Paleo Mini Lemon Tarts (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

These paleo mini lemon tarts have an easy press-in crust and are totally honey-sweetened.

You don’t see me posting too many pies or tarts around here. Chocolate cookie crusts I can do and love. But regular crust? I’m not a huge fan. And paleo crusts… ugh. What a nightmare!

I think the issue is that I prefer sugar cookie-like crusts. With lots of white sugar. That doesn’t work for paleo so I’ve been fiddling with this recipe for waaay too long. Everything I tried was either too crumbly, soggy, totally lacking in flavor, or just plain bad.

Easy Honey-sweetened Paleo Mini Lemon Tarts

When I make anything individual like mini tarts, cookies and the like, I bake one by one so that I can make changes to the recipe as I go. I have to haul almost all my flour and other baking ingredients with me from the US to Germany and those ingredients are way too precious to be making a full batch at a time. ;)

I’ve baked more than 100 mini tart crusts, one at a time, over the past few weeks. And I’m over it. I want to go back to cookies. :D

But I’m finally happy with this crust. I used honey in the crust and a little cinnamon to make it taste slightly reminiscent of a graham cracker crust. But please don’t make this expecting it to taste exactly like a regular graham cracker crust! You’ll be disappointed.

If a paleo crust isn’t your thing, try this Gluten-free Lemon Tart from Fearless Dining for more of a traditional crust!

Honey-sweetened Paleo Mini Lemon Tarts

For these mini lemon tarts, I also tried coconut crusts, macaroon crusts, regular crusts and lemony crusts. The lemon curd has such a strong lemon flavor that you couldn’t taste any flavor in the crusts. The crust recipe below was the exception!

To fill the tarts, I used my paleo lemon curd. I thought I’d take a shortcut this time and change the instructions a bit to make it easier but that was a mistake. It tasted weird and took SO long to make. I should have known there was some kind of reasoning for writing up the recipe I did. So be sure to follow it and don’t get creative. ;)

Paleo Mini Lemon Tarts (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

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Rated 5.0 by 5 readers
Paleo Mini Lemon Tarts (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 12 mini tarts

The lemon curd recipe yields enough for 4 teaspoons of curd per tart. If you'd like a more generous portion of curd, double the lemon curd recipe (you'll have some leftover after filling the tarts).

Ingredients

    For the lemon curd:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (80 grams) honey
  • zest of 2 lemons (about 1 tablespoon)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams) refined coconut oil or regular unsalted butter (use coconut oil for paleo / dairy-free)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (94 milliliters) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • For the crust:

  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) refined coconut oil, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (40 grams) honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 grams) blanched almond flour

Directions

  1. Make the curd. Mix together the eggs, honey, lemon zest and salt in a medium non-reactive (ceramic, stainless steel, or nonstick) saucepan or pot. Do not use any reactive (aluminum, copper, iron, and steel) utensils when making this recipe. This applies to any recipe with acidic ingredients.
  2. Heat over medium-low heat and once everything is well-combined, add the coconut oil or butter and continue stirring.
  3. Once melted, stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Cook the lemon curd over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens – about 4-10 minutes. It's ready once the curd coats the back of a spoon and a clear path is left when you run your finger through it. Do not let the curd go over 170 °F (77 °C). Eggs scramble around 185 °F (85 °C) so be careful!
  5. Place a strainer or food mill over the storage container you want to store the curd in. Strain it and then let it cool completely and chill for at least 30 minutes before filling the tart shells.
  6. Prepare the tart crust. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and get out a 12-cup muffin pan. No need to grease it.
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the coconut oil, honey, cinnamon and salt. Add the almond flour and stir until well combined. The dough will be crumbly but should stick together when pinched.
  8. Divide the dough between the 12 molds (18 grams per cup) and press the dough over the bottom and only about 1/4 or 1/3 up the sides.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the sides of the tarts (this makes dislodging them later easier). Let sit for 10 minutes or until they've hardened and are easy to remove. They should pop right out with the help of a knife.
  10. Let cool completely and then place in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes or until firm. Fill with the cold lemon curd (4 teaspoons per cup) shortly before serving. I recommend only filling the crusts a few hours before serving to ensure that the crusts don't get soft. If you want to prepare the crusts ahead of time, don't let the crusts sit at room temperature very long before putting away in an airtight container (they get soft if you let them sit uncovered at room temperature). The lemon curd can be prepared 3 days ahead of serving and refrigerated.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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64 comments on “Paleo Mini Lemon Tarts (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)” — Add one!

