Craving Meyer Lemons — Une envie de citrons Meyer

Meyer Lemon Tartlet

I am lucky. I managed to buy Meyer lemons right before the price was going to hit the ceiling! In fact I think that it already happened in view of what I witnessed last Friday at the grocery store. Combien ? (How much?) “Did I read the price tag right?”, I thought when I walked by the basket full of delicious looking Meyer lemons. Of course, with the weather going bananas and killing the Californian lemon crops, I should not be surprised at all. I was only waiting to see it for real in the stores. I was actually not sure what I was going to make with my Meyer lemons when a week ago, I bought my first batch. It did not take me long though to decide. In any case, I really had to come up with something before they went bad, something I would not have forgiven myself for. So I quickly set my mind on a dessert, aware as I was of my recent craving for tartelettes au citron. I had not eaten pâte sucrée for a while either, and thought it was about time to bake some. Last Friday, as a couple of friends came over for dinner, I had a perfect opportunity to fulfill my lemon craving. Besides, I was not really given any choice as when preparing for the evening, they told me beforehand that they were expecting many desserts on the table. It was the price that I was paying for showing so many sweet things on my blog lately. Quelle histoire !


There are literally countless pâte sucrée recipes. I have myself tried many different sweet crusts, some of which I am really happy with, and some others that are only giving me shy satisfaction. This recipe definitely falls into the crème de la crème sweet crust category. Fine, sweet and crispy. Like with any pâte sucrée, working the dough is more delicate yet not difficult at all. I typically like to add almond flour (sometimes hazelnut in it), use French-style butter because it contains less water, and use eggs and all-purpose flour. I also prefer to work the dough by hand as to be successful, pâte sucrée should never be overworked.

But what is new about lemon tart? You might recall others of my lemony desserts, with for example my Blackberry Lemon Tartlets or my Sweet Mini-Bites , and could well be thinking that this recipe is only a mere repeat of previous ones. Maybe they are to some extent. In fact, I find that every single experience remains unique. The tarts are never the same. Besides, I really have a thing for lemon tarts. Je ne résiste jamais (I never resist). This time around, I decided to candy lemon peels to add on top, and preferred to keep the lemon cream simple and plain, without any other fruit. I really wanted to bring out the unique taste of my Lemon Meyers. Punchy and sweet, they are a world of happiness on their own.

So our friends came and we feasted on the meal I had prepared: Fish Ceviche as mise-en-bouche, Avocado Shrimp Grapefruit Millefeuilles as an appetizer, followed by a Sea Bass prepared Japanese style as the main course. Then came the desserts: Miniature Biscuit Baskets filled with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Berries, and my Meyer Lemon Tarts. So did I manage, you may ask? Yes! I successfully had our friends leave on a sugar high, which was one my goals. And they better did! I used my favorite type of lemons for the tarts. Meyer lemons are really that special.

Meyer Lemon tarts

Recipe adapted from The Cook’s Book

(For 6-8 tartlet shells)

You need:

For the Sweet Crust:

  • 8 3/4 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 oz almond flour
  • 5 1/3 oz butter, soft
  • 3 oz confectioner’s sugar

For the Meyer Lemon Cream:

  • 5 Meyer lemons, zest and juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz fine sugar
  • 8 3/4 oz butter, at room temperature

For the Candied Lemon Peels:

  • sugar
  • water
  • 2 Meyer lemons for the peels

Steps:

