Gluten-Free Lemon Tart

Growing up in Southern & Northern California, I always had several citrus trees on our property.  Twice a year my grandmother would come stay at my home for a few weeks and we would do nothing but canning, baking and more baking!  Throughout the years my grandmother, mom and I made several recipes that have been passed down from my great-grandmother, great-aunts and other family members.  My great-grandmother Anna won a Betty Crocker Cookoff in the 1950’s and yes I will be writing a blog post on this with soon including the original newspaper clip!

With having access to fresh citrus pretty much year round, we always had so many lemons we didn’t know what to do with them!  However, my grandmother was always so creative in the kitchen.  From lemon curd to lemon crumble bars and every lemon dessert you can think of in between, my grandmother had a recipe for it!  My favorite however was her lemon tart. It was the perfect balance of creamy sweet goodness, but tart enough to make your mouth pucker with every bite!

One of the many projects I am working on with the new website is taking old family recipes and converting them to gluten-free, especially since my family and I made many of the recipes around the holidays.  So this last weekend with the holidays upon us and my grandma’s days numbered, I set out to make my grandmother’s lemon tart in the hopes it would be just as good as the ones she made during my childhood.

This recipes calls for the following ingredients and serves 10-15 (depending on serving size):

Tools and Kitchen Equipment Needed:

  • 11″ Tart pan with removable bottom (available at Sur La Table)
  • Zester (I use an OXO Zester)
  • Electric Mixer (this recipe can be mixed by hand in a large bowl(s); mixer makes it easier – I use a Kitchen Aid Mixer with the paddle blade and the whisk attachment)
  • Food Processor (this can be prepared in a mini food processor or immersion blender food processor attachment)
  • Wire rack
  • Toothpick

Tart Crust 

  • 2 Tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 Cup of unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 3/4 Cups of gluten-free almond flour
  • 1 Pinch of Salt (small)
  • 1/4 Cup of palm sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Zest 6-8 medium size lemons as this will yield enough lemon zest for both the tart crust and the tart filling.  Next in a sauce pan, slowly melt butter (1 stick) over a medium low heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of lemon zest to butter, allowing lemon zest to infuse butter.  Once butter is fully melted, let stand for 5-10 minutes on low heat.


In the mixing bowl, add in 1 3/4 cups of almond flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, and pinch of salt blending together on low in mixer.  Slowly drizzle butter mixture into mixer until fully incorporated.  Place tart crust mixture into 11″ tart pan, spreading it evenly across the bottom of the tart pan.  Lightly press tart crust mixture with your fingers, working crust up on side wall of tart pan and along the bottom of the pan.

Bake crust for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Each oven varies so you’ll want to keep an eye on the crust.  Allow to cool on a rack while preparing the tart filling.

Tart Filling 

  • 2 Tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 Large eggs
  • 1 Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Pinch of Salt (small)
  • 1 Cup of palm sugar
  • 1/2 Cup heavy whipping cream

Place 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon zest in food processor, blending until lemon zest is finely ground and fully incorporated into the sugar.  Add eggs, lemon juice, salt and lemon sugar mixture into the mixing bowl, mixing on medium high until smooth.  Transfer mixture into a bowl and set aside.  Wash mixing bowl, rinsing with cool water so as to ensure the mixing bowl is not hot.  Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream into mixing bowl, whipping cream on medium high until it forms soft peaks.  Remove bowl from mixer and with a spatula, slowly add in mixture set aside into the cream, being careful not to over mix.

Next place 11″ tart pan onto a baking sheet and pour tart filling into baked tart shell just below the top of the tart crust.  If you don’t have a steady hand, pull out oven rack placing the baking sheet onto the rack and then pouring mixture into the tart pan.

Bake tart for 15-20 minutes, checking at the 15 minute mark.  With using palm sugar the top of the tart will develop a light brown top.  Using a toothpick, stick into the center of the tart to check if tart has fully set-up.  If tart is not fully set-up, bake for another 5 minutes and/or until top of tart is golden brown.  Remove tart from oven and allow to cool on wire rack.  Depending upon when you plan on serving, you can serve warm or refrigerate until ready to serve.  Before serving sift confectioners’ sugar generously over the top of the lemon tart, cut into wedges (10-15 wedges) and serve.


There is a lot of love in this recipe and I am happy to report upon taste testing with a group of serious foodies at my office they had no idea the lemon tart was gluten-free.  However, the final seal of approval for me was my grandmother tasting the tart and making a “lip smacking” sound, giving me a thumbs up!  My hope is that this gluten-free recipe will become part of your holiday tradition as well.

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