Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Meyer Lemon Tart

One of the things I love most about living in California is the ability to walk out to our garden and pick fresh citrus during the middle of Winter!
We have a Meyer lemon tree and it is *wonderful*.
Meyer Lemon Tart

Last year I attempted to make this tart and it was a fail. We didn't properly plan for a freeze and the lemons were ruined. I tried to use them anyway and it just did not work.
This year though... we prepared for the freeze. So, this tart is a year in the making!

Tart dough (recipe from David Leibovitz, I recommend reading his recipe on his site - it's funny)
90 g (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
150 g (5oz, or 1 slightly-rounded cup) flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 410ยบ F 
  2. In a medium-sized ovenproof bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.
  3. Place the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.
  4. When done, remove the bowl from oven (and be careful, since the bowl will be hot and the mixture might sputter a bit), dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula OR transfer the dough to your mini tart pans. It doesn't matter the size of your tart pans. Save a raspberry size piece of dough and set it aside.
  6. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with the heel of your and, and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. 
  7. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork about ten times, then bake the tart shell in the oven at 410F for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bit of reserved dough to fill in and patch them.
  9. I find it best to pinch off a small amount of the reserved dough, roll it gently between your fingers to soften it, then wedge it into the cracks, smoothing it gently with your pinky.
  10. Let the shell cool before filling.  
Lemon Cream from Pierre Herme

200 g whole eggs (which is about 4 eggs)
240 g granulated sugar
160 g fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
zest from about 4-5 lemons
300 g unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed (I used 1 1/2 sticks butter which is less)

  1. Rub the zest with the sugar using your finger until the sugar is moistened with the lemon zest.
  2. Next, preferably on a double boiler, combine the sugar, eggs and the lemon juice.
  3. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches about 185F. You must do continue stirring as this keeps the eggs from scrambling.
  4. Strain the mixture into the blender and let cool to about 155F. 
  5. In the blender, add the butter a couple of pieces at a time.  The mixture will lighten in color as you blend.. Continue running the blender for several minutes until it is light in color and airy. 
  6. Pour the mixture into prepared crust and refrigerate.
  7. Served cooled. Tastes best served the same day.


I reduced the amount of butter for the lemon cream by almost a stick and I couldn't even tell... 
I think that it made it a bit more tart compared to the original (had the original in Paris!)

This tart was nice and refreshing. It is nice balance of tartness and sweetness. I do suggest using Meyer lemons and not substituting for "regular" lemons. 
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