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« tarte au chocolat - creamy chocolate tart with toasted cashews | Main
Wednesday
Jun022010

Tarte au Citron - creamy meyer lemon tart

 

A slice of sunshine!

 

Bonjour!  Simple, refreshing, elegant.... Meyer lemon tart. This was one of my best sellers at my french tart stand at the farmer's market where I sold my tarts for five years. With the hot summer looming ahead, this tart is the perfect light end to any meal or picnic. 

Meyer lemons are actually a cross between a true lemon and a mandarine orange and are native to China. They are slightly sweet and less tart than a regular lemon and have a thin edible rind. Meyer lemons yield more juice than a regular lemon and are too fragile to distribute commercially so look for them in speciality stores or in local markets if you happen to live in parts of Florida, California, or Texas.

Fortunately for me, I happen to live in an area (Florida) where Meyer lemon trees are a backyard favorite. In fact, my friend Mary has many Meyer lemon trees shaped into a hedge. Whenever I need my Meyer lemon fix... I know where to go.  She can set me up. They are so prolific that I can fill an entire large grocery bag full of fragrant lemons and she would never know that I was there. (don't worry...I always get permission and pay her in tarts)

You may use true lemons for this recipe with no problem. The tart will be slightly more tart (a tart tart.) Some people prefer it this way. I always use true lemons for the garnish because the Meyer lemon tends to be larger and not as perfectly shaped or colored.

 


 

10 " Meyer Lemon Tart

5 eggs

2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice (may use regular lemon juice)

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cream

1 pâte sucrée prebaked (basic sweet pastry dough) recipe below

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Crack the 5 eggs into a large bowl and beat well. Add the lemon juice, sugar and the cream and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into a pre-baked 10" tart shell.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the custard is slightly firm with a bit of a jiggle in the center. Pay close attention at this point because even 30 seconds can make the difference between a perfect tart and one that is cracked. It will continue to firm up when it is out of the oven. If you over cook at this point the tart will crack when it cools. But don't worry, you can always decorate the top with berries!

Let cool on a wire rack. Decorate the top by thinly slicing a lemon (with a mandolin if you have one) and cutting the slices in half. Line the edge of the tart with the halves, wide side against the crust, and place a whole slice in the center. Use a lemon without many seeds for this.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill before serving.

 

Pâte Sucrée - basic sweet pastry dough

I use this basic dough recipe for most of my dessert tarts. This dough freezes well so I like to make this dough in a double batch when at home (for the tart business I would make in large batches) and freeze the other one for later use if I'm not using it right away. I figure if you're going to the effort to make pastry dough then you might as well make two... so this recipe is a double. Remember, the key to a successful and flakey crust is to work quickly and keep the dough cold. You want the butter to remain in little pea sized balls throughout the dough for a flakey crust. So our mantra is....cold dough, hot oven!

300 grams flour (2 cups) I like to weigh my flour for more accuracy

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar

14 tablespoons unsalted butter - chopped

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ice water

In a food processor add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse until combined. Add the chopped butter and pulse until the butter is in small pea sized balls. Add the water and pulse until the dough just comes together.

Put the dough out to a floured surface and make into a large mound and cut in half with a pastry scraper. I like to weigh the halves so that they are equal. Put each half onto a square of wax paper and form into a disk. Wrap with the paper and chill for at least one hour.

If you are freezing at this time, then wrap again in foil and freeze. Let dough defrost in the refrigerator before use.

Roll out dough on a floured surface into a 13" circle. Place dough into a 10" tart pan and fold the overhang inward and press gently into the sides. Do not force or stretch the dough because a thin spot may cause the filling to leak. The dough edges should be a little bit higher than the side of the tart pan to help prevent shrinkage. Prick the bottom of the shell with your fork. Press a piece of foil (12"x13") into the edges of the shell and cover with the foil completely touching and covering the entire shell. Chill for at least a half an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Completely fill the foil covered shell with pie weights or dried beans. Put the shell into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and remove beans and foil. Brush the inside of the shell with a beaten egg white to prevent leakage from small cracks. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes and bake until golden brown. Let cool on wire rack.