  • To prepare the sweet crust, sift the flour on a working area. Add the salt in the middle.
  • Add the soft butter and make a crumble with the dough, using the tips of your fingers.
  • Make a hole in the middle and add the confectioner’s sugar and almond flour. Then add the egg, working the dough with the tips of your fingers still. Make a ball with it and place it in plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for a minimum of 2 to 3 hours, if possible.
  • Roll your dough and place it in greased molds. Make little holes with a fork. Cover with pieces of parchment paper covered with weights, such as rice. Cook in the preheated oven at 350 F for about 20 mns.
  • Remove the paper and continue to cook for about 5 to 6 mns.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
  • To make the lemon cream, place the sugar in a large bowl.
  • Grate finely the zest of the lemons and add them to the sugar. Mix with the tip of your fingers.
  • Add the eggs and lemon juice (about 6 oz or 3/4 cup) and whisk well.
  • Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water without touching, in order to thicken the cream. It is ready when it coats a wooden spoon.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool a little before adding the pieces of soft butter. Mix well by hand first until the butter is melted, then with a hand mixer to lighten the cream. It can take a few mns.
  • To make the candied lemon peels, boil the lemon sticks in water for 3 mns, and repeat 3 times (change the water each time). Make a syrup with the same amount of water and sugar mixed together. Bring to a gentle boil and then add the lemon peels. Cook for about 10 to 15 mns, on medium to low heat. Keep an eye on it to prevent burning as there is little liquid.
  • Once the crusts are cold, fill them with lemon cream. Level it and add the candied peels on top. Let cool a little before serving.

Meyer Lemon Tartlet
Le coin français
Tartelettes au citron Meyer

Recette adaptée du livre The Cook’s Book

(pour 6-8 tartelettes)

Ingrédients :

Pour la pâte sucrée :

  • 250 g de farine
  • 1 oeuf
  • 1 pincée de sel
  • 30 g de poudre d’amandes
  • 150 g de beurre mou
  • 90 g de sucre glace

Pour la garniture au citron Meyer :

  • 5 citrons Meyer (zeste et jus)
  • 4 oeufs
  • 220 g de sucre fin
  • 250 g de beurre

Pour les zestes confits :

  • sucre
  • eau
  • 2 citrons pour les zestes

Étapes :

  • Pour préparer la pâte sucrée, tamisez la farine sur un plan de travail. Faites un puits au milieu et ajoutez le sel.
  • Ajoutez le beurre mou et realiser un crumble avec cette pâte.
  • Ajoutez ensuite le sucre glace et la poudre d’amandes. Mélangez du bout des doigts toujours et ajoutez l’oeuf au milieu. Travaillez à peine la pâte pour former une boule. Mettez-la dans du film alimentaire au frigidaire pendant au moins 2 à 3 heures (peut se réaliser la veille).
  • Étalez la pâte et garnissez-en vos moules. Piquez-la avec une fourchette. Garnissez de papier sulfurisé et de grains de riz par exemple, et faites précuire à blanc pendant environ 20 mns, au four préchauffé à 180 C.
  • Enlevez le papier et les poids et poursuivez la cuisson pendant 5 à 6 mns.
  • Retirez du four et faites refroidir sur une grille.
  • Pour réaliser la crème au citron, mettez le sucre dans un grand bol.
  • Zestez finement les citrons et ajoutez-les au sucre. Mélangez bien du bout des doigts.
  • Ajoutez ensuite les oeufs, un à un, puis le jus de citron (environ 175 ml). Mélangez bien.
  • Faites prendre cette crème au bain-marie, jusqu’à ce qu’elle nappe la cuiller.
  • Laissez-la un peu refroidir et ajoutez les morceaux de beurre. Mélangez jusqu’à ce que le beurre soit fondu, et ensuite mixez avec un mixeur plongeur pendant quelques minutes pour l’alléger.
  • Pour réaliser les zestes confits, faites bouillir les zestes dans de l’eau bouillante, pendant 3 mns. Répétez trois fois, en jetant l’eau à chaque fois. Faites-les ensuite confire dans un sirop léger (mélange d’eau et de sucre, même poids) sur feu doux, pendant 10 à 15 mns environ. Surveillez car il n’y a pas beaucoup de liquide.
  • Une fois les fonds de tarte refroidis, garnissez-les de crème au citron. Lissez avec une spatule et mettez les zestes de citron dessus. Laissez refroidir avant de servir.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 69 Comments

69 comments

  1. How right you are. Even when I try to make it the same, it never really is.
    Make as many as you like. I love lemon tart.

