Meyer Lemons are probably my favorite ingredient. Luckily, Amy and Doug have a tree that grows more lemons than they can eat. So when Doug came for dinner recently, I unabashedly asked for some of his bounty. He wasn't messing around when he brought 100 lemons. Yipee!
Amy, Doug, Paul and I kicked off the holidays with afternoon of cooking with lemons (and drinking tequila). We made Meyer Lemon Marmalade and gave Patricia Wells' "Lemon Lovers Tart" recipe a try. As we quickly devoured the entire freshly-made tart and licked our fingers clean, we declared the tart yet another winner from Patricia Wells At Home in Provence. I am sure this recipe would be delicious with any good organic lemons, but I cannot imagine a better celebration of my favorite Meyers.
We are going to make this tart again to serve for dessert after our traditional Christmas Eve crab fest. I can't wait.
LEMON PASTRY SHELL
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- Grated zest of 1 lemon, blanched and refreshed
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour (Gluten-Free folks, I used 1 - 1 1/4 cup Pamela's Bread and Flour mix)
- pinch of sea salt (not necessary when using Pamela's)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a nine inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
Stir butter, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon zest, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly add flour to mixture until you have a nice soft dough (the texture should resemble a soft cookie dough). Place dough in greased tart pan and use your fingertips to slowly press the dough around until it covers the bottom and sides of pan.
Bake crust in oven until golden brown - about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Do not remove from pan.
While crust is baking, start to make your filling....
(FYI, the recipe for this crust can be used to make delicious lemon shortbread)
MEYER LEMON TART FILLING
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 large egg yokes, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1 tablespoon slabs
- Zest of 2 lemons, grated, blanched and refreshed
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Get out your double boiler (or nestle a sauce pan above another pan with simmering water). The upper pan should not be touching the simmering water, but should hover over it. Combine eggs, yokes and sugar in upper pan. Whisk until the curd has thickened and is a pale lemon color, 8-10 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of softened butter to curd. Keep whisking until melted. Then add another tablespoon of butter, following this pattern until each tablespoon of butter is melted and incorporated. Add zest and lemon juice. Keep whisking until the filling is thick and custard-like and the first bubbles are appearing on the surface. Do not boil. Immediately pour custard filling into cooled tart shell. Smooth with a spatula. Let custard set for 30 minutes.
We topped each slice with plenty of whipped cream. YUM!
Other desserts you might like: Pear Almond Galette or Fig Galette