Lemon Blueberry Tart

Cool, creamy, and refreshing lemon blueberry tart comes together with 10 ingredients. The simple lemon filling sits in a flaky shortbread crust and is swirled with homemade blueberry sauce. After the first bite of this sweet, tangy, and buttery tart, it’s impossible to put your fork down. Enjoy this beautiful dessert for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, spring or summer celebrations, and more.

lemon blueberry tart

I knew a tart or pie version of our beloved lemon blueberry cake would be a hit in my household AND with many of you reading this. I’m always dreaming up ways to use this unbeatable flavor combination and a beautiful tart with tons of fresh flavor was definitely my imagination’s top choice. I cannot wait for you to try this one.

Lemon Blueberry Tart Details

  • Texture: I went back and forth about which type of crust to use for this lemon tart, but shortbread seemed most fitting. It’s pleasantly crumbly with a flaky texture that melts in your mouth. The crust contrasts perfectly with the creamy and lush filling on top.
  • Flavor: If I were to describe the taste of pure sunshine, it would definitely be this lemon blueberry tart. The lemon flavor is delightfully fresh and bright, and there’s just enough tang to complement all the sweetness. You really only need a small slice since there’s such a strong punch of flavor, but honestly I’ve never witnessed anyone stopping at 1 serving. (HA!)
  • Ease: There are 3 components to the tart and each must be prepared separately, but there’s nothing really complicated about the entire process. Take your time and read through the recipe before you start.
  • Time: It only takes about an hour to prep and bake the tart. But you’ll want to cool and chill it before serving, so set aside a few hours to complete the entire recipe. It’s wonderful when made the day ahead, too!

slice of lemon blueberry tart


3 Parts to This Recipe

  1. Buttery Shortbread Crust: I make this shortbread crust with a lot of different desserts and it always reminds me of pie crust, but it’s so much easier. There’s no food processor or pastry cutter needed– instead simply combine melted butter with sugar, vanilla, salt, and flour and press into a tart pan or pie dish. You don’t even need to chill the dough before using. You’ll notice we use the same crust for our raspberry streusel bars, apple pie bars, and we double the recipe for our lemon bars. Keep in mind that these other desserts may require different oven temperatures and that’s because the desserts take longer, overall, to bake through. We bake the crust at 350°F (177°C) for this particular tart recipe.
  2. Lemon Filling: A lot of lemon tarts are prepared with a curd filling, but this one is thick, creamy, and rich. I use a similar lemon filling for our creamy lemon pie. I halved it for this tart, then cut down on the egg yolks. The egg yolks help the filling set, but I wanted the finished tart to remain soft. I think you’ll really love it. We’ll use only 1 egg yolk.
  3. Blueberry Sauce Swirl: You’ll enjoy pure blueberries without much else in the way. We hardly add any sugar to the blueberry sauce (some is needed to help them break down), so the natural flavor can really shine. Cook it on the stovetop for a few minutes, let it cool a little bit, then swirl some into the lemon filling. Feel free to strain it if you don’t want any blueberry lumps. You can use a toothpick or knife to swirl.

Can I Use a Graham Cracker Crust Instead?

A graham cracker crust will fall apart and crumble under this wet filling, so I don’t suggest making that swap. Stick with the shortbread crust.

making shortbread tart crust

shortbread tart crust in tart pan

The shortbread crust dough is thick and a little greasy– don’t be nervous if it looks a little wet. Press it tightly into your pan and pre-bake it before adding the filling.

Creamy Lemon Tart Filling

You need one 14 ounce (weight) can of full-fat sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and zest, and 1 egg yolk. That’s it. Fresh lemon juice is best. Here is a wonderful juicer if you don’t have one and if you need a recommendation for a zester, I use and love this one.

