Limoncello tart

  • serves 8-10
  • A little effort

Add a bit of a kick to your lemon dessert with our smooth and zingy limoncello tart, encased in buttery homemade pastry. Make this impressive pudding for a light yet seriously moreish dinner party dessert


Make this impressive limoncello tart, then check out our limoncello meringue pie, limoncello granita, limoncello syllabub and homemade limoncello.

olive’s cookery writer Adam says… “Making the perfect lemon tart, or tarte au citron, as our Gallic neighbours call it, is the mastering of two techniques: baking perfectly crisp, golden-brown pastry, then making a smooth, sharp-yet-sweet lemon curd – we’ve spiked ours with limoncello for an Italian twist.”

Tips for the perfect pastry

  • Keep the cubed butter in the fridge while weighing everything out – this will make the pastry much easier to work with.
  • Use the pulse function on your food processor, so you’re in control. The flour, butter and salt mixture should still have rubbles of butter – this will make the pastry more buttery and flaky.
  • Handle the pastry as little as possible. This will prevent the pastry from becoming overworked and tough.
  • No one likes a soggy bottom, and with a wet filling being poured in and then set in the fridge, the pastry needs to be crisp and caramelised. If you spot the edge of the pastry burning during the blind bake,  you can cover it with foil while the base gets golden.


  • plain flour 250g
  • unsalted butter 125g cold, cubed
  • sea salt a pinch
  • egg yolk 1 large, beaten
  • crème fraîche to serve (optional)


  • eggs 2 large
  • egg yolks 2 large
  • caster sugar 150g
  • lemons 3, zested and juiced to make 125ml
  • limoncello 75ml
  • butter 100g, diced, room temperature


  • Step 1

    To make the pastry, put the flour, butter and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times until it resembles breadcrumbs.

  • Step 2

    Add 1 tbsp of ice-cold water and blitz again, then add more water, 1 tsp at a time, until the mixture starts to come together.

  • Step 3

    Tip the dough out onto a large piece of clingfilm, gather up the sides of the clingfilm to form a ball and chill for 20 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin, line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin and prick the base all over with a fork. Chill for 20 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Line the pastry shell with baking paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 20 minutes.

  • Step 6

    Remove the beans and baking paper, and put back into the oven for 10 minutes, then brush the base all over with the beaten egg yolk and put back in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

  • Step 7

    Put the eggs, yolks and sugar into a heatproof bowl, and whisk until smooth and fluffy. In a jug, combine the lemon juice, zest and limoncello. Put the egg mixture bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk for 2 minutes until slightly thickened, then pour in ½ the lemon juice mixture. Whisk again until thickened, then pour in the remaining lemon mixture. Keep whisking until thick and glossy, and the mixture holds a thick trail with the whisk. Remove from the heat, then add the butter, whisking, a piece at a time, adding the next piece once the last has completely melted.

  • Step 8

    Pour into the tart case and chill for at least 4 hours or until completely set. Cut into slices and serve with crème fraîche, if you like.

Check out more of our best lemon dessert and cake recipes here...

Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 380
  • Fat 21.7g
  • Saturates 12.6g
  • Carbs 36.3g
  • Sugars 17.2g
  • Fibre 1.1g
  • Protein 5.2g
  • Salt 0.2g