecco while indulging in a date night at home with my husband, what a special treat!

You can’t have a lemon tart without the lemon, and in my opinion, LorAnn Oils has the best lemon bakery emulsion on the market! As the “extract alternative” it’s no surprise why professional and home bakers are opting for LorAnn’s water-based emulsions over alcohol-based extracts so that their flavor never bakes out when making their favorite recipe.

Lemon desserts are always a hit at my house, if it’s that way at your house too then you’re sure to love this Lemon Tart with Toasted Swiss Meringue recipe!

This is my twist on a classic lemon meringue pie and a classic lemon tart, truly the best of both worlds. What I love about this recipe is that you do not need to simmer the curd over the stove before filling the tart shell, pouring the filling mixture right into the shell saves on extra dishes and bakes up beautifully.

You’ll learn how to make this show-stopping elegant dessert with my step-by-step recipe, method, and helpful process photos below.

What You’ll Need To Make This Recipe

Lemons: For this recipe I like using a blend of Meyer lemons and classic lemons as the Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter and less acidic, but the classic lemons really pack a zingy punch. DO NOT USE bottled lemon juice for this recipe. The reason for that is the tart will be too bitter and not sweet enough. For best results, use the juice and zest from ripe lemons that are just starting to soften.

Butter: I personally like to use salted butter in my recipes, but I know there is a large divide amongst the baking community on whether or not salted butter is too salty. If you are sensitive to salt go for unsalted, but I find the salted butter balances out the sweetness nicely.

Flour: My favorite flour brand is King Arthur.

Eggs: Large, quality, and pasture-raised eggs are always the best eggs to use! The yolks are richer and the whites are denser. My eggs are actually laid by our sweet hens, but not everyone has a barnyard in the backyard LOL

Heavy Whipping Cream: The lemon filling bakes up so silky smooth and rich due to the fat content in the heavy cream. Do not sub this out as it is an important part of the structure of the filling.

Powdered Sugar: The powdered sugar in the tart crust adds a nice sweetness and texture to the dough, so don’t substitute for granulated. You need powdered sugar for this recipe.

Flavorings: LorAnn’s Lemon Bakery Emulsion and Organic Madagascar Vanilla Extract. These products truly are the best and make this lemon tart so deliciously special. LorAnn’s best vanillas from the Islands of Madagascar are now certified organic!

Storing Your Lemon Tart

Do not pipe the meringue topping until the day you are serving the tart. If you allow the meringue to sit in the fridge on top of the tart for too long the meringue will start to sweat and you will lose your beautifully pipped swirls.

If you have to make the tart ahead of time you can store it in the fridge tightly wrapped with plastic for up to a week. And when you are ready to serve, then make the meringue and pipe/toast it the day of serving.

If you have any tart left over that has the meringue on it, store in an air tight container and try to consume within a day or two – Trust me, It shouldn’t be hard.

HELP! I Have Never Made Meringue!

Don’t panic–it will be fun!

The key to a delicious meringue is making sure your equipment is clean and grease- free. Simply wiping down with a bit of white vinegar makes all the difference. And secondly warming your egg whites to the proper temperature and whipping until stiff peaks.

Get a kitchen scale and a thermometer. They’re really inexpensive kitchen tools that will pay themselves off when you are executing precision baking recipes.

Do I Need A Kitchen Torch To Get The Toasted Meringue?

The short answer is no. If you have a broiler in your oven that is just as effective has having a kitchen torch, just do not walk away and keep an eye on your tart!

Kala’s Best Tart Tips

  • A 9 or 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom will work best for this recipe, if you have a deeper tart pan feel free to double the filling recipe and adjust the bake time.
  • The dough recipe will yield enough dough for two tart crusts, you can refrigerate or freeze!
  • You can make the pastry dough by hand or in a food processor, but beware using your hands could melt the butter and you need cold butter for this recipe.
  • You can use beans or rice as a baking weight to bake your tart crust, if you don’t weigh down your crust it might shift or slip and you won’t have an even filing layer.
  • You can make the tart crust a day or two in advance, just store it in an air-tight container or plastic wrap until ready to add the filling.
  • DO NOT OVER BAKE YOUR LEMON FILLING! Bake until just set around the edges about ¾ set towards the middle. A little wobble in the center is necessary for this recipe. If you over bake, it will crack.
  • Make sure to refrigerate your lemon tart for at least 2 hours before piping the Swiss Meringue and slicing.

Scroll to get the recipe!

Lemon Tart with Toasted Swiss Meringue

A light yet buttery tart crust filled with citrusy lemon filling and neatly topped with a sweet toasted Swiss meringue.


For Tart Crust:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
14 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1- 2 tablespoons ice-cold water

For Lemon Filling:
4 large eggs 
¾ cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice + zest
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons LorAnn Lemon Bakery Emulsion
2 teaspoons LorAnn Organic Madagascar Vanilla Extract

For Sweet Toasted Swiss Meringue:
5 Large egg whites
2-1/3 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons LorAnn Organic Madagascar Vanilla Extract


For Tart Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9 inch or 10 inch tart pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place flour, butter, and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor; pulse until mixture is crumbly and combined. Add egg yolk and 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water, and process until mixture forms a dough.
  3. Cut dough in half and wrap each in plastic. Place in fridge to firm up (this recipe makes enough for two tart shells).
  4. Once chilled, lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness and carefully place in your tart pan. Gently press into the corners and cut off any access.
  5. With a fork, poke a few holes in the bottom to allow the crust to vent and evenly cook.
  6. Chill the crust in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes until set. Continue baking until pastry is a light golden color. 
  8. Allow to cool on the counter. 

For Lemon Tart Filling:

  1. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, heavy cream, lemon emulsion and  vanilla extract until just combined. Do not overbeat.  
  2. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet, and carefully pour the lemon mixture into the baked tart crust. 
  3. Bake until the tart is nearly set, about 20-30 minutes. The filling will be a bit wobbly in the center, and will set when cool; don’t over bake, or it will crack.   
  4. Allow to come to room temperature on a cooling rack for 20 minutes and store in fridge until firm about 1 hour. 

For Sweet Toasted Swiss Meringue:

  1. Separate egg whites from yolks in the bowl of a clean grease-free stand mixer. Pour sugar in the bowl with the egg whites and vanilla and whisk to combine.  
  2. Place bowl onto a pot with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar has completely dissolved around 160° F. If you do not have a thermometer, you can tell it’s done when you rub a little of the mixture between your fingers and the sugar has dissolved completely. This process should take no more than 10 minutes.   
  3. Return the bowl to stand or use an electric hand mixer fitted with a clean grease-free whisk attachment. 
  4. Whip at high speed until whites are glossy and stiff peaks have formed. The bowl should be cool to the touch, this will take around 10 minutes.   
  5. Add meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and gently pipe your own design atop the chilled tart.
  6. Using a kitchen torch, gently torch the meringue until golden brown. If you don’t have a torch, you can pop the pie under your oven’s broiler for a few minutes. Watch carefully because it can burn quickly.   
  7. Add sliced lemons for garnish.

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