Spread the filling into the pre-baked crust.

lemon filling in a glass bowl next to a photo of the filling spread into a tart crust

I recommend making the blueberry sauce first so it’s ready when you need it. The recipe moves pretty quickly once you begin pre-baking the crust.

homemade blueberry sauce in a glass bowl

blueberry sauce swirled into a lemon filling in a tart pan

slice of lemon blueberry tart on a white plate

How to Make Mini Lemon Blueberry Tarts

Try using this recipe for about 10 mini tarts in mini tart pans. I don’t recommend a muffin pan for turning this recipe into mini tarts. Divide crust mixture between each mini tart pan (bake these in batches if you have less than 10), press firmly into the bottom, and bake for 8 minutes to help set the crust. It’s usually easiest to bake mini tart pans on a larger baking sheet. No need to poke holes in the crust before adding the filling as directed for the full size tart below. Pour filling into warm crusts, drop a few tiny spoonfuls of blueberry sauce on each, then swirl as directed below. Bake for 9-10 minutes or just until the centers no longer jiggle. Cool completely, then chill for at least 1 hour before removing from tart pans and serving. (Or serve in tart pans.)


Lemon Blueberry Tart Variations

If you want to switch up some flavors, be our guest! Here are the variations we tested. We’re unsure of the results outside of these listed changes, so let us know if you try anything else.

  1. Lime Tart: Switch the lemon juice and zest for lime juice and zest. Feel free to keep the blueberry swirl or skip it. You could also use the strawberry, raspberry, or blackberry swirl.
  2. Strawberry Swirl: Replace blueberries with 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen strawberries. You can’t really detect the strawberry seeds in the baked tart, but feel free to strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve before swirling into the filling.
  3. Raspberry or Blackberry Swirl: Replace blueberries with 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries or blackberries and add 1 more teaspoon of sugar to the sauce (for a total of 3 teaspoons). Strain the finished sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds before swirling into the filling.
  4. We haven’t tested other citrus besides lime or lemon. We do not recommend swapping the lemons for orange zest/juice because the tart will be very, very sweet. You really need the tang from lemons or limes. We haven’t tested this recipe with grapefruit.
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slice of lemon blueberry tart

Lemon Blueberry Tart

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours (includes chilling)
  • Yield: serves 8-10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

There are 3 parts to this creamy lemon blueberry tart and each are prepared separately before bringing them all together. For best success, take your time and read through the recipe before starting.


Ingredients

Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or water)
  • 1 cup (190g) fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup (115gunsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50ggranulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (125gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

Filling

  • 1 (14 ounce weight) can full-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 Tablespoons (90ml) lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (1 lemon)
  • 1 large egg yolk