  • Choti says
    June 8, 2017 @ 9:01 pm

    Can i use bobs red mill almond flour? I find almond flour a little heavy to digest, does this have a light texture?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Choti
      June 9, 2017 @ 6:17 pm

      Well the crust is like a regular crust. So not light and airy. Bob’s Red Mill is what I used. :)

      Reply
  • Denise Black says
    June 6, 2017 @ 7:03 am

    Loved the lemon curd but my tarts crumbled when I lifted them out after 10 mins . Followed all instructions …any ideas ??? As flavours so good .

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Denise Black
      June 7, 2017 @ 11:06 pm

      Hmm. After 10 minutes, mine just popped right out. If you want to try again, chill them first before removing from the pan and that should firm them up even more. Or, did you use scratched up pans by any chance? I’ve had that issue with scratched up pans. I’m happy they at least tasted good. :)

      Reply
  • Mama Schick
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    May 26, 2017 @ 12:58 am

    It is going to sound weird- but I needed a crust “cookie” and successfully used your crust to create that. After mixing, I took a good handful, smashed it into a ball-ish shape, then pressed and formed them into circles on a parchment lined cookie sheet, sprayed lightly with coconut oil.
    I baked as instructed and let cool. They are soft cookies and perfect to stick in my lemon merengue parfaits.
    I got 6 cookies out of a single crust batch. I might try smaller version in the future and adjust the baking time.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Mama Schick
      May 26, 2017 @ 10:47 pm

      It doesn’t sound weird! It sounds fantastic. :) Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to give that a try because it sounds great. Thanks a ton for your comment.

      Reply
  • Alicia Murray says
    April 9, 2017 @ 2:09 pm

    what did you use for tart molds?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Alicia Murray
      April 10, 2017 @ 5:35 am

      I used a 12-cup muffin pan.

      Reply
      • Alicia Murray replies to Erin
        April 11, 2017 @ 2:53 am

        Thank you. Regular size muffin tins or mini ones?

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Alicia Murray
          April 11, 2017 @ 8:16 am

          I used a standard-sized 12-cup muffin pan.

        • Alicia Murray replies to Alicia Murray
          April 14, 2017 @ 4:00 pm

          Thank you. I am making them today. If I am going to wait awhile before filling the crust, should I keep them in the refrigerator the whole time
          Before filling?

        • Erin replies to Alicia Murray
          April 14, 2017 @ 5:26 pm

          You could refrigerate or leave them at room temp. If you want to prepare the crusts ahead of time, don’t let the crusts sit at room temperature very long before putting away in an airtight container (they get soft if you let them sit uncovered at room temperature). But you still need to chill for about 30 minutes before filling so that the crusts firm up. Hope you’ll enjoy them!

  • Karen says
    March 22, 2017 @ 8:31 pm

    Hi Erin! This recipe looks great but I wanted to know if I could sub the coconut oil with butter in the crust. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Karen
      March 23, 2017 @ 11:03 am

      Hi Karen! I haven’t tried it so I’m not positive. I think it’d probably work with 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon butter but it’s just a guess. I hope you’ll enjoy them!

      Reply
      • Karen replies to Erin
        March 23, 2017 @ 11:20 am

        Thanks, Erin! Am definitely trying this coz I seem to have a lot of lemons …. and this seems much more exciting than lemonade 😍

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Karen
          March 23, 2017 @ 9:47 pm

          Haha. I think it is, too! Hope they come out well. :)

  • Tara says
    November 21, 2016 @ 3:16 am

    Would you recommend coconut flour instead? It’s all that’s available for me at the moment.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Tara
      November 22, 2016 @ 9:44 pm

      Unfortunately, coconut flour’s not interchangeable with any other type of flour as it absorbs so much more liquid. Sorry about that! The only sub for almond flour is other nut flours.

