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A Meyer Lemon Mess

January 31, 2012


A few things I look for in a perfectly balanced lemon tart: a thick and chewy buttery crust, a super strong tart citrus center (not much sugar added at all), and something creamy laying over the surface of it all, as a 1:1 ratio of citrus to cream. It’s this series of layers that’s just insanely tempting, once one scoop is scraped from the plate, there can’t not be a third or fourth and fifth.

I made something fun this weekend with an excuse to entertain my love for acidity. With a few lemons and eggs later, there was this intensely sour meyer lemon curd before me. I omit the thought of meringue for a tart, and served it with ricotta cheese and whipped cream instead, crumbled some chewy apricot oat cookies and let basil and candied citrus slices play around in there for a bit, it worked well.

And yet, I still can’t decide which was the better excuse to have, spoons of fresh ricotta or of this intensely tangy, zippy meyer lemon custard.



It is extreme love though.

With each bite, spoon an equal amount of tart custard to fresh ricotta, a few chewy cookie crumbs, and it will make you the happiest and most addicted individual alive. Dismiss the meringue from this deconstructed mess of sorts, as I did, and if it doesn’t turn you off, be sure to replace it with some creamy ricotta. You will soon get it, find ways to make even more excuses, and hopefully conclude in some divine messes.

Dig, spoon, and scoop around into another pretty plate people. See you later January.


x, sb.


Meyer Lemon Curd

Makes about 2 cups


1/2 cup meyer lemon juice, strained (about 3 lemons)

3 large eggs

1/4 cup sugar

zest half lemon

3 tb butter


Whisk the lemon juice, eggs, and sugar in a small pyrex bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water on medium heat, ensuring bowl is not touching water and that it’s resting properly over the pot. Whisk mixture constantly until it is pale in color and fluffy, while making sure the sides and bottom of the bowl aren’t scrambling. Should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and that ribbons can form across the surface, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, while stirring, fold in one tablespoon of butter at a time and add zest until consistency is smooth.

Transfer to a bowl or small casserole dish, place a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until completely cool and set, about 2 hours.


Turkish Apricot, Basil, and Oat Cookie Crumb

Makes 2 cups crumb


1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 large egg

1 tb fresh basil, minced

1/3 cup dried Turkish apricots, diced small


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the all purpose flour, rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 

In a stand mixer or bowl, cream the butter, and brown sugar together. While mixing on low, add one large egg until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until incorporated. Add the chopped apricots and basil.

Pour the cookie batter onto the parchment lined sheet.With an offset spatula, spread the cookie batter into one even layer across the parchment. Bake for about 12 minutes, until edges are golden and the center is light and fluffy. Let cool, and break cookie layer with hands or chop into desired crumb sizes. Store in an airtight container until serving. 


Dessert Assembly:

meyer lemon curd

ricotta cheese

apricot cookie crumb pieces

whipped cream

candied lemon and blood orange slices

Garnish: basil or mint


Place each item on one or two serving platters. Be creative. 


9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2012 11:36 am

    so….beautiful! :) xo

  2. January 31, 2012 2:56 pm

    wow! and now my mind is busy thinking up other “mess” dessert plates — thanks for the inspiration!!!

  3. January 31, 2012 7:01 pm

    Gorgeous! Seriously stunning presentation and lighting. I just want to grab a fork and scoop up some of that lemon curd mess.

  4. January 31, 2012 9:19 pm

    I love the sweet, tart, slightly floral flavor of meyer lemons and simply must make curd soon! Lovely post!

  5. February 3, 2012 12:12 pm

    What a lovely pics and style you have here!!

  6. February 6, 2012 12:53 am

    Wow! This is art on a plate. It reminds me of a beautiful, abstract painting.

  7. February 6, 2012 9:59 am

    Such kind thoughts and comments :) thank you all

  8. February 8, 2012 12:05 am

    Belle recette et photos sublimes !

  9. February 19, 2013 9:08 am

    I came here to say thank you for following my blog (humbling really – I wish my photos were as stunning as yours and the writing as mouthwatering …) but then got lost in your archives, again. This looks incredible, and I love the idea of adding basil to the recipe for the apricot cookie crumbs!

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