Lemon Cream Tart


one 9-inch/23 cm
pie or tart


8 to 10

Prep Time:

20 minutes, plus chilling

Cook Time:

5 minutes


About this Recipe


Recipe from Baking Day with Anna Olson
Appetite by Random House, 2020

Don’t mistake this cream pie as a variation of lemon meringue pie—it has an altogether different look and taste, and is truly elegant and pretty. The filling is a super-creamy lemon curd, with a soft and subtle lemon pucker to it, and the whipped cream highlights the richness and simplicity.
NOTES: I’ll be honest, I prefer this cream pie prepared in a fluted tart shell to match its delicate look and taste.

The cream pie is delightful as is, but you can step it up visually with a sprinkling of fresh raspberries or blueberries.

warm pizza dip

Creamy Lemon Curd:

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp (12 g) finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) full-fat sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1¼ cups (285 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut in pieces

    Assembly and Topping:

    • 1 Blind-baked Pie Crust or Crumb Crust, cooled
    • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
    • 2 Tbsp (16 g) icing sugar
    • 1 Tbsp (5 g) skim milk powder
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Step by Step Instructions

    Step 1

    For the curd, whisk the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, sour cream, eggs and egg yolks together in a large metal bowl. Place the bowl over a pot filled with 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water gently simmering over medium heat. Whisk constantly (but not vigorously) until the mixture thickens (when the froth on top of the liquid dissipates, you know you are getting close), about 5 minutes. Strain the curd into a bowl and let it sit, uncovered, to cool to room temperature (stirring occasionally accelerates this).

    Step 2

    Transfer the cooled curd to a blender or food processor. Add the butter all at once and then blend until smooth (it will be fluid).

    Step 3

    Pour the filling into the cooled crust and chill, uncovered, for at least 3 hours.

    Step 4

    For the topping, whip the cream to a soft peak using electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, then whip in the icing sugar, skim milk powder and vanilla. Spread or pipe this topping over the lemon cream and chill, uncovered, until ready to serve. The pie will keep after slicing, loosely wrapped, in the fridge for up to 2 days.

    Lady Fingers

    Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400 °F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

    Step 2

    Sift the flour and cornstarch together and set aside. Whip the egg yolks with 3 Tbsp of the sugar until thick and pale and they hold a ribbon when the beaters are lifted. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy, then slowly add the remaining 6 Tbsp of sugar and continue whipping until the whites hold a medium peak when the beaters are lifted.

    Step 3

    Fold the whites into the yolk mixtures using a whisk, then fold in the flour until just incorporated. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe lady fingers onto the prepared trays that are 4-inches long and an inch apart (they will spread a little once piped). Bake for about 8 minutes, until the fingers are an even golden brown. Allow the fingers to cool completely before removing them from the trays.