Tis the season for meyer lemons, one of my favorite citrus fruits to use in the kitchen. The lemons are actually a hybrid fruit, a combination of mandarins and traditional lemons. They have been cultivated for years, though they have dramatically risen in the public awareness over the past couple of years. The popularity is due to a unique property of these lemons: they have none of the bitterness that most lemons do. This means that a Meyer lemon will seem sweeter and will be able to produce a bright, clean lemon flavor without having to rely on sugar and spices to mask a too-tart/bitter flavor.
Meyer lemons make a great lemon curd, imparting their bright flavor to smooth curd perfectly. Lemon curd makes a lovely no-bake tart filling. See where I’m going with this?
I used a Meyer lemon curd to fill up a prebaked sugar cookie tart crust for a quick and tasty dessert that can easily be made well in advance of any dinner or party that you might wish to serve it at. The curd is silky smooth and very lemony. When refrigerated overnight, the curd actually sets up very nicely inside the tart, so it will slice cleanly and hold its shape when chilled, though the soft silkiness remains. It pairs well with the cookie crust, which does not quite stay crisp, but stays perfectly firm and supportive of the curd.
Meyer Lemon Curd Tart
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained
1 tbsp lemon zest
3 large eggs
2 (large) egg yolks
6 tbsp butter, softened and cut into tbsps
1 9-or 10-inch sugar cookie tart crust
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
In a large bowl, while the sugar is heating, whisk together lemon zest, eggs and egg yolks. When sugar mixture comes to a boil, add very small amounts of it to the egg mixture while whisking continuously to temper the mixture. Add only a few tablespoons at a time and do not stop stirring (firmly, but not too vigorously) until all of the sugar/lemon mix has been added. Transfer egg mixture back to sauce pan and return to stove. Cook on medium heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking frequently.
Remove custard from stove and whisk in butter, adding in one tablespoon at a time. When all butter has been added, cool curd for 15 minutes before pouring into prepared tart crust.
Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours before serving. If storing longer than that, cover tart with plastic wrap when set and completely cool.