Lazy Mary's Lemon Tart

By dymnyno
October 29, 2009

Author Notes: Versions of this simple quick dessert have circulated around the valley for years. It's a great dessert to make at the last minute. I have quite a few lemon trees , mostly Eureka (big thick skinned), but only a few sweet Meyer lemons which make the best tart. But, it only takes one large lemon! Unfortunately for me, lemons don't pair very well with red wine. - dymnynodymnyno

Food52 Review: People who taste this smooth, fragrant tart won't believe that it contains a whole lemon, rind and all! Nor will they understand how you got it to be so fragrant and light and not at all gummy like lemon curd tarts can sometimes be. In our view "Mary" wasn't lazy at all, she was brilliant. She has you whiz the filling together in a blender, then simply pour it into a blind-baked tart shell. Dymnyno gave the tart her own touch -- a Meyer lemon -- which lends it fragrance and finesse and none of the intrusive acidity found in regular lemons. One catch: you'll need to use your own tart dough. If you don't have a favorite, we recommend the Joy of Cooking's sweet pastry dough. We lined a 9-inch fluted tart pan with it, pricked it with a fork, filled it with pie weights and blind-baked it at 375 F for 15 minutes then removed the weights and baked it for another 10 minutes. Once the tart shell cooled we added the lemon filling and sent it back for one last turn in the oven. Start checking it at 35 minutes. - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 1 tart
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 40 min


  • 1 large Meyer lemon, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tart shell, your favorite (homemade or store-bought)


  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Put all ingredients (except tart shell) into a blender and whirl like crazy!
  3. Pour into tart shell.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until set, watching so that the top doesn’t burn.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!

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Reviews (217) Questions (17)


Amber S. October 12, 2018
I found Meyer lemons, but they are much smaller than ones I have bought in the past. So... about how big do you consider a “large” Meyer lemon) :)
Elise J. June 4, 2018
How much is a stick of butter? Coming from NZ so in grams would be awesome.
Lea H. June 4, 2018
1 stick or 1/2 cup butter is equal to 4 ounces, or 113 grams.
Laurie April 7, 2018
I always make it in a pie pan - never thought otherwise
Bailey April 7, 2018
Can you make this in a regular pie pan? I have all of the ingredients but no tart pan!
ellcrump March 24, 2018
Does it matter if the butter is cold or warm?<br />
Analida B. March 10, 2018
I love the whole lemons in this recipe and I can't wait to try it! I make a version with orange and lemon juice that has a custard like filling:<br />I also like to reserve some egg whites to paint the tart shell after baking to seal any cracks that form so it does not leak while baking the filling.
YCandy July 12, 2017
I made this today with the following modifications. It is delicious and so easy!<br />1. Pie crust - blind baked at 350 for 10 minutes with pie weights, then 5 minutes without. Didn't really let it cool before using. I used a 9" tart shell and store bought crust.<br />2. Used a large regular lemon (5 ounces). I peeled off the rind and then cut off the white pith with a paring knife until it was down to mostly fruit. This helped with the bitterness. I also added juice from 1/2 a small lemon.small lemon<br />3. Melted the butter before using<br />4. Added 2T flour and 1/4 cup buttermilk<br />5. Only had to make for 35 minutes
Amy April 10, 2017
So, my mom and I just made this...and initally we followed the recipe to a "t" except for the use of myer lemons. I made the crust according to the Joy of Cooking (the egg crust), and followed the lemon tart recipe. The crust was a bit brown (that concerned me), but we were braving on. My mom took the tart crust and went to put it in the fridge. Between the counter and the fridge shelf...something happened and the crust encountered the floor...inadvertently. No more crust. We went with the old standby, a graham cracker crust...and the dessert was still amazing, in spite of the change in the crust.
agamom April 8, 2017
Delicious, easy and so quick to pull together from ingredients right at home. No Meyer lemons available so I followed other wonderful advice below and removed bud end, pith and seeds on a regular large lemon, added half a lemon more in juice form only, two tablespoons of cream and a half tablespoon of flour to thicken. Since I made 4 tarts at once I played with the cooking time and thickness of the filling. The very best tart was quite thin on the filling and cooked until it was just beginning to bubble and turn clear. Absolutely the right amount of lemon tartness when made with a 1/4 cup less sugar as Laurie suggested. Great recipe that will become a staple on my favorites list.
Arrxx March 26, 2017
Cut off bud end of lemon, cut lemon in half and remove the pips before your whirl it! They make the filling bitter.
Nancy January 27, 2017
I used one regular lemon and (horrors!) refrigerated pie crust dough and it turned out great! My picky pre-teen son loved it. Very light.
Skooter August 21, 2016
Super easy!! Next time I'll make 2 batches and add 2 tablespoons cornstarch to one batch to see the difference. I didn't try the superfine sugar, just regular sugar.
Amy April 10, 2017
I too used just regular sugar...still tasted delicious<br /><br />
Laurie May 1, 2016
Super-duper. Combined the comments and came out with a real winner. Used Bill Smith's Atlantic Beach Pie crust, 2 Meyer lemons and the buttermilk and 2 Tbs. flour addition from Clair Gu's comment. Cut out 1/4 cup of sugar. Came out with a larger tart - 10", really outstanding. Served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream - strawberries cut the sweet. Big hit!!!
caroline March 25, 2016
Dumb question here but for the lemon, do I peel off off the rind? Thanks
aargersi March 26, 2016
Nope! Throw the whole thing in!
Cristy March 26, 2016
No, wash however before you throw the lemon in the blender...delish!
Erica January 19, 2016
Did anyone ever weigh in re: using a lime or two instead of lemon? I'd love to know if someone has tried that.
BeetRiot March 2, 2018
I accidentally used a Persian lime and thought it was great.
Tucker &. November 3, 2015
An absolutely elegant and incredibly easy dessert which tastes fabulous. Rich, but light. Will make it again and again!
Sandy May 14, 2015
This is a great, easy recipe. I used regular sugar and lemons. I did add an extra juice of a lemon. Also, I prebaked the crust for 10 minutes before adding the filling. I brought it to my knitting club here in the Cayman Islands and of course shared the recipe.
Clair G. April 11, 2015
Just made this on a whim because I had an extra tart shell hanging out in my freezer and some lemons that I'd half zested laying about. Gotta say—pretty impressed with how it came out! The texture of the filling is surprisingly nice, and has a lovely pulpy quality from the whole fruit, which I actually enjoy (like good fresh OJ). I used a regular lemon and absolutely loved the slight bitter note balancing out the uber-creamy and sweet middle. <br /><br />I made some alterations out of necessity (its midnight here, no last minute grocery runs!): I used standard white sugar in place of superfine in the same ratios and just whizzed it in the food processor for a bit, I added about 1/4c of buttermilk because.. well, I had an old jug and why not, and I added 2 T of flour to account for the extra liquid in the recipe. But followed the instructions (take stuff, dump in processor, whiz, pour) exactly, and used the editor's notes with regard to my crust.<br /><br />Absolutely wonderful! 5/5, will make over and over again.
Cristy March 16, 2015
I like it cold personally...
Lisa March 16, 2015
should this be served warm, cold, room temperature??? thanks.