To be completely honest, this lemon tart totally came about when I realized a few weeks ago that I had 100% forgotten about Pi Day, ack! I kind of whipped it together on a whim, not really thinking it would work out because it ended up being so easy and didn’t require an extra trip to the store, despite my lack of groceries. As I slide this lemon tart into the oven, I did realize that I didn’t put any cornstarch into the filling mixture and just did a ‘cross my fingers and hope it works out’ as it kept baking in the oven. Turns out, it didn’t need it! I was so pleasantly surprised when I took the tart out of the oven and it was perfectly baked, the center was set and the crust hadn’t overcooked. Basically, I hit the lemon tart jackpot!
The crust to this vegan lemon tart comes from my longtime popular recipe on the blog, vegan lemon bars with an easy shortbread crust. It’s made up of flour, powdered sugar, and melted coconut oil, and it couldn’t be easier. I’ve used it in a base for cheesecake too, but I think using it as a crust for this lemon tart has to be one of my favorite uses of it so far. The filling came together super quickly in the blender, with raw cashews as a base and lots of fresh lemon juice and zest for maximum tart flavor. Like I’ve mentioned before, I love lemon desserts, so you might back off on the amount of juice if you aren’t as much of a fan of tartness as I am, but I think it’s the perfect amount. I also felt like I was reaching peak efficiency while I was making this, because the crust can be baked while you’re making up the filling and the whole thing is baked for a while (hello,do it during dinner time!) and then chilled overnight until set. If you’re serving this with dinner, I would recommend making it at least at the beginning of the day, if not earlier.
You can also top this with berries, like I did above, or let it go bare and enjoy the lemon tart on its own. I think plain ol’ powdered sugar would be perfect to sprinkle on top, or a heap of cherries would go well too, when they come back into season. Either way, you really can’t go wrong! Easy and delicious all on it’s own? I still stand by my ‘jackpot lemon tart’ statement from earlier, this one has it all.
Happy happy almost weekend! For once, we don’t have many plans, but I’ll mainly be checking my phone 2343 times to see if my best friend has had her baby yet. It’s hard to be so far away while she’s waiting, but I seriously can’t WAIT to meet her little one when he/she does come (I’m firmly in the camp that it’s a boy). I’m testing some cookie recipes this weekend and am hopefully bringing a fun version of banana bread your way in a few weeks, cross your fingers it all works out!
Vegan Lemon Tart with Shortbread Crust
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Zest and juice 2 lemons
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a tart pan and set aside.
To make the crust: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, melted coconut oil, and powdered sugar until combined. The dough should be fairly sticky but easy to transfer. Transfer to the greased tart pan and press evenly into the sides and bottom of the pan. Place the tart pan on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes, until the crust is starting to lightly brown. Prepare filling while crust is baking.
To prepare the filling: Blend together the lemon zest and juice, cashews, almond milk, vanilla, sugar, and coconut oil until smooth. Once crust has baked, pour the filling into the crust and bake for another 40-50 minutes, until center is fairly set (doesn't jiggle when moved) and top has slightly browned.
Remove tart from oven and allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, until center is cool to the touch. I would recommend refrigerating it overnight! Top with berries and serve.