      Reply
  • Yana says
    September 30, 2016 @ 7:08 pm

    I want to make this crust, but as one tart not minis. What alterations do I need? Also, is this okay on a group who won’t notice it’s healthy?hehe thanks!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Yana
      September 30, 2016 @ 7:17 pm

      I really wouldn’t recommend making this crust as a full-sized tart. I don’t think it’d work (but I could be wrong!). It doesn’t taste like regular crust so they’ll probably notice it’s different! I know this isn’t even remotely similar to lemon tart, but a lot of people have said that they actually prefer these paleo chocolate fudge pie last week and the filling tastes just like a regular chocolate fudge pie! Actually, the crust I used there should work for the lemon tarts in a 9″ tart pan. :)

      Reply
      • Hannah replies to Erin
        July 19, 2017 @ 5:09 am

        Is the recipe for the curd enough for one whole tart, though? I am planning on using a different crust

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Hannah
          July 19, 2017 @ 12:37 pm

          The curd recipe yields about 1 cup. I don’t think that’d be enough.

  • Kate M says
    September 20, 2016 @ 8:55 am

    Hi, I’m really looking forward to making these however I wanted to know if the tartlet cases can freeze? Looking to make the cases in advance and freeze them.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kate M
      September 20, 2016 @ 10:18 pm

      Hello! Yes, I think they’d freeze well. I hope you’ll enjoy them! :)

      Reply
  • Eva
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    says
    September 4, 2016 @ 4:18 am

    I made these for a baby shower and they were so delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe. Im most likely going to make these often.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Eva
      September 4, 2016 @ 6:24 pm

      Awesome! I’m so happy to hear that they came out well. :) Thanks a bunch for your feedback!

      Reply
  • Vivi says
    July 22, 2016 @ 11:36 pm

    Why can’t people just follow the GD directions?? You CHANGE THINGS AROUND…you change the outcome…c’mon!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Vivi
      July 23, 2016 @ 8:52 pm

      I think the person below you, if that’s who you’re referring to, did follow directions (or maybe she didn’t – she didn’t answer my question about that!) and just added the butter after they fell apart in the oven. If you mean in general, then YES! Drives me crazy when people leave a bad rating on my recipes although they changed huge elements.

      Reply
  • charlotte fitzhardinge says
    June 25, 2016 @ 12:09 pm

    hi…tried this out, and was very pleased with the curd itself! perfectly lemony with a touch of honey. As for the crust…it completely fell apart in the oven and didnt come out and crumbled. I tried crumbling it and mixing it with butter, but that failed.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to charlotte fitzhardinge
      June 25, 2016 @ 12:14 pm

      I’m happy the curd came out well! What do you mean that the crust fell apart in the oven? I’ve never had that happen with any crust recipe so I’m a little confused. Did you make any subs or changes at all to the recipe? And did you use a muffin pan for the crust or something else? Because if you try it using something other than a muffin pan, I can see there being issues with it.

      Reply
  • Eli
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    says
    June 9, 2016 @ 7:18 pm

    It looks so good! If I made a lemon pie with this crust do you think it would held ok during a week? Since you said one should fill the tart only before eating I wonder if it would be ok.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Eli
      June 9, 2016 @ 7:22 pm

      Thanks! I don’t recommend using this crust for a pie. I haven’t tried it, so it could work, but I’m not very hopeful that it would (I’ve had a bad experience using tart crusts in pie pans!). Do you mean you’d like to make the crust a week ahead of time and then fill before serving? I think it may be okay but I’d recommend making the crusts only a few days before serving, if possible. :) If you mean make the crust and fill it, then no, it wouldn’t be okay for a whole week. I hope you’ll enjoy them if you try it! :)

      Reply
  • Wanda says
    June 4, 2016 @ 4:50 pm

    I am unable to have nut flours or coconut due to allergies. Any other options? Would a gluten free graham cracker work for the crust? Looks heavenly!!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Wanda
      June 4, 2016 @ 6:46 pm

      I think that could work! At least if the graham crackers aren’t all that flavorful. I tried this recipe with so many different crusts and a problem I often had is that the flavor of the crust overpowered the lemon flavor or it just didn’t go very well with the lemon flavor. I hope you’ll enjoy them if you try them! :)

      Reply
  • colleen kennedy says
    May 8, 2016 @ 3:17 pm

    Wow! It sounds & looks like your persistence paid off with the crust! And lemon curd?? Yes please!

