Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Meyer Lemon Tart

I have been on the look out for Meyer lemons since reading earlier posts on Canelle et Vanille and Tartelette (please be sure to visit them if you love pastry and beautiful food images). Their desserts are so fabulous that whatever they make I find myself wanting to use at least some element of their work. Last week I was at my local Whole Foods and lo and behold, they had a stack of bagged Meyer lemons! So I bought 2 bags as they were not at all expensive. In the meantime I had borrowed Sunday Supper at Lucques by Suzanne Goin from my library. In it she included a recipe for her favorite Meyer lemon tart. So with Meyer lemons in hand I set out to make her tart.

Meyer lemons are small and not as thick skinned as the more familiar Eureka lemons. They have a floral fragrance that has hints of tangerine in it. The smell is heavenly really. The flavor is slightly sweeter than that of a regular lemon, too.

I got to work cooking the lemon curd according to her recipes. I tasted it as I went, as any good cook would (ha!). The flavor was so bright and delicious. I was very eager to taste the final product. As is normal with lemon curds, cold butter is whisked in at the end to help it thicken and hold its shape. This recipe called for 10 tablespoons. After a few minutes of cooling, the recipe instructed me to pour the curd into a tart crust painted with dark chocolate. I know this sounds unusual, but the lemon-dark chocolate combination is excellent actually. Everything about this recipe turned out very well except the end flavor. All the butter turned the once bright and sparkling flavor of the curd into a flat and disappointing filling. I would very much like to try and remedy this to let the flavor nuances of the Meyer lemons shine through as they should. So perhaps I will continue to experiment. You might look the recipe up yourself to see what you think, taste being the subjective matter it is. In the meantime, my "go to" lemon curd is still my favorite. It is very bright and quite lemony, perhaps bracing to some, but I adore it's bold flavor. Here is the recipe.

LB's Lemon Curd

3 large eggs
3 large egg yolk
zest of 2 lemons
1 c. (8 ounces) fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 c. + 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter (1 ounce), cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces good quality white chocolate (Callebaut, Valrhona, Lindt, etc), chopped

1. In an heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk together eggs and yolks.
2. Gradually whisk in sugar, then juice and zest.
3. Place pan over medium heat and cook lemon mixture, whisking constantly, until light and thickened.
4. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and white chocolate.
5. Strain into a pre-baked tart shell or into a bowl. If in a bowl, place plastic wrap directly on curd and pierce in 2 or 3 places with tip of a sharp knife to allow some heat to escape.
6. Chill completely before serving and store in refrigerator.

note: Refrigerated lemon curd can be dolloped on top of slices of pound or angel food cake, topped with fresh berries. You can gently fold whipped cream into it to make a mousse. You can eat it with a spoon or use it as a filling for cakes, too.


  1. I love Meyer lemons because they have a faint taste of rosemary to me and they add so much to anything!
    Great looking curd recipe Lynda!

    Time to post pictures!! Please!

  2. Did I say that I am no longer working in the food industry??? just WHY is that?? Sounds yummy, Lynda. Do you think it would ship well? Brownies do!

  3. Helen, you are right! I never noticed that before, but the meyer lemon has a definite herbaceous quality to it. Thanks for pointing that out!