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.
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.
meyer lemon curd
apricot cookie crumb pieces
candied lemon and blood orange slices
Garnish: basil or mint
Place each item on one or two serving platters. Be creative.