Raw lemon tartlets

For the last week and a half I’ve been home alone. My husband went on a golfing trip with his dad and brother, and to say I miss him would be an understatement. When you get used to living with someone and you look forward to seeing him after a long day at work, it’s very disconcerting to come home to an empty house. There is this strange silence that seems to fill the space in an unfamiliar way.

The unusual part is my lack of interest in food or spending time in my favourite room in the house—the kitchen. I never realized how much my joy of cooking and baking revolved around not just feeding myself, but others as well. My husband is often my inspiration when I plan and prepare meals. It makes sense though, considering I never cooked when I was living on my own. My fridge was always empty, aside from a head of lettuce and a few apples. Pretty sad, eh?

These days, I look forward to creating full, nourishing meals, and satisfying my husband’s sweet tooth with homemade goodies along with a hot cup of tea. I think he’ll be happy to see these cute lemon tartlets waiting for him when he returns tomorrow.

Raw Lemon Tartlets | A Dash of Compassion

The lemon curd filling took a bit of researching and testing, but thanks to this recipe I had a base to work with in order to get it just right. Do you want to know the secret to the perfect raw lemon curd? It’s lemon peel—the stuff you would normally throw away after juicing and zesting lemons. Hannah discovered that if you dehydrate it and then grind it into powder, it makes the perfect natural gelling agent. It’s the peel’s large amount of pectin, a substance typically used to set jams and jellies, that contains the jellifying properties. Unlike commercial brands of pectin, this version isn’t heated at high temperatures, chemically treated or mixed with sugar. To me, this is yet another raw food miracle.

This tartlet recipe begins with tiny crusts (I found my 2-inch tartlet tins at a local dollar store) that are dehydrated for a few hours to keep them stable. Then, once you’ve got the dehydrated and ground lemon peel ready, the lemon curd filling comes together easily. A short time in the fridge to set and the outcome is a pretty summer treat that is fresh and tangy with a slight bitter edge. This recipe makes about 16 tartlets. Enjoy!

Raw Lemon Tartlets | A Dash of Compassion


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Raw lemon tartlets

Yield: 16 tartlets



    • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats
    • 1/2 cup raw almonds
    • 1 tbsp flax seeds
    • 3/4 cup chopped dates, soaked until soft

Lemon filling:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dehydrated and ground lemon peel (see notes below)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt



    1. Grind the buckwheat groats, almonds and flax into a fine flour using a spice grinder.
    2. Put the flour mixture into a food processor and add the dates. Process until the mixture is well combined and forms into a wet dough ball. If it doesn't, add a tablespoon of water.
    3. Cut out small pieces of plastic wrap and place them in the bottom of mini tart tins.
    4. Form small balls with the dough mixture using your hands and flatten them into thin disks that are large enough to cover each tart tin. Press them into the bottom of each tart tin and cut off any excess around the edges. Place the tarts on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 110 degrees for 2 hours. Carefully remove the tart crusts from the tins and remove the plastic wrap. Put the crusts back on the dehydrator tray and dehydrate for another 2 hours. The crusts should be firm but still flexible.

Lemon filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes with the bowl sitting in a larger bowl of warm water.
  2. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer and discard the remnants.
  3. Fill the crusts (recipe above) with the strained lemon mixture and refrigerate for about 2 hours to set. Store tarts uncovered in the fridge until ready to serve.

Simply peel 1 lemon, cut the peel into pieces and dehydrate at 110 degrees overnight, or until crisp. Grind the peel into powder using a spice grinder. Store in a sealed container.



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17 Responses to “Raw lemon tartlets”

  1. Heidi @ Food Doodles — May 8, 2011 @ 1:21 am

    How interesting about the lemon peel! I'm going to try that for sure. I always have a ton of lemons in the house :D
    Your tartlettes look beautiful :)

  2. Sasha — May 8, 2011 @ 2:07 am

    These looks amazing. I love the taste of lemon. What an amazing idea to dehydrate the peel. Just love the look of it. Lucky hubby.

  3. bitt — May 8, 2011 @ 4:56 am

    These are so cute. It makes me want to get even smaller tart pans. Cute.

  4. Nadia — May 8, 2011 @ 7:21 am

    The lemon peel info is a total blast! Thanks for sharing :) And your tartlettes look delicious! :)

  5. Pure2raw twins — May 8, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

    Perfect spring treat!! Love lemon!! And good to know about the lemon peel, pretty cool

  6. DandelionRoots — May 8, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    These look delicious!
    Is there any way I can get a ground lemon peel faster than dehydrating it? Because these will go perfect with the lemon cake I made my mother for today (plus, I'd rather have something raw!)

  7. Hannah @ A Foodly Affair — May 8, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

    Yay! I get so excited when I find out that others have tested and built upon my basic ideas & recipes.

    Your tartlets look divine; I will have to try your version for myself.

    Awesome work & thanks for making my day, Nicole!

    H :)

  8. Joanna — May 9, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

    These little cuties look amazing. Can I have a bite?

  9. Junia — May 9, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    ahhh these look adorable, heavenly, AND healthy!!! love it!

  10. Mihl — May 12, 2011 @ 7:55 am

    I totally get your changed attitude towards cooking. When I cook for myself my meals are very simple and often boring. When I cook for others they are completely different.

    I can get lemon pectin here, I would never have thought of making it myself. What a great idea. And the tatlettes are really beautiful!

  11. Nicole — May 14, 2011 @ 2:54 am

    DandelionRoots: I apologize for not answering your question in time for Mother's Day. No, I don't think there's anyway around it. Dehydrating and then grinding the peel helps it to dissolve and jellify the lemon mixture.

    Hannah: Thanks for the inspiration. I'm glad I made your day! :)

  12. mandi — May 14, 2011 @ 3:12 am

    These are so cute! I need to make these. Is that a bite taken out of the front one? I would totally do that.

  13. barefoot_and_frolicking — May 18, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

    these are gorgeous – I love the idea to halve the nuts and use buckwheat groats. Beautiful!

  14. Joyce — June 2, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

    I rarely have more than one or two lemon peels at a time, not enough to fire up the dehydrator, but I throw my citrus fruit peel and apple peels and cores into a bag in the freezer to use later for a room freshner. I just add cinnamon and pickling spice and lots of water in a big pot and let simmer all day, adding water as needed. Now, I'll have another use for that lemon peel. What about orange, grapefruit, and lime peel?

  15. Nicole — June 3, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

    Joyce: What a fantastic way to use your fruit peels! I'm going to have to try that. I'd imagine other citrus fruit peels would work for this recipe, but I haven't try them myself. Let me know if you do!

  16. Vanessa — March 22, 2015 @ 11:21 am

    Can I use the oven at a low temperature since I don’t have a dehydrator? These look awesome!

    • Nicole — March 22, 2015 @ 7:13 pm

      I’ve never tried it in an oven but I imagine that would work. Alternatively, you could probably just freeze the tart crusts until hard before filling them. I hope you enjoy them, Vanessa!

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