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. This dessert is always such a beauty to serve, too.

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

Video Tutorial


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 12 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 12), 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

How to Join the April Sally's Baking Challenge

Make the lemon blueberry tart or any of the flavor variations listed above the recipe. If you aren’t into this recipe, here is the alternate baking challenge recipe:

  1. any previous challenge recipe you haven’t made yet OR
  2. Cupcake Bouquet. Feel free to use your favorite cupcake flavor(s). Some flavor options are shown in the post. You don’t have to pipe the frosting exactly like the photos, but do your best to make it look like a floral arrangement. Have fun with it and don’t overthink!

After you make the tart or the alternate recipe, email us your recipe photo. For a bonus entry, leave a review on the recipe below.

By emailing your recipe photo to us, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge. 1 winner receives a $250 Amazon Gift Card. The challenge is open to the whole world. Challenge ends on April 30th at 5pm eastern. The winner will be selected at random, emailed their prize, and posted in the May Baking Challenge blog post on May 1st 2021.

Visit the Sally’s Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions about Sally’s Baking Challenge. Sign up for Sally’s Baking Challenge emails so you’re alerted as soon as new challenge post is published!

270 Comments

  1. Absolutely delicious. I was a tad worried that it would be overly lemony so I did not add the teaspoon or two to the blueberries BUT this was the perfect balance between sweet and tart. The whole table said this was amazing and loved it. Will definitely make again and also try with blackberries. 5 stars! Easy to make too!

    1. I made this tart 2 days ago. It’s better the second day. It’s very rich. Small wedge with a cup of coffee. I would add more lemon. (funny. Some like more lemon, some like less).

  2. Kathy Lamb-Gilbert says:

    I made this for Easter dinner yesterday, and it was a hit with my family! It had just the perfect blend of sweet and tart, and the crust was so flavorful. I will definitely be making it again. It was hard not to eat it all by myself

  3. I did this recipe for my Easter diner and it did not disappoint! The shortbread crust was crumbly, the filling was so smooth and the citrusy taste was impeccable! I decorated the tart with blueberry candied lemon slices. And it was so simple! Thank you for this great recipe.

  4. This was delicious, not finicky at all and turned out perfectly. We made it as described with frozen blueberries. We don’t think it suffered at all from the use of frozen berries, but we’re excited to try it again with other berries as they become in-season.

  5. I made the April Baking Challenge – Lemon Blueberry Tart and it was delicious! Very easy dessert to make. As always Sally gives awesome no-fail directions! The shortbread crust is so good!! For those who don’t have a Tart pan I used a 9″ round cake pan and it worked perfectly!! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  6. I made this for our family Easter dinner, and it was a total hit! Everyone loved the sweetness of the blueberries with the tartness of the lemons, and that crust was SO GOOD!!!! Thanks for a great recipe!

  7. I loved this! The taste reminds me of a less-intense lemon curd with a dollop of less-sweet blueberry pie filling on top of a crispy bit of Walkers shortbread. Frozen blueberries worked great for me. I used a slightly larger tart pan, so the crust was very thin but great. I will definitely be making this again!

  8. This had just the right amount of tart and tang! I opted for the blackberry swirl using frozen berries and it was delicious!

  9. Yum! This was so easy to make and a huge hit at Easter brunch.

  10. Such a tasty tart and so easy to bake. A real winner.

  11. I loved the idea of this tart. The shortbread crust was yummy. I made two small 8″ tarts and had enough left to make two mini tarts (in true mini tart pans). Gave away two and my husband and I had the mini tarts. It may have been the amount of crust compared to filling, but it seemed cloyingly sweet. I used fresh lemon juice and never skimp on zest.

    1. Hi Allane, thank you for trying it! This is indeed a very sweet tart. If you decide to try it again, feel free to reduce the sugar in the crust though it will be a little more crumbly. We haven’t tested this change, but you could try replacing some of the sweetened condensed milk with heavy cream.

      1. Hi Sally
        While I do understand that you have mentioned there is no proper repayment for the condensed milk. But if I must must. What would be the best alternative for such recipies in general.? It would be really helpful as somehow it gets too sweet with it.

  12. This recipe was super easy and so delicious. It was devoured at Easter Brunch and a great, light desert for the spring! I’ll definitely be making it again!

  13. Alisa Trairatana says:

    Love your recipes! Lemon and blueberries are a perfect match!

