The Meyer lemon, which tastes like a cross between a lemon and an orange, is the star in this rustic, simple tart.
The lemon gets tossed in the blender, skin and all, with some butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. That mixture is poured into a shortening-based pastry then baked up until set. The crust is flaky and tender, the filling is tart, sweet and creamy with a bit of crispness baked in on top. It’s wicked good chilled before eating, but nice warm, too.
The only thing I might do differently next time is add a bit less sugar in the filling.
Pastry Dough (recipe follows)
1 large Meyer lemon, chopped and seeds removed
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
4 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a blender, combine the Meyer lemon, sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs and purée until smooth.
3. Pour the mixture into the tart shell.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, until the filling is set.
5. Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool to room temperature, 3 hours. Serve at room temperature or chilled. The finished tart can be wrapped and refrigerated for 2 days.
Serves 8 to 10
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
1. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the confectioners’ sugar and salt.
2. Rub half of the lard into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Rub the remaining lard and the butter into the flour mixture until pea-sized pieces remain.
3. Sprinkle with the ice water and mix with a fork until the dough comes together.
Note: I did steps 1 through 3 in a food processor. I know ‘by hand’ is meant to be better, but my finished product was delicate and delicious using the machine.
4. On a lightly floured work surface, pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap with plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle. Ease the dough into a 9-inch (2 inches deep) fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. (I found the dough a bit tricky to work with as it came apart a little when I was putting it into the pan. I just used my fingers to press and smooth the scraps of dough into the pan. Turned out just fine.) Trim the overhang. Prick the dough all over with a fork and freeze until firm, 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 375°F.
7. Line the frozen tart shell with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
8. Bake for 25 minutes until the edges are lightly golden. Remove the paper and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until the shell is golden. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
Note to make ahead: The dough can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight, or prepared through Step 5 and frozen for up to 1 month.
Recipes from Food & Wine Magazine
I’m gonna pack up my tart and cart it over to Scotland for today’s music.
Eyes of Others, the new project of John Brydon (previously of Edinburgh band The Machine Room), has a new song which got on my radar courtesy of Scottish Fiction. It’s a lovely slice of soothing electronica.