  2. Tiens, tu n’es pas une adepte de la cuisson de la crème de citron? Moi si, mais tes photos me donnent envie d’essayer autre chose!

  3. Béa, lemon tart is one of THE great desserts. Your dough sounds wonderful. When we make it, we use recipes for a lemon sabayon and a pine nut crust by Thomas Keller. Also stupendous. We even posted about it.
    Coincidentally, I had the same experience as you with Meyer lemons last week. I saw them at the greengrocer and thought I’d better buy them before the price skyrockets. Perhaps it’s time to make a tart….

  4. Ah, there is something wonderful about lemon in the middle of winter. It brightens up everything around it. And of course lemon tarts are always appropriate! Coincidentally, I posted about lemon today, too.

  5. oups qu’elle est belle moi je suis comme toit je prefere la tarte au citron faite de cette facon…

  6. J’adore les tartes au citron! C’est tellement bon… Et rien que de voir tes photos j’en ai l’eau à la bouche, elles sont magnifiques!

  7. Bea,
    great blog and great recipe (as usual!). One question: what are meyer lemon?!??! this is the second time I read about them in the same week but don’t anything about them!

    Thanks!
    Ales

  8. Fresh, tangy and sweet – just the way I like my dessert. This is a wonderful recipe Bea.

  9. In my childhood, the branches of a neighbor’s lemon tree hung well into our yard and deposited fruit all over the place. I always pitched them out because (to a young kid) the lemons were defective. They had thin skin and a weird color. Their juice was almost orange-like. Of course now I know they were Meyer lemons and I have no access to the tree”s branches anymore as my mom sold her house last year.

    Oh yes, The tarts look delicious!

  10. I shot some blood oranges and just closed my eyes and held my breath when it came time to pay. $1.00 per blood orange. Yeah.. not something you can have a lot of!

    Beautiful shots Bea, as always.

  11. je me vois bien à la place de la fourchette sur la 1ère photo… tellement que je crois que je vais bientôt la faire cette tarte. Restera la photo, il va falloir que je m’applique…

  12. bon en tant que fan de tarte aux citrons, je vais devoir la tester forcément… je te tiens prochainement au courant

  13. I managed to buy a couple too before I never saw them again! I love your new re-design, looks great!

  14. Tragic but true, though I’ve tasted 10s of Paris tarte citron,
    No Meyer lemons for me. I’ve heard plenty about them from friends in San francisco- they never stop going on about them. And I can’t recall seeing them in New York’s fines epicieries?!
    And I too am addicted to lemon.
    I shall have to move to Boston rather than Paris!

  15. How funny. My wife came home from the store today with Meyer lemons. We had a discussion over dinner about what to do with these beauties. Now I think I see some lemon tars in our future.

  16. Tragedy about the citrus crop – I’m glad you managed to snag some lemons and make such a gorgeous tart of them!

  17. your tart is such a nice yellow–cheery and bright. I don’t think I’ve ever had Meyer lemons, you are so lucky!

  18. Aaah, une tartelette au citron… Mon dessert préféré je crois lorsque le goût du citron bien présent…
    Mais quand c’est toi qui la présente, c’est autre chose, je salive d’envie rien qu’en regardant les photos !!

    Amicalement blog,
    Ingrid

  19. oh cette tarte au citron qui me nargue de bon matin… j’en mangerais volontiers, vraiment!

  20. Gorgeous tart! I bought Meyer lemons at the farmers’ market this week– definitely worth any extra cost.

  21. Bea, you’re right, we have a thing for lemon (tart), zesty, tangy and sweet, one of a kind! The filling you made just like gold, beautiful!

  22. They are just so beautiful that I want them all to myself! I wish we could get meyer lemons here in Australia but alas, we are not so lucky :(

  23. Aie aie aie, je ne peux pas rester zen devant ca, non c’est pas possible….c’est juste superbe !!!!!! Immense bravo

    Amitiés
    Claude

  24. Your tarts are beautiful! Your pictures are making me want to do them for the wedding. I know it will be a lot of work, but they are so pretty. Where can you get almond flour and french butter?