Optional Garnishes

  • Lemon slices, blueberries, leftover blueberry sauce, whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Blueberry Sauce: Using a fork, mix the cornstarch and lemon juice together in a small bowl until the cornstarch has dissolved. Set aside. Warm the blueberries and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally for 3 minutes, mashing the blueberries as best you can against the bottom and sides of the pan to help break them up. Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes as the sauce thickens, stirring and mashing the blueberries to break them up as desired. Remove sauce from heat and set aside at room temperature until step 6. Makes about 1/2 – 2/3 cup blueberry sauce and you’ll use about half for the swirl. (Reserve extra for garnish/serving.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  3. Crust: Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir to completely combine. The dough will be a little greasy and very thick. Using a rubber spatula or your hands, press dough firmly into a 9-inch tart pan (no need to grease it), making sure the layer of crust is even on the bottom and all around the sides. It may seem like it won’t fit, but it will. You can use the bottom of a measuring cup to pack the crust in too, but sometimes it sticks.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Using a fork, poke a few holes all over the top of the warm crust (not all the way through the crust). This helps the filling stick.
  5. Filling: Whisk all of the filling ingredients together until combined. Pour into warm crust. Stir up the blueberry sauce because it has likely thickened. It can still be warm when you use it in this step. If it’s too thick, warm it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. Drop spoonfuls of blueberry sauce all over the top, using about half of the sauce. Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving. Using a toothpick or knife, gently swirl the sauce and filling together. Shimmy the pan back and forth 2-3 times to let the sauce and filling settle down into the crust a bit.
  6. Bake for 17-19 minutes, just until the center of the tart no longer jiggles when you give the pan a light tap. It will still be a little sticky on top. Avoid over-baking because the tart will taste rubbery. (Tip: Err on the side of under-baking because the filling also has a chance to set up in the refrigerator. You want a creamy soft filling.)
  7. Remove tart from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool completely at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator uncovered for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. If chilling for longer than 2 hours, cover it. After chilling, remove the sides of the tart pan if your pan has removable sides.
  8. Slice and serve with optional garnishes including any leftover blueberry sauce.
  9. Cover leftovers tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can bake, cool, and chill the tart 1 day in advance. See step 7. The filling must be poured on a warm crust so it will stick, so I don’t recommend pre-baking the crust ahead of time. You can prepare the filling and blueberry sauce in advance though. Cover both and refrigerate until ready to use. The blueberry filling will be quite solid after refrigerating, so warm it up on the stove or in the microwave until thinned out again. (It can be warm when you swirl it into the filling.) Baked and cooled tart freezes well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  2. Tart Pan: A 9-inch tart pan with or without removable sides (it doesn’t matter) is ideal for this recipe. If you use other size tart pans, the bake times and thickness of the tart will differ. You can also use a 9-inch pie dish, but slicing the tart isn’t quite as neat. The bake times are the same. For mini tart pans, see post above. I don’t recommend a springform pan because the crust leaks. We haven’t tested this recipe in a round cake pan or as bars.
  3. Blueberry Sauce: If you don’t want blueberry lumps in your tart, feel free to run the blueberry sauce through a fine mesh sieve.
  4. Sweetened Condensed Milk: Make sure you are using sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk. There are no successful replacements for sweetened condensed milk in this particular recipe– it’s really the key ingredient. (Sometimes half-and-half or heavy cream works as a substitution, but then you’ll have to test with varying amounts of sugar since both are unsweetened.) Use one 14 ounce can full-fat sweetened condensed milk. Do not use fat free because the tart will not set. Keep in mind that 14 ounces is the listed weight on the can. 1 standard 14 ounce can is a little over 1 liquid cup.

Keywords: lemon blueberry tart

 

665 Comments

  1. made this as directed in april and my family loved it. made it this weekend and swapped out lemons for limes and the blueberries for a cherry/berry blend and I think they loved it even more. such an easy recipe too. bizarrely this last time the butter separated out during the first bake but I decided to just roll with it and it ended up making a yummy, toffee-like crust in the end

  2. I made this for my mom’s birthday, as she loves this flavor combination. I actually messed it up pretty badly — I was using homemade sweetened condensed milk using lactose free milk since some of us in the family are lactose intolerant. I accidentally calculated the amount I would need based on the quantity being by volume and not by weight. I also failed to read Sally’s note clarifying this.

    So I ended up using almost twice the amount of sweetened condensed milk the recipe called for. When I realized this, I turned the oven down and decided to try to bake the moisture out on low heat so as not to burn the other ingredients.

    I also asked my dad to pick up a store bought cake, because I did not think it would turn out at all. I was nervous to try it, but it was actually still delicious. My family members loved it, and it was completely gone with only a few slices cut out of the store bought cake!

    At any rate, this recipe is definitely a keeper, and I’ll be sure to add the correct amount of milk next time :).

  3. If I use lime instead of lemon, does this recipe have a key-lime pie flavor/texture to it at all? Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jenn, lime works great instead of lemon! For extra key-lime flavor, we recommend looking for bottled key lime juice.

  4. Hi Sally! Would it be possible to substitute regular sugar for a substitute like Stevia?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tayte, We’d love to help but we are not trained in baking with sugar substitutes. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a tart recipe that is specifically formulated for sugar substitutes like Stevia. Thank you!

  5. Another easy and successful result!

  6. Hi Sally! Is the baking temp for a fan forced oven? I’ll bake this delish tart for a bake-off at work 🙂 thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Klaudia! All of the recipes on this site are written for conventional settings. Convection ovens are fantastic for cooking and roasting. If you have the choice, we recommend conventional settings when baking cakes, breads, etc. The flow of air from convection heat can cause baked goods to rise and bake unevenly and it also pulls moisture out of the oven. If you do use convection settings for baking, lower your temperature by 25 degrees F and keep in mind that things may still take less time to bake.

