Lemon Custard Tarts

Lemon Custard Tarts

Petite, but packed with smooth lemon custard, this recipe’s sweetness perfectly cuts the citrus acidity of the lemons for a balanced bite that wows the taste buds.


Six 4-Inch Tarts



  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/3 cup Domino® Granulated Sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten


  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup lemon juice


  • 1 cup Domino® Granulated Sugar
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of cream of tartar


Make the Pate Sucree Extra

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse just until mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 10 seconds. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together ice water and egg yolks. With machine running, add egg yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube while pulsing just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky, about 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount of dough together. If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn dough out onto plastic wrap and divide in half. Form each half into a disk and wrap tightly and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Divide one disk into 6 equal pieces. Reserve remaining disk for another use. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece into a ball and flatten into 6-inch rounds with a rolling pin. Using your fingers, press dough evenly into bottom and up sides of six 4-inch round tart pans. Trim edges and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line each pastry with parchment paper, pressing it into corners and edges, and weight with beans, rice, or pie weights. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until sides are golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove weights and parchment and continue baking until the bottoms are cooked through and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely

Make the Filling

Whisk together condensed milk and egg yolks until thoroughly combined. Add lemon juice and whisk to combine. Divide filling evenly between cooled tart shells. Bake until filling is set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled.

Make the Italian Meringue

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and ¼ cup water to a boil. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238 to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage). Bring a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry (do not overbeat).  Increase mixer speed to high and add sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream, beating until mixture is no longer steaming, about 3 minutes.

Transfer meringue to a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip and pipe, as desired.  Using a small kitchen torch held at a 90-degree angle, move flame back and forth 3 inches from surface of meringue until it starts to brown (or broil 6 to 8 inches from heat source, about 1 minute). Serve immediately. 


Pate Sucree Extra can be frozen for up to 1 month.  Thaw overnight in refrigerator or at room temperature for 1 hour before using.