Over-the-top Meyer Lemon Tart with Macadamia Nut Crust

Lemon Tart with BerriesPucker up.

Damn. I should have used that line with one of my Valentine’s Day posts.

It is Meyer lemon season here.

I love the special lower-acid taste of Meyer lemons. Ever the foodie, I used to eat them fresh off the tree with a dusting of salt when I was a girl.  Probably wasn’t the best thing for the enamel on my teeth, I know.

Thin-skinned Meyer lemons, introduced to the California market in the early 20th century, are thought to have originally been a cross between a lemon and either a Mandarin or an orange. Whatever. It was a marriage made in heaven in my book.

About my photograph… I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to photograph something on one of my Lynn Chase “Jaguar Jungle” plates. This beautiful lemon tart seemed to be the right dish to showcase the pattern. I only have a few pieces of this pattern but I love them dearly. I don’t know if “Jaguar Jungle” is still available new, but you can buy pieces at Replacements, Ltd.

Replacements, Ltd., by the way,  is a wonderful online resource. You can buy miscellaneous pieces of many patterns of china, crystal and silver on their site.  I inherited an incomplete set of china manufactured in post-WWII “occupied” Japan. To my amazement (and delight), I was able to complete the set through Replacements, Ltd. Here is a link to their site:

Replacements Ltd.

Here is my adaptation of a spectacular lemon tart recipe. The original recipe appeared on a site called Love and Olive Oil. You will find a link to that recipe at the bottom of this post.

Recipe: Meyer Lemon Tart with Macadamia Nut Crust

Crust:
1/2 C. macadamia nuts
1 C. flour
1/3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
1 T. ice water

Tart Filling
7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. grated fresh Meyer lemon zest
2/3 C. Meyer lemon juice
Pinch of salt
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
3 T. heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare the crust. Using your food processor, finely grind macadamia nuts. Be careful not to over process or you will get macadamia nut butter. Add flour and powdered sugar to ground macadamia nuts and blend until well mixed. Add cubes of butter and pulse briefly until the butter and flour mixture is mixed. Add ice water through the processor chute and pulse a couple of times until the flour/butter mixture is crumbly. Your mixture will not form a ball but will hold together when you press it together with your fingers. Don’t worry. You simply pour this crumbly mixture into your tart pan and press the “dough” onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Cook in 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes or until edges of the crust are slightly browned. Remove from oven and let crust cool briefly on a wire rack.

Prepare the filling. Put egg yolks and 2 whole eggs into a medium-sized sauce pan but don’t put your pan on the heat until you add the butter pieces–a couple of steps from now. Use a whisk to whisk the eggs until they are well mixed and a light golden color. Gradually, whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated into the egg mixture. Add the lemon zest and mix. Add lemon juice and mix. Add a pinch of salt and mix. Add the butter pieces and stir over medium-low heat until butter melts and is incorporated into egg mixture. Be sure to stir this mixture constantly so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. Use a thermometer as this mixture heats up. It should have begun to thicken when you reach 170 degrees F. (This will take about 5 minutes.) Watch your filling batter carefully so as not to overcook (or, overthicken). Moving quickly, remove your filling from the heat and pour it through a wire sieve into a heat-proof glass bowl. If your filling is thick, use a wooden spoon to press the filling through the sieve. When you’ve strained the filling, add the heavy cream.

Pour the lemon filling into your crust. Use a spatula to spread the filling evenly into the crust. Put your filled tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until filling is glossy and opaque. Remove your tart from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about an hour and a half.

Garnish with powdered sugar and berries. Serve at room temperature.

Here is the link to the original recipe on the Love and Olive Oil site:


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