  7. Best dessert I’ve made all year and I’ve made a lot! I’m making it again tomorrow.

    Quick question: is it normal for quite a bit of butter to leak out while baking? I bake on a cooking sheet as you suggested so I’m not concerned about a mess.

    Maybe I’ll chill the dough and line my pan bottom next time.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi J, a little leaking is okay, but if you find it excessively leaking you can try reducing the butter ever so slightly. Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying this tart!

  8. Carmen Rojo says:

    I made this tart in a pie pan, after I brought it to my mother in law, she gave me a tart pan. I will make again, the crust was supereasy, and I did not have any problem with crumbling or sticking. The filling is so tasty, and my family loves lemon. I used a mixture of blueberries and raspberries and it turned out so delicious. I did put a little dark rum in the berry topping.

  9. After looking all over town I had to settle for a 10” tart pan. I followed the recipe at 1.5 all measurements. I used all the crust and almost all the filling. Crust took a couple extra minutes to start to brown up. My oven was tight at 350 and the filling was set at exactly 17 minutes. I think next time I will use pie weights because the crust got puffy after the first bake. I gently pressed the crust with a spoon to make room along the edge for more filling, but I’m guessing weights would have prevented that. I was nervous that the crust would have been a little undercooked since it was thicker (I’m assuming) with 1.5 recipe in 1” bigger pan, but it all turned out amazing! Crust was perfect. Just the right amount of filling. Everyone had seconds, kids and adults. Served with whipped cream and fresh berries. Actually did half and half strawberry and blueberry swirl. Thanks for the recipe. It was my first time ever attempting a tart. Your recipes make me feel like I can cook.

  10. Made this for Father’s Day and it came out delish! Followed the recipe exactly, made the blueberry sauce and filling a day early and kept it in the fridge until I made the crust. Super simple and was a hit!

  11. Hi Sally. I finally bought a tart pan. Well, actually 3 in different sizes, lol. Your site was the 1st place I came to so I could make thee best tart I could. I love that you’re using a shortbread crust because shortbread cookies, yours of course are my favorite cookies to make. I do have a question about it though. Since the tart has to go into the fridge for a few hrs I’m worried that it may make cutting into the tart a challenge. I know when I have no choice but to put my extra shortbread cookies in the fridge they tend to lose that soft crumbly texture. What do you suggest I do to prevent that? One last question. Will the tart be stable enough to take it off of its bottom base? I plan to make 2 tarts. One that will be leaving my home. I’m about to get started on the blueberry filling so I’ll check back a bit later to see if you’ve replied. Thanks Sally. SO excited to be making my first tart ever….

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tammie! This is a soft shortbread crust and won’t get too hard in the fridge. It will be stable enough to take out of the tart pan once it’s completely cooled in the fridge. We hope you love this recipe!

  12. I haven’t made this yet, but I’m considering swapping rhubarb for the lemon curd filling and strawberries for the blueberries, but I’m not sure how that might work out … any thoughts on measurements for the rhubarb if I were to try it? Can’t wait to try the original recipe at some point, too!

  13. Stephanie Solberg says:

    Instead of blueberries has anyone tried using fresh cherries? I made it with blueberries last time and it was PERFECT!

  14. Rebecca Campbell says:

    Absolutely love this! Made twice and amazing! Super easy to make as well.

  15. Christine wagner says:

    I took this to a BBQ for the 4th of July and the entire tart was gobbled up! It turned out wonderful and was extremely easy to make!

  16. Hi Sally, can I make this in a regular cheesecake tin or is a tart tin a must? Also will reducing the amount of sweetened condensed milk mess the recipe up? I don’t like my desserts too sweet, any tips on that?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sam, we don’t recommend a springform pan because the crust leaks. See recipe notes for details on pan options. We also don’t recommend reducing the amount of sweetened condensed milk because the tart will not set correctly. We find the flavors to be quite balanced with the tartness of the lemons, but please let us know if you give it a try!

