The other day I was in the grocery store, and they were having a sale on Meyer lemons! I’d heard so much about them, how they had a distinctly floral kick to their lightly lemony flavor, and had wanted to try them but never gotten the opportunity– so the fact that they were on sale when I’d be stuck inside for a while seemed like fate!
I immediately knew that the first thing I wanted to make was a lemon tart– one of those whole-lemon tarts where you throw in the whole thing, skin and all, because I figured that it would make the best use of the lemon. I settled on another Smitten Kitchen recipe, which ordinarily would be nothing unusual, but this time was different– I’d actually tried this recipe years ago and it was a disaster. The supposedly unshrinkable tart crust shrank, the filling baked up with a pool of butter on top, and it was just generally bad. Luckily, it appears that other people had the same issue and Deb tweaked the recipe to address the issues.
I carefully followed the new recipe, taking a few precautions to keep the crust from shrinking, and this time the tart turned out much better. The crust was tasty, the filling baked up just fine, and overall it was a nice dessert. That being said, like Deb I think I’d prefer this with a regular lemon rather than a Meyer lemon– I missed the puckery tartness you get with regular lemons, though I do appreciate the slight bitterness from the peel.
Anyway, I’m glad I tried the recipe again, and it made for a lovely springtime dessert for someone stuck inside for the foreseeable future!
Meyer Lemon Tart (from Smitten Kitchen)
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) flour
1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces or 130 grams) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, beaten
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine dry ingredients and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse a few more times to break it up into pea-sized pieces.
- Add beaten egg to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until the dough just starts to come together into lumps.
3. Tip out dough onto a lightly floured board and pat together into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours before rolling out.
4. Roll out dough and line a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan, letting the sides hang over slightly– this way the crust won’t shrink down beneath the edge of the pan. Press a sheet of foil into the dough-lined pan and freeze for at least an hour. When ready to bake, add pie weights and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
5. Parbake crust by baking at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
1 average-sized lemon (about 4 1/2 ounces; 130 grams)
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons (14 grams) cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon table salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Thinly slice lemon and remove any seeds. Add to food processor with sugar and butter. Pulse until smooth.
- Add eggs, cornstarch, and salt and process until smooth. I will note that my filling looks curdled because the cold eggs made the butter seize up– it baked up fine, but the surface wasn’t as smooth as it could have been. You can probably remedy this by having your eggs at room temperature, which is why I put it in the recipe above.
4. Pour filling into pre-baked crust and bake for about 30 minutes, until center of tart barely jiggles.