lemon custard tart with basil

Aromatic basil amplifies the freshness of lemon to produce a vibrant, citrusy, buttery tart. The flavors marry and intensify in the fridge after a day or two and create a modern twist on a classic spring tart. Add a fresh spin to your traditional lemon tart and give this recipe a try!

  • Author: Indi Hampton
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


tart dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp butter, cold and cubed
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • salt
  • 3- 4 tbsp lemon juice

lemon basil curd

  • 5 yolks
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups basil, sliced


tart dough

  1. Combine the flour, butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a food processor and process until the butter is coarsely chopped. With the motor running, pour the lemon juice through the feed tube and process until the pastry holds together.
  2. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it slightly, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  4. Roll the chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface to form an 11" circle (or 4 circles 2" larger than your mini tart pans). Transfer to 9" tart pan with removable bottom, pressing it into the bottom and sides. Trim the dough, leaving a 1" overhang. Fold the overhang back toward the inside and crimp the edge decoratively.
  5. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork and line it with aluminum foil, shiny side down. Fill the foil with weights (dried beans work great). Bake for 12 minutes. Then remove the foil and weights, return it to the oven, and bake until it is light golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the crust cool completely.

lemon basil curd

  1. Combine yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium low heat and whisk to combine. Once fully mixed, add basil and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until thick, 5- 10 minutes. Don't let mixture boil.
  2. Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Let cool.
  3. When you're ready to assemble the tart, preheat oven to 325 F.
  4. Pour the filling into the tart shell(s) and place on a baking sheet (to catch any drips). Bake tart until the filling is set, about 50 minutes. If the crust begins to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Let the tart cool completely before removing it from the sides of the pan. Serve at room temperature, or chilled.


  • recipe adapted from the new basics cookbook
  • makes one 9" tart (or 4 mini tarts for a total volume of 4 cups) 
  • the tart will last 3-4 days in the fridge, after that the crust may become too soggy.

Keywords: lemon custard tart