Meyer Lemon Tarts

by Eddy Van Damme on December 10, 2009

Meyer lemon tart

Meyer lemon tarts

Citrus ads a sense of elegance to desserts like no other fruit can. Using a good recipe and following proper technique, citrus strikes a wonderful balance between sweet and tart. To this, add the incomparable aroma of citrus and you have a startling dessert.

The most amazing essence of the citrus family is without a doubt bergamot. Unbelievable, but the essential oil of bergamot is present in nearly half of all women’s perfume and about a third of all mans cologne. Second to bergamot is the astonishing essence and flavor of Meyer lemons. With an aroma of lemons and a touch of mandarin orange they are amazing and multitalented in the pastry kitchen.

Hazelnut tart dough

The peel of Meyer lemons is very thin which makes them great candidates for candying. Candied Meyer lemons in hazelnut gelato are nothing short of wonderful. For a simpler method, the peel of the Meyer lemons can simply be zested and added to an endless array of desserts.

Lemons are always a good match with hazelnuts but the essence of mandarin oranges in Meyer lemons works even better.

hazelnut tart dough shells

Getting it all together!

If you’re like me and like a well balanced lemon curd, slightly on the tart side and not too sweet, then proceed. If you have been looking for a quick lemon curd this one is it. This curd does not require you to be busy over the stove for 1 hour. I developed this quick lemon curd years ago and it is still my favorite technique for making delicious curd. Remember, Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter than standard lemons and this recipe is not recommended for using standard lemons.

Prepare the hazelnut tart dough first. Once the dough is properly chilled make the tarts. When the tart shells are baked and cooled you can choose the freeze and fill on a later day or fill the same day with the Meyer lemon curd. Frozen tart shells should be reheated in the oven to bring back the texture and a sense of freshness.

how to zest lemons

Hazelnut tart dough

Yield: Hazelnut tart dough for 12-14 individual tarts

2 sticks (8 oz) Unsalted butter                , soft 240 g
1 Cup (4 oz) Powdered sugar 120 g
1 (1) Large egg 1
½ teaspoon ( ½ tsp) Salt 2.5 g
1 teaspoon (1 tsp) Vanilla extract 2.5 ml
1 Cup (4 oz) Hazelnut flour 120 g
2 Cups (9 oz) All purpose –pastry flour 270 g
  1. In a bowl mix the butter until creamy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar and combine well. Scrape the bowl and add the egg, salt and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Mix in the hazelnut flour. Add all the flour at once and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  3. Chill the dough until firm. About 30 minutes in the freezer or chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Roll the dough on a floured surface about 3 credit cards thick.
  5. Cut into circles large enough to fit into unbuttered tart pans. Prick the dough with a fork and place in a 375°F (180°C) oven. After a few minutes check the tarts, if bubbles develop prick the dough. Bake until golden brown. About 15 minutes and let cool.

lemon curd

Meyer lemon curd

Lemon tart

Meyer Lemon Curd

Yield: Curd for 12-14 individual tarts or one large tart

½ Cup (4 oz) Extra fine granulated sugar (A) 120 g
¾ Cup (6 oz) Meyer lemon juice 180 ml
2 Tablespoon (2 Tbsp) Meyer lemon zest 5 g
4 (4) Large eggs 4
½ Cup (4 oz) Extra fine granulated sugar (B) 120 g
2 Sticks (8 oz) Unsalted butter, soft 240 g
  1. In a non reactive saucepan bring to a boil the sugar (A), lemon juice and zest.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs for 30 seconds. Add sugar (B) and whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Pour one fourth of the boiled mixture to the eggs while whisking rapidly. Pour the tempered eggs into the remaining boiled mixture and whisk until the mixture comes to a rapid boil and bubbles thick like lava. Ensure that the mixture boils as this ensures a proper “set” from the eggs.
  3. Remove from heat and pour thru a sieve (If desired). Let cool to 125°F (53C°). Stir in the SOFT butter. If any butter lumps remain, heat lightly in a microwave oven.
  4. Pour the curd immediately into the tart shells and place in the refrigerator.
  5. When cold cover with Italian Meringue (On Baking pg 417) or Crème Chantilly. If desired decorate with toasted hazelnuts dipped in caramel.

meringue on lemon tart

Meyer lemon tarts

28 comments on “Meyer Lemon Tarts

  1. Hilary Adams on said:

    Oh, man!! Chef Eddy, you’ve made me want these so badly!! And, as always, your pictures are amazing!

    Okay, so… to finish off the presentation, you have added powdered sugar and the Italian Meringue that is browned. What else? It’s a really neat touch, but I can’t tell for sure what it is. You mentioned hazelnuts dipped in caramel above… is that what those are?

