Vegan Lemon Tart

by Steph Sunshine at

Yield1 tart

Prep Time45 minutes

Cook Time30 minutes

Total Time6 hours


Pâte Brisée (Crust)

  • 200 $g all-purpose flour
  • 40 $g vegan powdered (icing/confectioner's) sugar
  • 1/2 $tsp. salt
  • 105 $g cold vegan butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 $tsp. cold water
  • 1 $tsp. vanilla extract

Lemon Curd Filling

  • 155 $mL canned coconut milk (full-fat), mixed well
  • 155 $mL canned unsweetened coconut cream*
  • 45 $g vegan granulated sugar
  • 75 $mL freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-4 medium lemons)
  • 1 3/4 $tsp. lemon zest (2-4 medium lemons)
  • 15 $g cornstarch
  • 1/2 $tbsp. agar agar flakes*


  1. Add the flour, powdered sugar, and salt to a medium mixing bowl and mix. Add the pieces of cold vegan butter and cut (mix) with a fork until the mixture is crumbly with small lumps.
  2. Mix water and vanilla in a small bowl, then add to the flour and butter mixture, mixing until a dough is formed. Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten into a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (If you're making tartlets, divide the dough into 4 discs, then refrigerate 20 minutes.)
  3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. If the dough has gotten too cold from being left in the refrigerator longer, press it between your palms until it softens a little to prevent the dough from breaking when it's rolled out. If the dough does break while rolling, press it back together using your fingertips. Roll the dough out until it's about 1/8" (3 mm) thick.
  4. Lift up an edge of the rolled crust and slide a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan underneath. (It may be helpful to have a second person slide the tart pan so you can use both hands to lift the crust.) Gently press the crust into the corners and edges of the pan, then trim anything that's hanging over the edges. Make sure that the sides of the crust extend to the top of the pan all the way around. (If there are any areas missing crust, you can press some of your trimmed dough into the empty areas). Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the crust, then place the crust in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
  5. Before removing the crust from the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). After the dough has chilled for 30 minutes, cut a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the entire crust, then spray one side with spray oil. Place the oiled side down over the crust and push the foil down and into the corners of the crust. Fold the foil over the sides of the pan. Then fill the foil with pie weights, dry rice, or dry beans. (The weight keeps the crust from expanding while it's baking).
  6. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the crust has a slightly golden brown color. Let the crust cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Once the crust has cooled, begin making the filling. Add all the filling ingredients except the agar agar (coconut milk, coconut cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and cornstarch) to a medium saucepan and whisk, making sure the cornstarch fully dissolves. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Add the agar agar and continue whisking until the mixture has thickened into a more gelatinous texture (about another 2 minutes or so). Remove from heat.
  8. Before filling the crust, transfer it to a baking sheet so it's easier to move to the refrigerator without breaking. Pour the filling into the crust (it should fill the crust about halfway to the top). Carefully transfer the tart to a flat shelf in the refrigerator and allow to cool for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Garnish with fresh berries and whipped cream, if desired, then cut and serve.

Notes & Hints

Latin brands of coconut cream such as Goya and Iberia have a lot of added sugar and won't work in this recipe. Thai Kitchen, Native Forest, 365 brand, and Trader Joe's all have unsweetened coconut cream that will work.

If you have agar agar powder, use 1/2 teaspoon instead of 1/2 tablespoon.

A traditional pâte brisée will be made by cutting in the butter with the fingertips. However most vegan butters soften faster than traditional butter, so I use a fork to keep the dough from getting too soft.

To slice the tart cleanly, run a serrated knife and a paring knife under hot water to warm them. Use the serrated knife to gently slice the edges and filling, then use the paring knife to cut the bottom of the crust.

Store the tart covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The texture and taste is best when eaten within a few days.

To make tartlets instead, see the instructions in the post.