  14. I made this for our Easter dinner and the flavor was spot on! Loved the blueberry lemon combo and the creamy texture. I had difficulty with the shortbread sticking to the pan, but I think it’s because I don’t have a tart pan with a removable bottom. Overall, its a delicious recipe and very easy to make! Will definitely try again! 🙂

    1. Wonderful! Made it in an 11inch tart pan so I doubled de crust and filling. Baked the crust for 18min and then the filling for 28min, it turned out perfect!

      1. So glad you shared the size you used. I am living overseas and could not find a 9 inch, only an 11 inch so this really helps. Thank you!

  15. I loved how easy this recipe was. I don’t have a tart pan so I used my 9.5 deep dish pie pan. The crust that I pushed on the sides shrunk down during baking but the filling didn’t rise past it anyway. I am leery of desserts like this because the jiggle test confuses me but I used the time in the recipe and it came out perfect. I love the flavor combination, it was sweet and a little tart but not sour. Whipped cream is a perfect addition.

  16. I loved this tart..it was very easy recipe and i enjoyed it.

  17. Christina Kurtz says:

    I made this tart for Easter and it came out awesome! I don’t have a tart pan so I used a shallow Pyrex pie plate and it worked great. I loved how easy it was to put together and it worked perfectly with my dinner. My family loved it so I’m sure I’ll be making it again soon!

  18. Super easy to make and so delicious. Made this for Easter lunch and everyone wanted more! I should have made 2!
    Also, my tart pan was too big, so I made this in a 9 inch pie pan and it worked perfectly!

  19. First time making a tart and had the correct pan waiting in the kitchen cabinets. It was a simple process and look forward to adding this to recipes for warm weather. Everyone at the Easter table said that it was a taste of spring!

  20. One of these months I will be able to do the monthly baking challenge without having to buy something for my kitchen. (Scale, seater, etc.) This was not that month. My local baking supply store thanks you!

    This turned out pretty well. I think I went a little heavy on the blueberry sauce, but i think it will be okay. The tart is currently cooling down to room temperature before going into the fridge.

    Now i just need to decide if I take it into work, or share with the neighbors.

  21. Rachel A Giusti says:

    As usual, this recipe blew me away. I needed the motivation to buy a tart pan, and nothing motivates me more than lemon desserts. Huge fan of the blueberry lemon combo – always a winner. The recipe is so easy to follow and no one would believe how simple it is when they’re eating it. Like I said, huge fan of lemon over here so I could eat the entire tart, others who aren’t as passionate about citrus were happy with one flavorful slice. I will definitely be making this again!!

  22. Emily Wright says:

    Made this for Easter dinner. Very easy and delicious. My crust edges were a bit flat but it didn’t take away from the dessert. Some one asked “you made this”

  23. A delicious and super simple recipe that will definitely make it to my regular bakes list! I love the combination of lemon and blueberry with a wonderfully creamy filling!

  24. Eva Tyburski says:

    I made this recipe for today’s luncheon dessert. My husband loved it!

  25. Rebecca Loscombe says:

    This tart was an Easter dinner favorite! It was easy enough to make, so I’ll definitely keep this recipe in my back pocket for the future!

  26. Julianne Johnson says:

    Yum! So easy to make and very delicious. It was a hit!

  27. K. Fernandez says:

    I made this for a family gathering and it was a hit. I do recommend putting it in a tart pan because my pie dish wasn’t as pretty. It was also sticking to the bottom a bit but that could be because I didn’t let it sit out long enough after refrigerating overnight. I would butter/spray the pan next time. I added an additional 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice to make it more tart and topped with homemade whipped cream. Yum!

  28. I wish I had seen this in time to make for Easter! Lemon and blueberry is always a winning combination for me and this tart is both easy and delicious. I had never made a crust like this before, and I was pleasantly surprised with how simple it was. I used a 12-in tart pan and pretty much doubled everything in the recipe and it worked great for me.

  29. Apryl Hostetler says:

    The tart is delicious and wasn’t difficult to make. The only reason I gave it four stars is that my crust came out harder than I thought it should.
    Maybe I over baked it but it didn’t look dark. The lemon and blueberry were a great combination.

  30. I’ve never made a tart before and I decided to give this one a try. I even bought a tart pan just for this. The crust was SO easy and DELICIOUS. The whole process was fairly easy (though I do suggest following the tip of making the sauce first. I didn’t listen and my other ingredients were sitting a while but it still worked out fine). My whole family really enjoyed this dessert Easter Sunday!

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