Meyer Lemons Madness

Of course most of you know I used to work for Chez Panisse and I like cooking as much as I like making art. Here’s a drawing exercise while I am working on some illustration work for a new farmers market opening in the Uptown District of Oakland, California. These are Meyer Lemons. They are the source of acidity for many of the foods we would make when I lived in Oakland because these little fruit grow just about everywhere and practically all year there. I find these in the markets here in New York but never quite as good as when you can pick them off of your own tree in your garden.

Here’s a Meyer Lemon Tart recipe from the New York Times:

Meyer Lemon Tart

1 hour (plus 1 hour for chilling the dough)


  • 13 1/2 ounces (3 sticks plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing pan
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tablespoon milk
  • 12 ounces (about 2 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 pound (5 or 6) Meyer lemons
  • 5 large eggs


In the bowl of a mixer, cream together 8 ounces softened butter (2 sticks) and 1/2 cup sugar. Add 1 egg yolk and the milk, and beat to combine. In a medium bowl, combine the flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Slowly add the flour to the butter mixture, stirring until completely blended. Gather dough into two balls. Freeze one for future use, chill the other for at least 1 hour.
Heavily butter a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a circle 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to the tart pan, press into the pan and trim the edges. Prick the bottom with a fork, and place the shell in the freezer for 30 minutes.
While shell is in freezer, prepare lemon curd: grate zest of lemons. Squeeze lemons to extract 1 cup of juice. In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine juice and zest. Add remaining 1 cup sugar, remaining 5 1/2 ounces butter and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place over medium heat, stirring once or twice, until sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted.
In bowl of a mixer, combine eggs and remaining 7 egg yolks until blended. Slowly add hot lemon mixture to eggs until blended. Return mixture to saucepan, and place over low heat. Whisk constantly until mixture thickens to a pudding like consistency; do not allow it to boil. Remove from heat, and continue to stir to stop the cooking. Strain lemon curd into a bowl. Adjust sugar to taste; the curd should be tart, but may need additional sugar if the lemons were unripe. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it right against the surface of the curd. Allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove tart shell from freezer, and bake until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Spoon lemon curd into tart shell, and smooth the top. Bake until filling has puffed around the edges, about 30 minutes. Cover edges with foil, if necessary, to prevent over-browning. Cool to room temperature before serving.

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