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. This dessert is always such a beauty to serve, too.
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!
3 Parts to This Recipe
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or water)
- 1 cup (190g) fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 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
- Lemon slices, blueberries, leftover blueberry sauce, whipped cream
- 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.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Slice and serve with optional garnishes including any leftover blueberry sauce.
- Cover leftovers tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- 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.
- 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.
- Blueberry Sauce: If you don’t want blueberry lumps in your tart, feel free to run the blueberry sauce through a fine mesh sieve.
- 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