Vegan Lemon Tart with Macadamia Nut Crust

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Lovers of lemon desserts, rejoice! My vegan lemon tart recipe is a twist on the traditional Tarte au Citron. It’s a simple-to-make but decadent macadamia crust filled with a vegan lemon curd that’s both zingy and fresh.  This dessert is delicious and visually stunning.

Lemon tart decorated with lemons, raspberries and flowers.

A luscious vegan lemon curd tart nestled inside a creamy macadamia tart shell. How is that for Dreamy?

This recipe features an eggless lemon curd that is as delicious as the traditional version. The secret lies in our vegan lemon curd filling, which perfectly balances sweet and tart without animal products. Whether you’re vegan or want to try something new, this vegan lemon curd tart with its creamy lemon filling will impress. And the best part? It’s surprisingly simple to make if you have a tart tin with a removable bottom. Get ready to indulge in a slice of heaven!

Quick Video on How to Make This Recipe

Ingredients

Ingredients used in making the recipe.

Tart Ingredients

  • Agar Agar: Agar agar is a vegan substitute for gelatin. It is necessary for the tart filling set and hold its shape, adding firmness to the texture.  A little goes a long way!
  • Coconut Milk: Coconut milk creates a rich and smooth texture similar to traditional lemon curd. 
  • Corn Starch: Corn starch thickens the vegan curd so it sets properly.
  • Lemon Juice: The lemon juice is the tart star, providing the quintessential tangy and sunny flavor that characterizes a lemon tart. Fresh lemon juice is a must!
  • Lemon Zest: Lemon zest adds an extra layer of citrus flavor!
  • Sugar: Sugar balances the tartness of the lemon juice. It is crucial for achieving the right flavor balance between sweet and sour.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric gives the tart a vibrant yellow color, mimicking the look of a traditional lemon tart. It’s optional and does not affect the flavor. The recipe creates a light yellow tart. You can add more for a deeper color; remember, a little goes a long way!

Crust Ingredients:

  • Graham Crackers: Add a subtle sweetness and a tender, crumbly texture that perfectly complements the rich, buttery flavor of macadamia nuts, enhancing the overall taste experience of a zesty lemon tart. Nabasico original gram crackers are vegan.
  • Granulated Sugar: This adds sweetness to the crust, complementing the tartness of the lemon filling.
  • Macadamia Nuts: macadamia provides a buttery and rich texture to the crust, adding depth and a nutty flavor.
  • Salt: A small amount of salt enhances the flavors of the crust, balancing the sweetness.
  • Unsalted Vegan Butter: Vegan butter makes the crust flaky, and the cold butter helps create a crumbly texture when baked.
The interior of a slice.
My Favorite

Alternatives and Substitutions

  • Sugar Alternative: Use coconut sugar for a less refined sugar
  • Corn Starch Alternative: Arrowroot starch can be used instead.
  • Turmeric (for color) Alternative: You could use saffron or omit it altogether. 
  • Block filled with Alternatives and SubstitutionsAll-Purpose Flour Alternative: Use almond or oat flour for a gluten-free crust.
My Favorite

Pro Tips:

  • A 9-10 inch tart pan is ideal for this recipe.
  • Use a food processor for the crust.
  • Choose unwaxed, organic lemons for the zest.
  • Prevent skin on the curd by covering it with plastic wrap while cooling.
  • Avoid overbaking the tart and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Decorate with fresh lemon slices, mint leaves, and/or babies breath.
Lemon tart decorated with lemons, raspberries and flowers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely! Prepare the tart ahead and wrap tightly in plastic wrap for up to three days in the refregirator. Decorate just before serving.

Yes, to maintain freshness, refrigerate the lemon tart wrapped in plastic wrap for up to three days. You can store it in the freezer for up to one month.

Yes, you can use a traditional lemon curd or even an apple curd. Both taste great with this hazelnut crust.

Lemon tart decorated with lemons, raspberries and flowers.

Vegan Lemon Tart with Macadamia Nut Crust

Lovers of lemon desserts, rejoice! My vegan lemon tart recipe is a twist on the traditional Tarte au Citron. It’s a simple-to-make but decadent macadamia crust filled with a vegan lemon curd that’s both zingy and fresh.  This dessert is delicious and visually stunning.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 8 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients

Crust Ingredients

  • 9 Full-sheet graham crackers
  • 1 cup Macadamia nuts
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons Melted vegan butter Unsalted if you can find it.

Curd Ingredients

  • ¾ cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 medium Lemon Zest
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk (full fat canned)
  • 3 tablespoons Corn Starch
  • ½ teaspoon Agar Agar
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric

Instructions

Prepare the Macadamia Nut Crust:

  • Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C).Place the graham crackers and macadamia nuts into a food processor. Pulse until you achieve a fine crumb. Smaller chunks of macadamia nuts are okay in the mixture.
  • Add the sugar and pulse a few more times.
  • Add the melted butter to the bowl and pulse again a few more times.
  • Add the melted butter to the bowl. Mix thoroughly until the mixture becomes dense, grainy, and coarse. Break apart any large chunks that form.
  • Transfer this mixture into a 9-inch tart pan.
  • Using your hand, press the crumbs firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the dish to form a crust. Make sure to apply moderate pressure to ensure that the mixture is compact and holds together, removing any loose crumbs.
  • Bake crust for 8 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven. Keep the oven on; you will need to set the curd in the oven during the 'assemble and finalize' instructions

Make the Vegan Lemon Curd:

  • Place all your curd ingredients into a medium-sized pan.
  • Set the pan over medium heat.
  • Whisk the mixture thoroughly to avoid any lumps forming.
  • Continue whisking consistently for about 5 minutes.
  • Keep an eye on the heat to prevent the curd from burning at the bottom.
  • Keep whisking until you notice the curd starts to simmer and thicken.

Assemble and Finalize the Tart:

  • Once the curd has cooled, pour it into the baked tart shell, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
  • Bake the tart in the preheated oven for about 5-10 minutes, just until the edges of the curd are set and the crust is golden brown.
  • Let the tart cool at room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve:

  • Garnish the tart with fresh berries, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, or vegan whipped cream before serving.

Notes

  • 1 cup of lemon juice is roughly five medium-sized lemons.
  • When using canned coconut milk, mix it to reincorporate the cream and liquid.
  • When pressing the crumb into the tart pan, I find it helps to use the bottom of a measuring cup.  This allows for a firm crust on the bottom and the sides of the tart.
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Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Lemon Tart with Macadamia Nut Crust
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
497
Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
23
g
35
%
Cholesterol
 
31
mg
10
%
Sodium
 
169
mg
7
%
Carbohydrates
 
75
g
25
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
57
g
63
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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