This wonderful no bake lemon tart is an ode to all things lemon. The cookie crumb crust is sweet and crunchy, the lemon filling is refreshing and the lemon syrup mirror glaze elevates the dessert to super fancy heights. Additionally, this gluten free no bake dessert is incredibly easy to prepare, and has a dairy free option.
The making of this dessert saw a lot of firsts. The first no-bake dessert (if we take “no-bake” to mean “no oven”, and “raw” to mean “no heat whatsoever”… it’s a science thing, this love for definitions). The first time using gelatine. The first cookie-crumb tart bottom. The first mirror glaze. That last one was completely 100% accidental. And, oh my, do I love such accidents.
And you know what? Despite all the firsts, this no bake lemon tart with lemon syrup mirror glaze turned out perfectly. It’s all things polished and elegant and refined. The cookie and almond crust is sweet and crunchy, and the lemon tart filling is creamy with the slight sharpness from the lemon juice making it pleasantly refreshing. The lemon syrup mirror glaze brings this wonderful no bake dessert together with the slight bitterness from the lemon zest.
If that’s not quite enough to convince you, let me tell you this: this no bake lemon tart is super easy to prepare! There’s nothing complicated about it. And if the words “mirror glaze” make you want to hide under your kitchen counter: fear not! It really really couldn’t be simpler. Don’t believe me? Then consider this: how difficult is it to dissolve some sugar and honey in water, add lemon slices and boil until reduced in volume, and then add a bit of gelatine at the end? Not difficult at all. And that’s all there is to it. OK? OK.
Even better, this no bake lemon tart is gluten free and has a dairy free option with only a few straightforward substitutions! Talk about super fancy and absolutely delicious allergy friendly baking.
I know that, at least in the UK, the summer seems very far away. Extremely far away. Infinitely so. … You get the picture. So make this no bake lemon tart with lemon syrup mirror glaze. Pretend it’s too hot outside to turn the oven on. Imagine clear blue skies and blinding sunshine and a gentle breeze in the air. You need something refreshing, don’t you?
But you won’t be boring or predictable. Lemonade is far too mundane for you. Instead, if life gives you lemons… or even if you have to specifically buy them just for this (because you totally should)… you’ll make this no bake lemon tart. And you’ll conquer the feared mirror glaze. And most importantly, you’ll ignore the thing-that’s-supposed-to-be-some-kind-of-weather outside of your window.
P.S. Look, measurements in both grams and cups! I’m so proud of myself. *wipes a tear*
- 100 g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) crumbs of your favourite gluten free cookies, such as GF graham crackers (USA) or GF rich tea biscuits (UK)
- 100 g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) ground almonds
- 30 g (1/4 cup) icing/powdered sugar
- 100 g (5/8 cup) melted butter or coconut oil (for dairy free option)
- 75 g (5/8 cup) icing/powdered sugar
- 15 g (1/8 cup) cornflour
- 4 egg yolks
- 100 mL (1/2 cup, 3 – 4 lemons) lemon juice
- 200 mL (1 cup) milk, divided (dairy or non-dairy for dairy free option)
- 3 leaves (5 g, 0.2 oz) gelatine (use either the standard gelatine or the equivalent amount of the vegetarian version)
- 250 mL (1⅛ cups) water, divided
- 100 g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
- 70 g (1/4 cup) honey
- 1½ lemon, cut into slices
- 1 leaf (1.5 g, 0.05 oz) gelatine (use either the standard gelatine or the equivalent amount of the vegetarian version)
- round cake pan with removable bottom
- baking/greaseproof paper
- blueberries for decoration (optional)
- Prepare a round cake pan with removable bottom by lining its bottom with baking/greaseproof paper
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until everything is evenly distributed. The mixture should be crumbly but should hold its shape when squeezed.
- Transfer the crust mixture into the round baking pan and press it down until you get a compact even layer.
- Refrigerate for at least ½ hour.
- In a bowl, combine together icing/powdered sugar, cornflour and egg yolks. Mix until you get a smooth paste.
- Slowly add in lemon juice, whisking constantly. Whisk until you get an even mixture.
- Add ½ of the milk of choice.
- Cook the mixture above a pot of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water!), whisking or stirring constantly, until the mixture starts thickening (5 to 10 minutes).
- When the mixture starts thickening, continue stirring above the simmering water for a further 1 minute, then set aside. Stir occasionally to prevent "skin" formation on top.
- Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes (or follow the instructions on the gelatine packaging).
- After 5 minutes, squeeze out excess water and add the re-hydrated gelatine leaves to the remaining ½ of milk.
- Heat the milk-gellatine mixture until hot.
- Add the hot milk-gellatine mixture to the lemon tart filling and mix thoroughly until you get a silky, smooth, pourable mixture.
- Pour the lemon tart filling onto the cookie crumb crust.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Combine 200 mL (1 cup) water, caster sugar, honey and lemon slices in a pot and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove the lemon slices.
- Boil the remaining liquid until significantly reduced in volume and syrup-like in texture. Be careful not to burn it – after most of the water evaporates, caramelisation starts.
- While the syrup is reducing is volume, soak the gelatine leaf in cold water for 5 minutes (or follow the instructions on the gelatine packaging).
- After 5 minutes, squeeze out excess water and add the re-hydrated gelatine leaf to 50 mL (1/8 cup) water and heat until hot.
- Add the water-gelatine mixture to the lemon syrup and mix until evenly distributed.
- Allow the lemon syrup mirror glaze to cool until warm.
- Remove the lemon tart from the fridge and allow it to get to room temperature (takes 10 to 15 minutes). Do not remove in out of the cake pan.
- Pour the warm lemon syrup mirror glaze on top of the lemon tart, so that a level, even layer forms. (If the mirror glaze has cooled too much to be pourable, re-heat it slightly.)
- Return the tart to the fridge for at least ½ hour to allow the mirror glaze to set.
- After ½ hour, remove the lemon tart from the fridge and remove it from the cake pan.
- Decorate with blueberries (optional).
- Serve and enjoy!
- The no bake lemon tart keeps well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days (but it will disappear much, much quicker.)
Looking for more baking that doesn’t require an oven? I’ve got you covered!