I love the flavor of Meyer lemons which have such a beautiful citrus flavor and less acidic than a regular lemon.  For this reason, they are a perfect for this dessert.  The crust of this tart is made with pistachios and has a cookie-like texture. It doesn’t require rolling out which makes it easy to put into the tart shell.  The crust recipe is adapted from Food and Wine and works really well with the lemon and berries.  You can cover the crème pâtissièrie with any variety of berries for a delicious and beautiful dessert.  I made a 4×14 inch pie tart, but you could make the same dessert in a 9″ round pan.  If you make the rectangular version, you will have some leftover crust.

Serves 8

1 4×14 inch fluted tart pan, 9″ round fluted tart pan with removable bottom


for crust:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

for meyer lemon creme pâtissière and berry topping:

  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar , divided
  • pinch salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , room temperature, diced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
  • Meyer lemon zest for garnish, optional
  • handful of pistachios for garnish, optional
  • 2 1/2 -3 cups mixed berries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries
  • 1/4 cup berry jam
  • powdered sugar, optional for sprinkling


for crust:

In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until finely ground. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and sugar until well blended (a couple of minutes) Add the ground pistachios, almond extract and salt until incorporated.  Turn the mixer on low, add flour and beat at low speed until the dough has a crumbly consistency.  Spray your tart pan with cooking spray and gather the dough spreading it evenly on the bottom and up the sides of your tart pan. It should be about 1/4 of an inch thick. (You can use any extra dough to make a couple of mini tarts or just discard). Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.  Preheat the oven to 350°. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork. Bake the crust for about 15 -20 minutes, until lightly golden, then transfer to a cooling rack and set aside to cool completely..

make the lemon pastry cream:

Whisk together egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl until light yellow in color. Combine half and half, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat until bubbles form around the edges and cream is just simmering. Remove from heat. Gradually pour about half of the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. This step is critical as you are tempering the eggs and allowing them to “cook” but not scrambling them.  Whisk tempered eggs into the remaining cream mixture and place back on the stove over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes back to almost boiling and becomes thick and smooth, (coating the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon extract, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter until smooth.  Transfer pastry cream to a clean bowl and cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Place in refrigerator and allow cream to chill completely (about an hour or overnight)

assemble tart:

Once cream is chilled, transfer to the prepared pastry shell and spread into an even layer in tart shell.  Top cream with berries.  Heat jam with a teaspoon of water and with a pastry brush, brush jam on berries to glaze.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and garnish with zest of Meyer lemon and extra pistachios. Store prepared tart in refrigerator until ready to serve.  Enjoy!