Simple Lemon Tart

fun fact: lemon juice is antibacterial, making it a great natural household cleaner

Lemon tart is something best served with either whipped cream or ice-cream. I know this because of extensive testing done in the lab kitchen this weekend.

When I gave up grains (for various reasons, I don’t want to hear any Paleo-bashing in the comments, each to their own) I accepted that some things were lost to me forever. Among them being a decent pie crust and, by extension, decent pie.

Not so!

this was after five dinner guests had been at it

This is a gluten-free version that is much healthier than the standard, store-bought lemon pies and has (in my humble opinion) an even better taste.

How did I do it, you ask? Or you don’t because you are thinking: ‘shut up already and write down the damn recipe’.

Well I took this coconut flour pie crust recipe and some lemons and I tweaked, prodded, experimented, got a fair amount of lemon juice in my eye and eventually came up with this amazing creation.

The things I do for you.

Simple GF Lemon Tart (serves 8-10)

The crust:

*adapted from the Coconut Mama

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp honey
  1. Whisk together the butter, eggs, lemon zest and honey.
  2. Sieve the coconut flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt.
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until it comes together.
  4. Press into a well-greased 9in pie dish. Prick the bottom, then put in the fridge until needed.

    much like this

    The filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon’s worth)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (I used two lemons)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients and pour into the pie shell.
  2. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Transfer to the fridge and chill ’til needed. Don’t be worried if it seems soft coming out of the oven, it will firm up in the fridge.

    I want to invent a time machine, go back and eat it again (insert maniacal laugh here)


86 thoughts on “Simple Lemon Tart

  1. Goodness me, this looks delightful! My (non-paleo) boyfriend loves Lemon Squares, which I sort of gave up making when I gave up baking after I changed my way of eating…but his birthday is coming up, and this looks like a perfect treat!

    • Hi Alex, I hope he likes ’em – the recipe can be easily converted to lemon bars or squares. You’d just need a square baking pan and the patience to wait til it cools before cutting ’em up. I have no patience and am always ruining desserts by trying to eat them straight from the oven…perils of being greedy!

  2. mmm, simple + lemon + tart…three of my favourite things!
    i’ve never used coconut flour. dumb question – does it have any coconut flavour? i’m assuming it’s not just ground shredded coconut.

    • Not a dumb question at all, it doesn’t taste of coconut but it does definitely have a sweeter taste than normal flour. Also it’s a tricky flour to work with as it requires a LOT of moisture – you need a lot of eggs when baking with it.
      Sadly it’s not just ground coconut, I buy my coconut flour from my local wholefoods, you can also get it online. It might appear expensive but a bag lasts a long time as a little goes a long way.

  3. This looks wonderful and once again an entertaining read! I bought myself some coconut flour last week (for the pantry – you know – just in case!) and this is the perfect recipe to use it with…just lovely πŸ™‚

  4. Wow. I found your blog the other day and am officially hooked! I’m a recent returnee to Paleo (well, I’ve been half-butted for a while, but that doesn’t quite cut it) and need that crutch of “something that looks really, really bad and delicious but isn’t much” both for myself and when I entertain guests. (Ha, never used that expression before – question is, will I again?)
    Anyway, before this ends up a blog post in itself (invariably often does when I comment, sorry), I’d just like to thank you for a) awesome, awesome recipes that I’m really excited about trying out and b) just the way you write – entertaining, involving…educational? (Pretty sure it fits, but I mainly just needed a third example.)

    By the combined powers of my new oven and your blog…something marvelous will happen, I’m sure of it. Thanks again ^^

    • Wow Reykja, this is one of the nicest comments I’ve ever got on this blog – thank you so much for your support. I’m glad I can help when you’re wavering (it happens, I go for the 80/20 rule myself, lifesaver!).
      Is it wrong to be jealous that you have a sparkly new oven?! I can’t help but feel that my life is lacking something when I go into a frenzy of delight over kitchen appliances. I hope you create something amazingly belly-pleasing with it – here’s to good health and good eating πŸ™‚

      • Awww, well you definitely deserve more nice comments then! ^-^
        It’s not wrong to be jealous but there’s no need to be! Since I live in Japan, “oven” is a bit of a misnomer. It’s a convection oven/microwave combo and not as big as I’m used to… but it’s an oven!!! And I’m waiting on a shipment of coconut and almond flours as we speak so the creation of deliciousness is just a matter of time! ^^
        Will keep you posted on my (probably quite sad looking) variations of your recipes! ^^)b

  5. Looks great! I don’t follow a paleo diet, but I am gluten free and dairy free. Do you think this would work with coconut oil instead of butter?

    • Hi Geralyn, yep I think it would work with coconut oil – you’d just have to be more diligent about keeping it chilled – that stuff melts fast. If you do try it, let me know how it goes!

    • Hi there. You could always try turning the oven down so it cooks more slowly or putting it into the oven loosely covered with foil (which you’d remove for the last five minutes to make sure it sets). Gd luck!

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  12. I just made this and I have to say, It is really delicious! After so many failed attempts and dodgy recipes I had almost given up on grain free pastry… I’m glad I didn’t.
    My only question is, my filling went a bit grainy… any ideas why? I’ve made many lemon tarts before and not had that happen. Do you think it could be the honey?

    • Hi Toria, glad you found a grain-free treat you like, that’s what I’m here for πŸ™‚ Not sure why the filling was grainy for you but I’d guess that either your lemon zest wasn’t fine enough, it wasn’t whisked enough before being poured into the shell or, as you say, it was the honey. Perhaps you could play around with the type of honey you’re using. Hope that helped!