  17. Followed the recipe exactly EXCEPT used Rainier cherries instead of blueberries. So so so good!!

  18. Pamela Payne says:

    Large crowd to feed! Can I use a 9 by 13″ glass dish for this recipe

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Pamela, we haven’t tested this recipe as bars so we’re unsure of how it would turn out. They would likely be quite difficult to remove from the pan. Perhaps you could make two separate tarts to serve? Let us know what you decide!

      1. Pamela Payne says:

        Went ahead and tried – dont try to make bars! Impossible to get out of pan in 1 piece! Disaster, but looked pretty

  19. Hi Sally,

    I’ve relied on you for years for all my desserts! I’m interested in trying this crust, since it seems so simple and rated so well, and filling with a chilled custard. Do you think this crust would hold up if I increased the bake time, cooled, removed from the pan and filled with custard? Any advice appreciated.

    1. Hi Lauren, I can’t see why not! I would definitely use pie weights if you have them though. I would bake the crust for 20 minutes at 350°F (177°C) with pie weights (line the crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil first), remove the weights, poke holes in the crust like this recipe instructs, and then return the crust to the oven to bake through completely. I’m unsure of that exact amount of time.

  20. Can’t make in muffin tins?
    Sally- We absolutely LOVE this recipe, I’ve already made it 3 times since the challenge and now I need to make this for a party and was hoping to make mini versions in a muffin tin (lined with cupcake liners), but your notes say not to. Can you expand on the reason? It would be easier if I was able to make it in a muffin tin with the liners so people can just grab and go, but I don’t want to ruin a good thing either. Thank you for any input you can give on this!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amanda, the shortbread crust puffed up too much when we tested these in a muffin tin. You can certainly try it, but we recommend sticking to a full size or using mini tart pans for best results. Glad to hear you enjoy this tart recipe!

  21. Absolutely delicious. Followed recipe exactly as written (using fresh blueberries). Thank you!!!

  22. Sally, this recipe was amazing. It came out perfectly and tasted so good, restaurant/bakery quality.

    I was a little worried that I only had a couple drops of vanilla, but it didn’t suffer for it. Also, after cooling and chilling I was happy that there was no problem with it coming out of the pan. Finally, I used a 9-inch cake pan and it was totally fine!

    Bravo!!!

  23. I’m wondering whether you could add any fine ground nuts to the crust?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Carly! We haven’t tested this shortbread crust with the addition of ground nuts but let us know if you do!

  24. Wonderful recipe! I successfully used a 9inch springform pan since I don’t have a tart pan. I used parchment paper so it wouldn’t leak.

  25. I made this for my husband’s birthday and it was amazing. The only issue I had was the crust was hard as a rock? Any suggestions as to how I can correct what I may have done wrong?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary, We are so glad that you enjoyed this tart! Did you happen to make any ingredient substitutions or changes to the shortbread crust? Be careful not to over-measure your flour (spoon and level instead of scoop) and keep an eye on it while it bakes – only bake until its very lightly browned. Let us know if you try it again!

  26. Delicious!
    A bit too sweet for me though. Is it possible to do half a can sweetened condensed milk and half a can regular evaporated milk (unsweetened) to maintain the texture and creaminess but cut down the sweetness?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lisa! Unfortunately, the tart wouldn’t set up without the full amount of sweetened condensed milk.

  27. Hi Sally, this recipe lloks so delicious, so I’m going to make it this weekend. Do you think I could include a meringue topping (like lemon meringue pie)? One of my guests adores blueberry tarts and the other is a lemon meringue pie aficionado, so I thought I could please them both at once! Do you think it could work? Thanks.

    1. Hi Georgie, I’m just seeing your comment now. Yes, you could absolutely add a meringue topping. Did you end up trying it?

  28. Do you have any guidance on how I can make this dairy free? Thanks

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Penelope, unfortunately, there are no successful replacements for sweetened condensed milk in this particular recipe– it’s really the key ingredient. If you do give any dairy-free alterations a try, we’d love to know how it turns out for you.

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