Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Meyer Lemon Harvest

I have one small Meyer lemon tree. I'm not sure of it's age but I've had it for four years. Was so excited to find it for I've always wanted to try my hand at citrus.

Of course, on the prairie, it is not winter hardy and so indoors it must come. The first two years that I had it I babied it indoors and put it in my brightest window. It survived but did not thrive. Last year, with the breakfast room and it's walls of windows, the Meyer lemon thrived.

It has grown leaps and bounds this year. In part, I think due to it's winter of light. It often blooms in the middle of winter creating a wonderful fragrance in the breakfast room. That sweet scent that citrus blooms give off.

What to do with my harvest? A lemon tart, of course. A favorite of mine even with ordinary lemons. With the Meyers and a bit less sugar (for they tend to be sweeter than a regular lemon), it was heavenly.

Not a special recipe for a Meyer lemon tart (although I've seen some) but rather my favorite lemon tart recipe -- from the Barefoot Contessa, of course.

Son-in-law Andy pronounced it the best -- second only to his grandmother's lemon meringue pie. That I considered the highest compliment!It is a great tart and a lemon dessert is always a good choice in the winter when other fruits are not at their peak.

Now, what to do with the rest of the lemons? Lemon pot de creme? Lemon sorbet? And, of course, another lemon tart -- one of my favorite desserts!

Meyer Lemon Tart
(Adapted from Barefoot in Paris)

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup plus 3 Tbsp sugar
kosher salt
8 T. unsalted butter, diced
¼ cup ice water

Mix the flour, 3 Tbsp sugar and ½ tsp salt together and place in the freezer for half an hour. Put in a food processor with the butter. Pulse a few times until the butter is in small bits. Add ice water. Pulse again until dough comes together. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and fit to a 9” tart pan (the kind with removable sides), being careful not to stretch. Remove excess dough from around the edges. Butter a piece of foil and place the buttered side against the dough. Fill with beans or rice to hold the shell flat and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Prick bottom of crust with fork. Bake 15-20 more minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.

¼ lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs
3 extra-large egg yolks
¼ cup finely grated lemon zest (6-8 lemons)
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 tsp kosher salt.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time and mix on low. Stir in the zest, juice and salt. Mixture will look curdled. Pour into saucepan over medium-low and cook until thickened (8-10 minutes). Whisk rapidly for a minute or two and DO NOT let it boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Just before serving, pour filling into cooled pie shell.

Note: I used 1 1/4 cups sugar for the Meyer tart.

Ina's Notes:
1. This can be partially made ahead. Store the baked shell at room temperature and the lemon filling in the refrigerator. Assemble and bake on serving day.

1 comment:

Mary Bergfeld said...

Martha, I love the picture of your tree! Ina's recipes are always spot on, so I'm sure the tart is spectacular.