When life gives you lemons, make this delicious twist on lemon tart. Bright, citrusy custard with a subtle lavender scented crust. Tart, sweet, and slightly floral.
Okay folks. This isn’t just a recipe for lavender lemon tart, it’s a recipe for self-care. Creating this dish almost doubles as an aromatherapy session with the bright, uplifting scent of fresh squeezed lemons combined with calming aroma of lavender. This lemon tart will not only make your mouth happy, it will make your soul happy.
When you first bite into it you’ll get a tangy burst of lemon custard before a hint of lavender comes through from the crust and then lingers on your tongue. It’s like musical chairs for your tastebuds—you’ve got to play.
The subtle floral notes of the lavender complement the rich, buttery crust and brightness of the citrusy lemon custard. I prefer a slightly more tangy than sweet tart, so I wanted it to be very lemon-forward. The texture of the custard is creamy, yet firm and the crust is almost shortbread like in flavor.
Tips for Making the Best Lemon Tart
Lavender is very potent, so you’ve got to use it with restraint—a little goes a long way. This recipe calls for 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of dried lavender flowers, depending on your preference. Both amounts will give you a subtle hint of lavender without being too overpowering. If you’re a lover of lavender, I’d opt with 1 tablespoon, but if you’re unsure I’d start with 1/2 tablespoon.
The crust is simple, but requires a few steps to get the best results. I get into plenty of detail in the recipe instructions to set you up for success.
You’ll need to chill the dough before you roll it out. I like to chill it the night before, but it’s only necessary to chill an hour. You’ll also chill the dough in the freezer after forming it into the pan. This will help to keep it from shrinking when it bakes.
If you’re strapped for time, you can use store-bought crust. But I will say it feels damn good to see the final product when you make the whole tart from scratch.
You’ll want to blind bake the crust to ensure it gets fully cooked during the baking process. To blind bake, you’ll transfer the dough to the tart pan and cover completely with tinfoil. Use pie weights (or dried beans) to keep it in place and briefly bake in the oven. You’re essentially par-baking it so it doesn’t get soggy when you add the liquid filling.
For great visual instructions on how to blind bake, click here.
The temperature of your ingredients is important for this dish. You want the ingredients for the crust to be cold so that your dough comes together properly. And I like to use room temp ingredients for the filling to avoid any curdling with the cream and lemon juice.
I add honey to the filling to ensure the tartness of the lemons isn’t overbearing, but as I mentioned earlier, I prefer my lemon tart to be slightly more tangy than sweet. So if you prefer a more sweet than tangy tart, I would add another tablespoon or so to the filling.
Because the ingredients for this recipe are so simple, the quality of the ingredients you choose will be what really makes this dessert shine. If possible, get fresh, local and organic ingredients (especially lemons), as it can make a big difference in flavor!
To get a nice smooth top, you’ll want the filling to be as bubble free as possible. After whisking together the filling ingredients you can pour it through a strainer or use a spoon to skim bubbles off the top. I also like to use the back of the spoon or mini offset spatula to pop any last bubbles after pouring the filling into the tart shell.
How to Ditch the Recipe: Lavender Lemon Tart Edition
I like to keep the lemon custard base simple and then play around with the flavors, textures, and colors of the crust and toppings. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
Crust: Rosemary, thyme, sage, cardamom, and orange zest would be beautiful substitutions or additions. You could even experiment with the chocolate crust by adding cocoa powder. Ooh cocoa AND lavender?? omg. If you’re strapped for time, you can totally use store-bought crust and skip any flavor additions.
Toppings: To start, toppings are mostly aesthetic and totally optional. I love a slice of lemon tart sans topping, but it can be fun to get creative with decorating.
A dusting of powdered sugar is an easy and elegant way to further balance the tartness of the lemon custard. Whip or meringue are also great ways to achieve this. You could even torch the meringue for a cool dramatic vibe, if you’re feeling fancy.
I used dried lavender and wax flowers to decorate the top, but any type of delicate flower looks beautiful. Make sure to remove them before serving, though—unless they’re edible.
I like using a variety of fresh lemons (slices, quarters, twists) along with the zest and peel to reinforce the star ingredient of the dish. You could do this with other citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit, or lime and even candy them to make it completely edible.
If you like sweet, tart, tangy, and slightly floral, you’re going to love this twist on traditional lemon tart!
Check out some of our other lemony favorites!
- Blueberry Muffin Cake + Lemon Glaze
- Coconut Lemon Bliss Bars + Quick Berry Compote
- Chicken Piccata + Burst Cherry Tomatoes
- Tuscan-Style Chicken Drumsticks
- Zucchini Cakes + Lemon Mint Aioli
Lemon Tart + Lavender Scented Crust
- 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom
- Pie weights (or dried beans/uncooked rice)
For the lavender scented crust
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flower +extra to have on hand
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 – 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
- 1/2 cup cold butter cut into small cubes
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cold egg
For the custard filling
- 5 eggs room temp
- 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice about 4 lemons
- 1 tbsp lemon zest 1-2 lemons
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp honey
For the lavender scented crust
- Combine flour, sugar, dried lavender, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. If you want more lavender flavor in the crust use 1 tbsp, otherwise use 1/2 tbsp for a more mellow flavor.
- Add cold cubes of butter to food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles a crumbly, coarse meal texture. Add egg and vanilla and pulse just until dough is no longer dry and starts to pull together in large clumps.
- If dough is wet and sticky, transfer to lightly floured surface and add a tablespoon of flour at a time (vice versa with water, if dough is too dry) until dough is manageable. Form dough into a ball and slightly flatten it to make a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight.
- Take dough out of fridge and let soften slightly for about 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 11-inch circle using a rolling pin. I like to flour the rolling pin to keep it from sticking to the dough. Rotate the dough a few times while you roll it out to avoid it sticking to the surface. Take your floured rolling pin and roll the dough loosely around the pin, then transfer it to tart pan by gently unrolling the dough over the pan.
- Using your fingers, shape the dough to fit snugly into the edges of the pan and trim the excess dough off with a sharp knife. Use excess dough patch thin areas. Make sure to smooth over patches to prevent cracks when baking. Cover pan in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will help keep it from shrinking while it bakes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.Take dough out of freezer. Cut a piece of tinfoil larger than the pan and press it is tightly against the bottom of the crust and into all of its edges. Fill with dried beans, uncooked rice, or pie weights, if you have them. For visual instructions, click here. Bake crust for 20 minutes—when it’s ready the foil won't stick to the dough. Remove weights and foil, then put back into the oven for 5-10 minutes longer. Crust should be dry and starting to turn golden. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely.
For the lemon custard filling
- Turn oven down to 350 degrees.While crust is cooling, make filling. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, cream, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and honey until fully combined and smooth. Let frothy bubbles settle from whisking, then take the back of a spoon and pop as many bubbles as you can, or use a spoon to skim the bubble off the top. You want filling to be as bubble free as possible to get that silky smooth top while baking.
- When crust has completely cooled, gently pour filling into the crust and smooth over any last bubbles with an offset icing spatula or butter knife. Very carefully place tart into oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until tart is completely firm and crust is dark golden brown. I like to put my tart pan on top of a wire rack fitted inside a baking sheet in case any spillage occurs during the baking process.
- Let tart cool completely before serving to let the custard firm up. I like to chill it in the fridge after it cools and serve it cold. If desired, you can decorate the top with powdered sugar, dried lavender flowers, lemon slices, or any delicate or edible flower you like. Just make sure to remove inedible or overpowering ingredients before eating.
Did you make this Lavender Lemon Tart?
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