When life gives you lemons, make…something sweet.
I’ve always been a big fan of lemons and their pucker power: Lemon meringue was my favorite flavor of pie and Lemonheads were my favorite candy and also one of my favorite bands (hello Evan Dando was HOT!)
Did you catch Johnny Depp in the video trying to upstage Evan? Hot begets hot. But Evan ain’t got nothin’ on my love of Meyer lemons.
Growing up in the mountains with nary a citrus tree in sight, I didn’t discover Meyer lemons until after a trip to Scottsdale, AZ where our friends had a Meyer lemon tree dripping with hundreds of the yellow citrus orbs.
With just one squeeze of its mellow-yellow, sweet lemon juice my tastebuds were doing backflips and I was smitten and itching to cook with them.
Fast forward to moving to Venice, CA and I was off to the Santa Monica farmer’s market to buy my own little tree of lemon love. That beloved tree made the transplant to two different homes and supplied us with plenty of reasons to cook with lemons.
If you aren’t familiar with Meyer lemons, they have the sweetness of an orange and a thinner, silkier skin than you’re regular lemon. And they are juicy. Juice, juice, juice.
Truth be told I was originally intending to make this recipe with blood oranges, testing it out for my mama for Mother’s Day. I made it a few weeks ago for a dinner party with regular oranges but I wanted to see that deep, orange zing. See, years ago I hosted my parents and grandparents for a Mother’s Day brunch and baked my very first cheesecake when Martha’s magazine was just one year old, a blood orange cheesecake. Yes, I am dating myself and yes, I do still have the recipe.
So the quest for blood oranges started and apparently I am out of season. So I made the switcheroo to Meyer Lemons. And I figured a tart would be a tasty option. Get it? Lemon. Tart. Lemon Tart. Duh-dum-dum, I’m here all week people.
And yes, I do still like lemonheads. In both the human and candy form.
Meyer Lemon Custard Tart
adapted from Donna Hay magazine
1 ½ cups flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
meyer lemon filling
1 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
½ cup (4 ounces) meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
candied lemon garnish
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
10 thin slices of lemon
- Combine flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg, vanilla and almond extracts and process until mixture comes together. Remove from food processor and form mixture into a round disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface roll out dough to fit a round tart dish. Prick pastry with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Line pastry with parchment paper and pie weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment and bake for 5 more minutes or until golden.
- In a small saucepan bring sugar and water to boil until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium low and add lemon slices. Cook for 15 minutes and mixture becomes like a syrup.
- Reduce oven to 300 degrees. Place cream, eggs, egg yolks sugar, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Place tart shell on a baking sheet and pour mixture into crust, smooth surface to remove bubbles and gently place candied lemon slices (minus syrup) on top of filling. Carefully transfer to oven and bake for 30 minutes or until set. Cool and refrigerate until set.
Fresh ricotta, apricot oat cookies and insanely colorful blood oranges make up Lemon Fire Brigade‘s Meyer Lemon Curd or as Sarah calls it, A Meyer Lemon Mess
Sweet bits of The Little Kitchen’s Mini Meyer Lemon Bundt Cakes are just the right size to pop in any hungry mouth. Just ask Julie. She disocovered 6 cakes were the right amount for her mouth.
Radhika adds sweet basil seeds to Just Homemade‘s Raspberry Meyer Lemonade for a tapioca feel to her sweet meyer lemon nectar of the lemonade gods
Simple ingredients become a baker’s and eater’s dream with Bijouxs’ stunning Meyer Lemon Bread Pudding
Thanks for the amazing submissions for the next issue of the magazine and if you haven’t sent me your frozen treat for the summer issue of Foodie Crush yet please do!
I’m happy to announce the winner of the $100 Visa Giftcard and Harabu House Giveaway is Lynda M. Congratulations Lynda and thanks for celebrating the blogoversary of Foodie Crush.