A tart that uses a whole lemon in the filling. Both the filling and the crust come together easily with a food processor.

Whole Lemon Tart

The piles of snow in my yard have finally melted and it’s no longer necessary to wear a heavy coat, scarf, and hat when I go outside. Spring is coming, there’s no denying it. And I couldn’t be more excited.

I think lemon desserts are perfect this time of year, to bridge the gap between the winter citrus still in season and the bright springy dishes we’re all craving. My sunny and light-jacket-only weekend got a little bit brighter with this whole lemon tart.

Whole Lemon Tart

A few months ago my food processor gave up the ghost. It had slowly been falling apart for a very long time, but finally became unusable. And I was in trouble, because I didn’t realize how much I used my food processor until I didn’t have one anymore. Thankfully, MagiMix was there to save the day with their beautiful MagiMix 16 cup food processor. It’s my new best friend in the kitchen.

What better way to test drive my new food processor than with this whole lemon tart? And yes, I do mean the whole lemon. No zesting, no squeezing, just slice it up and whir it up with some butter, sugar, and cornstarch and pour it into a sweet cookie crust (also prepared in the food processor).

Tarts may not necessarily be the easiest dessert to bake with all of the chilling and rolling of the dough, but this whole lemon tart certainly is a huge step in that direction.

Whole Lemon Tart

baking tip:The bitter pith truth

This is truly a “whole” lemon tart, however I must warn you that if you have a lemon with unusually thick skin, your tart may come out a little bit bitter. If you notice after slicing into your lemon that the white pith is thicker than 1/4 inch thick, it might be best to remove it. Use a knife to remove the zest and then the white pith. Add the zest and flesh to the food processor, throw the pith away.

Whole Lemon Tart

Whole Lemon Tart

Servings: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Chill/Freeze Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
A tart that uses a whole lemon in the filling. Both the filling and the crust come together easily with a food processor.


Sweet tart dough:

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (188 grams)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (57 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter , cubed (147 grams)
  • 1 large egg , lightly beaten

Lemon filling:

  • 1 whole lemon , sliced and seeds removed (about 4.5 oz, 130 grams)
  • 1 ½ cup sugar (300 grams)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter , cubed (113 grams)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


To make the tart dough:

  • In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse in short bursts until the butter is the size of small peas. Slowly add the beaten egg and pulse until the mixture comes together into a ball. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
  • Let the dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes, then roll out into a rough 13-inch circle. Transfer the dough to an 8 or 9-inch greased tart pan with removable sides. Freeze for at least 30 minutes before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the tart on a sheet pan and cover with a greased sheet of foil, shiny side down. Fill tart with dried beans or pastry weights and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes.

To make the filling:

  • In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the lemon slices, sugar, and sugar until pureed. Add the eggs, cornstarch, and salt and pulse until smooth. Pour into the parbaked shell and bake until the middle is set, or just barely jiggles when bumped, 25 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly before removing sides. Serve warm or chilled. Store tart in the fridge.


Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
Calories: 420kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 133mg, Sodium: 151mg, Potassium: 65mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 36g, Vitamin A: 717IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Annalise Sandberg
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a rating and review below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.

Disclaimer: Food processor provided for review by MagiMix. All opinions are my own, as always.