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      • Is there really butter in the filling? How did you do the filling process. Did you use a mixer or just hand whisk.

      • Hi Angela, sorry you had trouble with the recipe. I used a hand whisk to thoroughly mix everything together. Then I just poured it into the pie shell and it cooked together no problem. I can only suggest cooking for longer (I have a very efficient, small oven so you might need to adjust accordingly) and then letting it chill in the fridge for a while to further set. Hope that helps.

  16. I had all the ingredients needed so I made this yesterday afternoon. It took 25 minutes in my oven so the edges of the crust were burned but no big deal…I just broke them off. I had my first piece a few minutes ago and it was so good I went back for seconds! Thanks for the recipe.

  17. I’m doing an 8 week sugar detox, including honey, maple syrup, etc. how do you think this would taste minus the honey? Too tart?

  18. Just tried the recipe as it looked delicious but I don’t think it’s worked at all for me 😦 It is very, very liquid-y and it’s been in the fridge for nearly an hour… should it have set by now? Any way of saving it? Thanks!

    • Yes, it should’ve been firm coming out of the oven. A bit of wobble is okay but not liquid. If it were me, I’d take it out of the fridge, let it get to room temp and then try baking it for a bit longer.

  19. Sounds so good! Lemon tart was one of my favourite thing. I’m not strict paleo, but follow David Gillepsie’s Sweet poison, and am trying to go mostly gluten free as well. Do you think I could use glucose syrup instead of the honey?

  20. OMG – this looks and sounds amazing. This is one of my favorite desserts ever, and thought I’d given it up for good. Thank you for sharing. Will try it at the first opportunity.

  21. Sounds absolutely amazing. However I’m confused, my “dough” didn’t turn out doughy and soft. it was more a very floury crumble. I only had small eggs, so maybe it needed more “egg” in it (you stated Large). I used the right amount of the other ingredients, even added a bit more melted butter to turn it doughy, but it wasn’t enough.
    It’s in the oven now… I’ll see how it turns out. The Liquid mixture is VERY liquidy as well…. 😦
    So my question – do large eggs really make all the difference? If it comes out liquidy I’ll attempt to cool it then re cookit. Hopefully I can still eat a bit of it.

    • Hi Claire. The size of the eggs does matter I think but from the sounds of it, it’s the coconut flour that’s the issue. Coconut flour is tricky to work with. If you over-stir it, you end up with dry, crumbly dough. In this case, I typically add some more liquid (either butter or milk or yoghurt etc). I’ve gone into this in more detail in my post “Baking with Coconut Flour: 5 tips“. Hope that helps, and I hope you were able to resurrect it!

  22. This is sooooo good. Even my husband who hates the taste/texture of coconut flour in most things loved this. I will be making it again very soon! Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  23. hey, can I sub coconut milk for the butter in the filling or will the baking time change?
    And do you know for how long it will stay good in the fridge? I have time to bake this tomorrow but the actual birthday is on saturday..

    • Hi Laura. I haven’t tried it with coconut milk so I can’t say how the baking time will change. If you go ahead, I’d keep a beady eye on it as it cooks and poke it (gently!) occasionally to make sure it sets. I wouldn’t leave it in the fridge any longer than 3-4 days.

  24. I just made this tart, it’s really good! I did bake it for a total of 35 minutes and covered the edge with foil for the last 20. Next time I may pre-bake the crust. Also, I don’t think I got the filling whisked as well as I should have because my mixing bowl was too small and I was too lazy to switch to a bigger one! Anyways, still delicious!

  25. Very excited to try this! Now to decide if I should make it as it is, or try making it in mini-muffin tins for teeny tiny tarts (portion control?). Who am I kidding? I’d eat about 10 of them anyway!

  26. Hi. I really love lemon squares, bars, tarts, pies…and I want to make these but in a square pan. Would an 8″ square pan work out with the same measurements and baking time? Thanks!

  27. Would be nice to have a printer friendly version. πŸ˜‰ I hit print and had to run down two flights of stairs, before morning coffee. Lol to stop 22 pages from printing out. Aaaaaaahhhhh

  28. I baked this yesterday afternoon. After leaving it in the fridge overnight to set, the filling is still very runny. The top portion of the filling is set, but when I cut into it, it just runs. I followed your directions, but I’m wondering if 15 minutes in the oven is not long enough?

    • Sorry to hear that Sarah. Ovens can vary, mine is extremely efficient and 15 mins did the job but cooking times are never a hard and fast rule. Best rule of thumb is the ‘wiggle test’. If it wiggles too much coming out of the oven it’s probably best to give it a bit more time. Hopefully you were still able to eat and enjoy!

  29. very angry wasted alot of very expensive ingredients and it was not a long enough time in oven maybe you should clarify what exactly you mean by a little soft.

  30. I’m just curious, did you intentionally leave out the directions to bake the crust? I checked the cocomama site that you adapted it from and it says to bake the crust before adding the filling. I will definitely do that next time. I made the tart last night without baking first and the crust in the center of the tart just sort of dissolved making for kind of a yucky texture.

  31. I’m sorry to say this, but this recipe completely bombed. I followed all the directions, but after 15 minutes, the crust was burnt and the middle was completely liquid. I tried turning down the temp and cooking it longer, but the middle never really set. 😦 Bummer.

  32. I made this last night and it was a big hit! I baked it for an extra 10 min. I covered the edges with tinfoil as it was browning quickly. I imagine the honey in the crust is what makes it brown so quickly. I served it with raspberries and whipped cream. Lovely!

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