Love and Olive Oil

Meyer Lemon Macadamia Nut Tart

Meyer Lemon Macadamia Nut Tart

I’m not usually a lemon kind of girl. Dessert, to me, is chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Fruit tarts, lemon bars, and fruity crumbles on restaurant menus will always be skipped over in favor of the rich chocolate cakes and caramel custards. Maybe I’m missing out, but I’m never disappointed.

To be honest I was quite tempted to turn this into a chocolate lemon tart. An unusual combination, maybe, but it sounded intriguing and certainly more my style than plain old lemon.

However, I felt that my last precious Meyer lemons of the season deserved a more fitting send-off, a tribute that highlighted their vibrant yellow color and tart-sweet flavor, instead of being drowned in chocolate.

Meyer Lemon Macadamia Nut Tart

I’ll admit, this tart satisfies even the most devout chocolate-lover. It’s delightfully tart and lusciously creamy. I added a bit of a twist with the macadamia nut shortbread crust, which adds a buttery richness that compliments the vibrant lemon filling perfectly. Not to mention it circumvents the need for a temperamental pastry crust.

Granted, I probably won’t make a habit out of replacing my beloved chocolate desserts with lighter, fruitier ones, but in this case, it was a nice change of pace.

Meyer Lemon Macadamia Nut Tart

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For Crust:

  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

For Filling:

  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh Meyer lemon zest (from 4 to 5 lemons)
  • 2/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 4 to 5 lemons)
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream, chilled


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. To prepare the crust, place macadamia nuts in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Add flour and sugar and pulse until combined. Sprinkle cubes of butter over top. Pulse until just combined; drizzle in water and pulse one or two more times or until evenly moistened. Dough will be crumbly, but should come together when pinched with your fingers.
  3. Dump dough into a 9-inch-round or 4-by-15-inch rectangle tart pan with removable bottom. Firmly press dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.
  4. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk in the sugar until combined, followed by the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Add the butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 170 degrees, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and into a heat-proof bowl; stir in the heavy cream.
  5. Pour the filling mixture into the warm tart shell. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center jiggles slightly when shaken, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Filling recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. That filling is PHENOMENAL!!! I made it for a friend so I only got to taste some extra filling but I imagine the whole thing is great! Definitely making again!

  2. Could I cook them in individual spring form tat shells?

    • Of course! Not sure about quantity or how many you’d get (it’d depend on the size of the tart pans) and you’ll likely need to adjust the bake time depending on how thick they are.

  3. Reading farther down, a paper doily stencil apparently was used to create pattern with sugar on the top. Can you give more instructions? Didn’t the paper stick? Confectioners sugar i assume? It must have been very solidly set when you decorated. It’s gorgeous!

    • I simply laid the doily down on the tart and dusted the sugar over top. Once it’s baked the top forms a ‘skin’ and isn’t that sticky, but I was sure to put the paper on very gently and didn’t press it down at all to prevent it from sticking.

  4. Hi Lindsay, this lemon tart looks absolutely divine. I am going to try making this and I had a question, the heavy cream did you whip it or use it in its liquid form? Looking forward to your response.

  5. Made this and it was delicious. I refrigerated the crust before I baked it . The crust was perfect.

  6. This is the best tart I ever made!!! Thanks a ton for sharing this recipe. Just one quick question, I have run out of macadamia and I so want to make this again. What else can I use for the crust? Pls help.

    • Thanks for sharing, so glad you enjoyed it! And you could easily substitute any other finely ground nut in the crust. I think almonds or pecans would be divine. :)

  7. Lemon tart is my absolute favorite! Yours looks beautiful.

  8. Wow.  This is beautiful really. Such art in food. Would definitely share this! Thanks!

  9. This recipe looks fabulous! I adore Meyer lemons & have a tree in the yard but fruit won’t be ripe until January. But I will mos def be trying this as soon as I can buy Meyers…Your interpretation is very pretty…

  10. Wow…this is quite literally the most gorgeous lemon tart I have ever seen! STUNNING! You are seriously an amazing photographer. And chef. This is one I will definitely make!

  11. Thank you so much for this recipe! I just made it tonight for an Easter dinner and it was D I V I N E and just as beautiful as it is in your picture. It is definitely a keeper recipe that I’m sure I’ll be going back to. Thanks again! :)

  12. Thank you very much for the recipe Lindsay! I tried it last week, with minor changes, and the result was awesome!!
    Actually, it has become the first post of my brand new blog:

  13. Your tart looks absolutely stunning, such a gorgeous sunny yellow colour :) I bet it tastes divine too!

  14. Gorgeous, Lindsay! I’m a chocolate lover, too…will always go for the chocolate, caramel, coconut and nut desserts over fruity ones. But, I’m down for “lusciously creamy” any day of the week!

  15. I’m a sucker for lemon desserts and this looks right up my alley! Super nice :)

  16. Meyer lemon curd is a favorite of mine. This is beautiful. I love the way you sprinkled the powdered sugar. Very pretty!

  17. I am never the one for lemons in desserts but man oh man! that is the prettiest dessert I have seen in a long long time!. So fresh and inviting…

  18. This is STUNNING. Geez. I love how you used paper doilies to decorate the top. I am also totally a chocolate dessert kind of girl, but am currently working my way through a box of meyer lemons.

  19. Love lemons! I baked lemon meringue cupcakes the other day – and sorry, I always choose lemon and fruit cakes before chocolate :-) Love how you decorated the cake with the powder sugar!
    Best regards, Ulrika

  20. I love the way you decorated the dessert with a doily stencil, so pretty!

  21. You are speaking my language! Fruit will never replace chocolate for me, but a nice lemon dessert is so refreshing sometimes. This looks absolutely wonderful!

  22. I’m like you. I’ll choose something chocolaty 9 times out of 10. But, I could definitely see choosing this as my exception. Looks delicious Lindsey! The photographs are stunning.

  23. I am obsessed with meyer lemons! The only way I use them is in lemon tarts :P

  24. This looks amazing! I’m a total chocoholic, as well, but I know I’d love this. I love your design with the confectioners’ sugar!

  25. This tart looks divine. I love chocolate, but I adore anything lemon. It’s hard to choose between the two.

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