The shell is ready to fill!

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (21)

Looks beautiful!

06.6.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike

i tried this and it is sooooooo delicious!!! can't wait to try you next one!

06.12.2010 | Unregistered Commenterpat mcelroy

Lisa,
How fun is this! I will share with a lot of friends. I will be hanging on all your recipes and news.
Love to you and a special hug to your mother.
Tina

06.12.2010 | Unregistered CommenterTina

Such delectable talent!

06.14.2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrandpa

Lisa- LOVE your new blog. can't wait to try your tarts at home!!!! Also- great pics. xoxo, evie

06.14.2010 | Unregistered CommenterEvie

Can't wait to try the lemon! I've been hearing about your tarts for years and dying to try one! Since I don't have to worry about my waistline this summer - maybe I'll be trying one every day?! Hope to see you Up North this summer!

06.16.2010 | Unregistered CommenterKacey Finefrock

Lisa ... mmmmm. They look wonderfully tasty! (Link shared by Carol B.) The lemon tart is beautiful - I'll bet it is refreshing ... just what we need in hot, steamy St. Louis. I look forward to reading more. Good luck! Gretchen

06.23.2010 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen

Lisa - My mouth waters with each new tart recipe. Absolutely awesome photos of the tarts and wonderful narrative about your experiences!! I can't wait to try making my first of "Lisa's Tarts!" All my best - Carol B

06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol B

Lisa, Mike showed me your blog and it is so nicely done! I can't wait to attempt one of these delicious tarts! They all look amazing and beautiful. Thanks for being an inspiration!

06.25.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa Johnson

What a great idea this is...and so well done, too!
Love you, Michelle xoxox

06.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Are you selling at the farmer's market currently??
I have no culinary time or talent and definately
want to eat my computer screen after looking
at your site. Please oh where may I purchase!!
Thanks for your beautiful blog.

Nora

06.28.2010 | Unregistered Commenternora

Lisa,
Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog. I tried the Flamiche aux poireaux - it was wonderful. I look forward to your future recipes. The recipe was easy to follow and it was perfect in time as I don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner with the little ones.
Good luck with you blog and thank you. Micki

07.1.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMicki

Lisa,
Your website is incredible! This pictures are amazing and making me very HUNGRY! Now, whenever I want to make a GOOD tart or a friend needs a recipe, we will have to go to your blog!
Keep up the awesome recipes and photos-looking forward to sesonal fall tarts! -Pam

07.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterPam Jones

Lisa,
Your website is incredible! This pictures are amazing and making me very HUNGRY! Now, whenever I want to make a GOOD tart or a friend needs a recipe, we will have to go to your blog!
Keep up the awesome recipes and photos-looking forward to sesonal fall tarts! -Pam

07.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterPam Jones

Lisa,
Your website is incredible! The pictures are amazing and making me very HUNGRY! Now, whenever I want to make a GOOD tart or a friend needs a recipe, we will have to go to your blog!
Keep up the awesome recipes and photos-looking forward to sesonal fall tarts! -Pam

07.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterPam Jones

Lisa!
Nina told me about your blog and I immediately checked it out! It is REALLY FABULOUS! Great job....I can not believe that your tart recipes are posted!!! A treasure of a gift to your readers!!! he only missing ingredients is your love and passion for what you do, so I think I'll stick with having you make them for me!
I will give some of your salad recipes a try though, they look yummy!!!
All my love...
Jessica

02.21.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica James

gorgeous! this just proves that when cooking with good, fresh ingredients you don't need any fluff. saving it to my online cookbook (http://www.cookmarked.com)!

03.28.2011 | Unregistered Commenterbeth

this looks to die for! i used to have a meyer lemon tree at my old house in fremont...oh how i miss those lemons!

03.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrances

Great photo! You must have been dying to use that plate for this shot. It's perfect.

03.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterGenie

Genie - Yea for the perfect plate!

You are definitely the Tart Queen. Can't wait to try this out!
Btw, loooooving your photos!

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