let’s start with a little baking: I managed to buy meyer lemons – and they were on offer! – and I cannot tell you how pleased I was. I must have seemed a little fanatic in the supermarket when I found these, and it was serendipitous for I had already decided on baking a whole lemon tart, and resigned myself to using typical lemons (apparently known as eurekas). these smell lovely, genuinely a mix between mandarins and lemons, and I couldn’t stop going around getting everyone to rejoice with me in their sheer loveliness.
and of course, they worked a treat in the whole lemon tart. thin-skinned and more complexly fragrant, they baked up into a buttery and very tasty lemon tart that I was happy to bring to a party with friends. this is a one-bowl smitten recipe, which really tells you all you need to know – punchy lemon flavour, easy enough to make, and impressive in result.
I did have one problem with the baking though – quite a bit of butter flowed over while baking and started dripping over the edge of the pan (so remember to line the bottom of your oven) but I read that many people had similar issues, and so it must be a recipe quirk. it turned out well though – there was a veritable browned crust over a firm and tasty middle over a deeply buttery crust that stood up very well.
if you get the same issues with the butter as I did, you can console yourself that whatever came out isn’t going into your body, which means less guilt and more tart; and these are almost a health food – what with the pith and fibre of the whole fruit! give this a try if you get hold of those elusive meyers (they have an exceptionally short import window here in singapore), and if you like lemons and citrus as much as I do, these are a must-try.
whole lemon tart (adapted from smitten kitchen)
crust for a 6″ tart – I used a half measure of this smitten recipe
65g of meyer lemons
57g butter, in cold chunks
1 tbsp (7g) cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
- prepare your tart dough, and roll/press it into a 6″ loose-based tart pan. fold in the overhang and pierce the bottom with a fork. freeze the dough in the pan for at least 30 minutes – I did this the night before. .
- the next day, preheat your oven to 190C. butter a square of aluminium large enough to cover the tart on the shuny-side, and press it tightly against the crust. bake for 20-25 minutes. carefully remove the foil, and bake the crust for 5 more minutes. remove and cool completely on a rack.
- in the meantime, shift your oven’s temperature to 165C and place the tart shell on a lined baking sheet – I think it might be better to bake the crust on a rack instead, and to line the bottom of your oven so that the butter can drain out, instead of pooling on the pan.
- cut your lemons into chunks, remove any seeds, and place it in the bowl of your food processor with the sugar and butter. add the eggs and cornstarch, and then pulse until smooth.
- pour the filling into your cooled crust, making sure it doesn’t fill past the sides of the shell. bake until set, and only the centre jiggles slightly when you bump the pan lightly. it will also be lightly browned.
p.s. I had some filling leftover after filling the tart crust – and I think next time I will make a little extra crust and make tiny lemon tarts. that filling is much too tasty to waste!