    Reply
  • Annemarie
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    says
    May 7, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

    What would happen if I prepared these and froze them? Or refrigerate empty crusts and freeze the curd? I need these in 4 days and I made them today 😁

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Annemarie
      May 7, 2016 @ 8:04 pm

      I’m not sure if the lemon curd would freeze very well due to the eggs. I wrote that the lemon curd can be prepared 3 days in advance but I’m pretty sure 4 or even 5 days is fine. So I’d keep that and the crusts refrigerated (both in airtight containers) until the day of serving. :) I hope you’ll enjoy them!

      Reply
  • Debra A Attinella says
    May 6, 2016 @ 4:16 pm

    Being the lemon lover I am these are definitely going on the must try list!!

    Reply
  • Nutmeg Nanny says
    May 6, 2016 @ 1:07 pm

    You have WAY more patience than I do…haha. No way I could bake so many little tarts just to get it right. I wold probably give up – I’m the worst. However, I’m glad you were able to make it work because these look ahhhhhmazing! Love that shell looks crunchy and that lemon curd – perfection!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Nutmeg Nanny
      May 6, 2016 @ 7:56 pm

      Haha. I was so mad at those crusts. I’m just thankful it’s all over. :D

      Reply
  • Angie | Big Bears Wife says
    May 5, 2016 @ 3:50 pm

    Oh my gosh, I couldn’t imagine having to drag my baking stuff from the US back to Germany! What a pain! are the ingredients here just a ton different from there? Whoo wee and 100 mini tarts? You’ve got more will power than I do because I would have gone bonkers hahaha.
    Glad you finally got a crust that you’re happy with! I think it looks wonderful!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Angie | Big Bears Wife
      May 6, 2016 @ 7:58 pm

      They are totally different! If I make an American cookie recipe with German “all-purpose” flour, it just won’t work. It’s a disaster! We don’t have the same kind of baking powder, no brown sugar, etc. And believe me, I did go bonkers. I just REALLY wanted to post these. :D

      Reply
  • Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama says
    May 5, 2016 @ 2:56 pm

    That is what I call persistence! But it certainly looks like your hard work paid off. ;) These tarts look perfect!

    Reply
  • eat good 4 life says
    May 5, 2016 @ 1:37 pm

    Oh boy these look to die for. I most certainly would devour 3 or 4 at least!

    Reply
  • Kim Beaulieu says
    May 5, 2016 @ 8:54 am

    These are adorable, I could eat a million of these. They’re small so that’s totally acceptable, am I right? I love that you conquered the crust, it looks like perfection. I can’t wait to try it.

    Reply
  • Cathy | Lemon Tree Dwelling says
    May 5, 2016 @ 4:18 am

    Mmmmm….love these little tarts, especially with that crust!

    Reply
  • Lisa | Mummy Made.It says
    May 5, 2016 @ 3:41 am

    I love how these look! It’s Mother’s Day this weekend in Australia and these will be perfect!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Lisa | Mummy Made.It
      May 6, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

      Thank you! It’s Mother’s Day here, too, this weekend. :) Or at least in the US. I have no idea what’s going on in Germany. Haha.

      Reply
  • Charlotte Moore
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    May 5, 2016 @ 2:36 am

    YUM!!! I am a lemon person too. I need to try this crust for the GF, DF family members.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Charlotte Moore
      May 5, 2016 @ 9:48 pm

      I hope you’ll enjoy it! Don’t expect it to be like a regular wheat-based crust, though. Grain-free crusts are totally different. It’s still yummy, though. :)

      Reply
  • Sheila @ Life, Love, and Good Food says
    May 5, 2016 @ 2:32 am

    That’s real dedication! These look perfectly delicious!

    Reply
  • Melissa Griffiths says
    May 4, 2016 @ 11:02 pm

    These look perfect!!! How the heck are you friend. I miss your face!

    Reply
  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says
    May 4, 2016 @ 10:57 pm

    I do the same thing with baking one at a time with tarts/cookies, etc!! I find I waste a lot less ingredients that way. Love these tarts and the honey added to the crust!

    Reply
  • Stephanie says
    May 4, 2016 @ 10:43 pm

    Looks like your hard work paid off. The crust looks perfect!

    Reply

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