    Maria

  25. j’aimerai profiter davantage de ton billet plutôt que de me contenter de baver devant tes photos et lire les recettes version française. Il faut absolument que je m’y mette !

  26. alors la, si tu me prends par les sentiments! J’adore tout e qui est a base de citron mais je dois avouer ne jamis avoir gouter a un citron Meyer. Quelle trisitesse gastonomique! Enfin, il ne faut jamais desesperer!

  27. love that yellow! looks so creamy…and those table linens! had something like those back in Manila, why didn’t i bring them here?

  28. Je suis fan des tartes au citron (et tes photos, elles sont tout simplement sublimes comme d’habitude) et cette recette a l’air parfaite!!! L’étape battre la crème avec le beurre au dessus du bain marie étant remplacée par le mixeur, je sens qu’elle va devenir ma recette de prédilection! Merci!!

  29. Until tonight I had no idea there was such a thing as Meyer lemons. Why are they superior?

    I love your blog, the pictures, the French, the lemons–how fun.

  30. hé hé ! Fan de citron toi aussi ! Fan de citron introuvable aussi à ce que je vois ^^
    J’espère que j’en trouverai un jour en France de ces fameux citron Meyer pour pouvoir ajouter un goût de plus à mon arc !
    A+
    Fred

  31. Très appétissant ! La pâte sucrée ressemble beaucoup à la recette de Pierre hermé, non? La crème citron aussi peut-être … ?

  32. Bea, ta recette est sublime. Et les photos. Je craque. Que sont ces citrons Meyer. Pourquoi les prix ont-ils grimpé? J’imagine que s’il y en a à Boston, il y en aura chez moi. Je veux être prête. Tu vois, tu as vraiment piqué ma curiosité.

  33. Thank you so much for all of your comments! Merci beaucoup à tous pour vos commentaires.

    Yes lemon could become the new chocolate, especially with Meyer Lemons. I like them that much.
    (les citrons Meyer vont-ils remplacer le chocolat?)

    Here is some information for those of you not familiar with Meyer Lemons, with Wikipidiea giving the following details:
    “The Meyer lemon (Citrus × meyeri) is originally from China and thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange or sweet orange. The Meyer lemon was introduced to the United States in 1908 by the agricultural explorer Frank Meyer, an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China. It is commonly grown in China potted as an ornamental plant. It became popular as a food item in the United States after being rediscovered by chefs, such as Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, during the California Cuisine revolution.”

    En français,les citrons Meyer, information d’apres Supertoinette: “Le citron Meyer (Citrus Meyeri) est un hybride naturel d’oranger et de citronnier, son fruit est légèrement orangé et sa feuille délicatement parfumée à la bergamote.”

    PS: Tarzile les prix ont grimpe car le froid a sevi en Californie et a malheureusement ravage les recoles de tous les citrons, oranges etc. Le monde a l’envers quoi!

  34. We love les citrons Meyer. We have used them to make a vin de citron doux (aperitif). Thanks for the reminder, I have to go look for them this weekend.
    Cheers.

  35. Bea, if you were here, I would give you a bag full of Meyer lemons from our tree, just to make these gorgeous tarts. Beautiful.

  36. I live in Brooklyn, NY and i want to get my hands on Meyer lemons but i am told that end of May puts them out of season. Do any of you know where i might procure these little gems?

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  39. I made this filling using regular aussie lemons and it was delicious. zi made a sour cream pastry base – the first time I have made a pastry base – do you trim the sides before you blind bake or after? The one I trimmed sunk but looked more appealing, the one I left and trimmed after didn’t look very neat. Next time I will try your pastry too!

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  42. I really like what you did with meyer lemons. I bought 3 today.I hope I can do something with therm.

  43. What am I doing wrong? The dough was so wet after adding the egg I had to add extra flour just to be able to gather it up. 8 3/4 oz flour, just over a cup? 5.3 oz butter, about 10 tablespoons?

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