I know you have had lemon bars before (if you haven’t tried my recipe it’s a must - you will love it) but wait until you try this tart mango tart or bars. You only need 7 ingredients to make them. The mango curd filling does not need to be cooked. Just mix or whisk. It’s thick and creamy and sits on an irresistible buttery shortbread crust that gets pressed into the pan and baked off. The whole desserts scream of summer. Not too sweet thanks to the lemon which gives it a light tartness and it just lifts the flavor of the mango. Slightly tart simple and perfect for picnics, bake sales, spring brunches, and always a hit at baby and bridal showers. They also freeze well and too! This recipe also does double duty - here you see pictured a tasty tart but this exact recipe can be made into bars too. Love a versatile recipe like that.
Only 7 Ingredients in these Lemon Bars: Let’s talk Ingredients.
- Butter: Melted butter is the base of the shortbread crust.
- Flour & Sugar: Sugar sweetens the crust. Flour is used in the short bread crust as well.
- Condensed milk: Gives the filling its sweetness and its creamy texture.
- Lemon zest or Vanilla Extract: I often use ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract or lemon zest in the shortbread crust. Either or add a tasty hint of flavour. Both are optional but it’s always fun to experiment
- Salt: A little goes a long way - it balances the sweetness of the crust
- Eggs: Eggs are most of the structure. Without them, your filling would never set.
- Lemon Juice: I highly recommend using lemon juice squeezed from fresh lemons. You can also use another citrus like blood orange, grapefruit, or lime juice.
How to Make Tart Mango Bars:
- Make the crust: Mix all of the shortbread crust ingredients together either using a food processor, pastry cutter or your fingers, then press firmly into a 8x8 inch square pan or a 9 inch round pan preferably with a removable bottom.
- Pre-bake: Pre-baking the crust until the edges start to get golden ensures the tart/ bars will hold up under the filling.
- Prepare the filling: Whisk all of the filling ingredients together. No cooking required! Yay!
- Bake: Pour the filling on the warm pre-baked crust, then bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the center is just about set.
- Cool: I usually cool the tart or bars for about 1 hour at room temperature, then place the whole pan in the refrigerator for 1-2 more hours until relatively chilled. This helps them set better and makes the bars/tart slice beautifully.
- Serve: I like mine chilled but you can allow the tart or bars to come to room temperature. I love my bars dusted with powdered sugar and my tart too or I like to dollop whipped cream over it and garnish with some tropical fruit. Your choice though! Enjoy!
If you like this tart mango lemon bar or tart recipe with its crisp, buttery crust and creamy mango lemon curd like filling, you will also love these:
For the crust
- 1¼ cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 10 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ½ tsp lemon zest or vanilla extract (both optional for a tad extra flavour)
For the filling
- 4 egg yolks
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (aprrox. 1 cup)
- ½ cup puree (from approx 2 mangos)*
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 Teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
For serving (all optional):
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Dollops of whipped cream
- Fresh fruit for garnish: mango, kiwi, passion fruit
For the crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Grease a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom or line an 8 x 8 square baking pan with parchment paper then spray with nonstick spray.
- In the bowl of a food processor add the flour, the lemon zest or vanilla if using, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. (Whisk together if making by hand)
- Add the butter and pulse until the dough comes together. (Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to break up the butter and coat it with the flour - until it starts to easily clump together when pressed - if making by hand)
- Empty out the dough from the food processor into the pan and gently press the dough into it pan evenly. For the bars you would press into in an even layer and for tart you would press it into the bottom of the pan evenly and up the sides.
- Bake 15-18 minutes or until edges start to get golden. Don’t worry if it puffs up a bit you can easily just pat it down with a spoon if needed when it comes out of the oven.
- While the crust is baking, make the filling.
For the filling and assembly
- Add yolks to a medium size mixing bowl and whisk or beat with a mixer until yolks are light, creamy and smooth
- Μix in the condense milk on low speed
- Then the mango purée along with the lemon juice and zest and vanilla if using.
- Once crust is baked, carefully remove it from the oven, pour filling into warm crust and bake another 15-20 minutes or until mostly set. It’s ok if the center has slight movement or a jiggle to it.
- Remove bars/ tart from the oven and cool completely at room temperature on rack. I cool them for about 1-2 hours at room temperature, then pop it in the fridge to chill and set well for 1-2 more hours. I recommend serving chilled.
- Once cool, lift the parchment paper out of the pan using the overhang on the sides. Or remove the outer tart ring. Dust with confectioners’ sugar or dollop with whip cream and cut into squares or slices before serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean between each cut. Cover and store leftover lemon bars in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- If you would like to make this tart or these bars with a simpler cookie base that is totally doable: 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (or digestive biscuits or ginger snaps would work here too), 2 tbsp sugar, 6 tbsp butter, melted. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Or evenly in one layer if making into bars in 8X8 pan. Bake for 7 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside. Them proceed with filling and baking as above.
- Freezing Instructions: These bars or tart can be frozen for up to 3-4 months. Slice cooled bars/tart (without topping) then place onto a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. Individually wrap each piece in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place into a large bag or freezer container to freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator, then dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
- How to purée mango: Add the flesh to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- White Air Bubbles on Top of Baked Lemon Bars: If you notice some of the air bubbles surfacing, that is completely normal. It’s the air from the eggs rising to the surface. Some batches have it, some don’t. Regardless, the lemon bars taste the same and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or whipping cream covers it right up!