    Thanks, Chef Eddy, for posting such incredible treats up here! This is another one I can’t wait to try!

    Hilary

  2. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hilary,

    Indeed what you see in the picture are toasted hazelnuts dipped in decorating caramel. The recipe for decorating caramel can be found in On Baking on page 729. You can make this caramel without corn syrup. Just make sure you do NOT stir the sugar once it is boiling.
    All the best,
    Eddy

  3. Hilary Adams on said:

    The semester may be over, but the textbook is front and center on my desktop!

    When we make Italian Meringue, we up the sugar a bit to compensate for not adding the glucose or corn syrup. Does that need to be done here, also? The recipe on p. 729 calls for 4 oz. of glucose or corn syrup…

    Thanks again, Chef Eddy!

    Hilary

  4. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hilary,
    Yes indeed. Simply replace the glucose or corn syrup with the same amount of sugar.
    Eddy

  5. Chef Eddy,
    This weekend I made these and they were such a hit! Everyone ate two!
    Will make these all the time.

  6. This curd is the BEST I ever made and I am a self proclaimed expert on curds. Smooth and delicious.
    Thanks

  7. The best curd I ever had. Delicious!

  8. We made this lemon curd over the weekend and it came out perfect. It is also very quick to make,
    Thank you for this Meyer lemon curd recipe.
    D.

  9. Diana Wallace on said:

    These will be great for New Years! This is one of my favorites!

  10. Oh heavens. I want to float in the lemon curd. Gorgeous pictures.

  11. Marijke Harteveld on said:

    Hello Mister Van Damme,
    By accident I found your website and indeed it was a huge surprise. Really fantastic recipes!! Thank you so much, the pictures are also amazing. I copied several recipes (hope you don’t mind). Next week I will start preparing your Belgian chocolate truffles. I usually make the Dutch version: butter, cream, icing sugar and vanilla, also delicious, especially with our Dutch cream. I hope you will show us how to make a good, rather soft nougat. Until now I did not succeed.
    Thanks again, wish you all the best from Holland,
    Marijke

  12. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Marijke,
    Thank you very much for your comments. I love nougat Montelimar as well and I will do an article on them. All the best, Eddy

  13. tasos on said:

    hi chef. I have some questions about italian mernigue. 2 days ago i made lemon curd tart and i used italian meringue on top. I didnt burn it. 2 days after i had made the tart, meringue had totally fell. It was not shiny and stable as in the beginning. it was like froth. Is this normal? i used 3 egg whites and 120gr sugar with the syrup at 121 C. Thanks a lot!

  14. hai vonguyen on said:

    Meyer lemons are awsome, they grow so well in Texas. They also make great curd. Thanks for the recipe chef

  15. jessica raymond on said:

    i love hazelnut flavor. the combination of lemon and hazelnut sounds delicious. i don’t think that i have ever had Meyer lemons. this seems like and elegant and tasty way to try them out. thank you, chef.

  16. Mark Holley on said:

    Looking forward to making this with a variation of kaffir lime and/or yuzu, Macadamia nut dough. What are your thoughts? Do you think this would make a good combination?

  17. Mark Holley on said:

    Would like to try this with a variation of kaffir lime and/or yuzu, Macadamia nut dough. What are your thoughts? Do you think this would make a good combination?

  18. Mark Holley on said:

    Would like to try this with a variation of kaffir lime and/or yuzu, Macadamia nut dough. Do you think this would make a good combination?

  19. Yvonne Davis on said:

    Hazelnut and Lemon curds sounds really good they both are my favorite

  20. Trish on said:

    I love the hazelnut tart dough.

  21. valerie alexander on said:

    I love lemon and hazelnut this is a great little dessert

  22. Richard Martinez on said:

    Lemon curd is amazing. That kick that it delivers in every bite is perfect.

  23. Nicholas Pringle on said:

    So are we drawn to the dessert because of the presence of Bergamot? I don’t eat sweets but I would try this because of the fresh lemons.

  24. Holly Josey on said:

    this was so good. I made it this weekend but i substituded the flour with almond flour.

  25. mona robinson` on said:

    I made the lemon curd for my mother, she love it. Looking forward to making it again.

  26. Mercy Boynton on said:

    I’m really interested in making these tarts, however I’m a little weary due to the last attempt on my part ended with a really liquid tart filling, but I guess what they say is true, “practice makes perfect” and all that.

  27. Holly Josey on said:

    i love the pairing of the hazelnut and lemon

  28. Katerina Kyriazis on said:

    The women in my family have an affinity for lemon curd in many forms. Using Meyer lemons instead of standard lemons is less sour and definitely creates a more balanced taste. I appreciate the “quick” nature of this curd recipe.

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