We’ve made it through our 30th and 31st recipes from Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person—the Lemon Curd, another Foundational Recipe from the book, which is then used to create the incredible filling for the Meyer Lemon Tart. The Pies and Tarts chapter continues to blow our minds!
Yay! We finally made it to the Meyer Lemon Tart! I was very excited to do the bake this week and had been looking forward to it since Claire released the video of it on her YouTube channel. My Dad has always had a love of lemon tarts, so growing up I quickly developed a fondness myself. What’s not to love about a lemon honestly? It’s yellow, tart, sweet, bright…can’t go wrong. And then put it in a bake good? Girl, recipe for success.
The bake this week was definitely not super challenging; there are just lots of steps that need to be done ahead of time, so time management and planning (which I’m slowly getting better at) is key. The two main components for this dessert are the Sweet Tart Dough (which Julia and I have become experts at), and the Meyer lemon curd. I made both components the day before and let them chill in the fridge overnight before doing the bake.
For the lemon curd, I could not find Meyer lemons for the life of me, so I just used normal lemons instead. And then the wildest thing happened. I made the curd while watching Claire’s video for moral support and entertainment. And as I started juicing the lemons, I winced in pain because I realized I had a tiny paper cut that I didn’t know was there…only to discover 15 seconds later in the video that Claire experiences the EXACT same thing…coincidence? …Probably.
The curd starts off by combining sugar and lemon zest, and then whisking in many egg yolks to create the mixture. And you really have to whisk it. My suggestion would be not to make this recipe after an arm day, because man, you need some strength. It’s a lot of whisking and it doesn’t end for some time. Once the mixture has thickened and lightened, you whisk in the lemon juice.
You then heat it on the stove and, you guessed it, CONSISTENTLY whisk, until it begins to thicken. I used a thermometer and cooked my lemon curd to 170 degrees like it says in the book, but in all honestly, I think I could have left it longer because it seemed a bit thin in retrospect. Once the lemon curd has cooked to this point, you remove it from the heat and slowly whisk in pieces of butter one at a time. Once this has all incorporated, you add a bit of vanilla and then put it in a container to chill in the fridge.
The next day, everything was chilled and ready to go so I assembled the tart! First, you fill the tart pan with your dough and parbake the crust. Once it has cooled, you add a layer of jam (I used raspberry) to the top and bake this for 5-7 minutes, just to solidify the jam so you don’t get a bunch of mixing in the layers. Once the tart has baked with the jam, you add your lemon curd mixed with a bit of plain Greek yogurt to the top, smooth it out, and then bake! I was a bit over zealous with my lemon curd so it spilled over the top a tiny bit, but it still ended up being okay! It was just a stressful trip over to the oven!
The tart bakes for about 30 minutes, and you are looking for the sides to have puffed up and the centre to have a nice wobble. I let the tart cool overnight in the fridge because I finished baking quite late. The next morning, I decorated the top, and cut into it for a casual piece of lemon tart for breakfast (why not right?!). Friends, this tart spoke to my soul. It is PERFECTLY well balanced. The addition of Greek yogurt to the lemon curd is genius and adds a perfect level of tang to the tartness to balance it out. The tart dough is a winner once again, and the cookie-like crust combined with the smooth curd is also excellent.
My boyfriend’s mom also really wanted to bake this dessert this week, so we both baked it on the same day and did a side-by-side taste test! Hers also turned out beautifully and was a bit more tart than mine. It was really cool to have an in-person comparison side by side other than just the pictures that Julia and I do each week! Thanks for joining this week Jackie!!
In conclusion, my love of the lemon tart holds true and this is 100% a dessert I would make again and again. 5 stars!
Hi friends! We’re back with another beautiful tart recipe. Do they have a name for that universal rule that you can find something in a store every time up until the moment you actually NEED it for something? Well, whatever it is it definitely applied here; there are a couple of grocery stores that seem to always have bags of Meyer lemons regardless of the season, and I thought for sure—despite the fact that it’s July and citrus is in season during the winter—that I’d be able to snatch some up for this recipe. Alas, this was not the case. I hopped around to a few different grocery stores and they were all Meyer lemon-less. So, Claire’s Meyer Lemon Tart is just a Lemon Tart today. Speaking of citrus being in season in the winter, anyone else feel like this shouldn’t be the case? Citrus is so refreshing that is always screams summer to me, so I loved that we were able to make this tart at this time of year regardless of some issues with ingredient sourcing, but I digress.
The base of this tart is the epic Sweet Tart Dough. We’ve made this so many times now (for the Salty Nut Tart, the Pistachio Linzer Tart, and the Blackberry Caramel Tart) that I feel like I’ve learned the recipe by heart. I sped through all the steps, parbaked my crust, and then realized that I had barely looked at the book. Five months in to this project and feeling like a true pro 😉
Like several of these last few recipes, once the base dough comes together the rest of the bake is super straightforward—there’s just a bit of timing involved. As my tart shell was baking, I worked on the lemon curd, which is a combination of mostly egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and, once that is whipped together and slowly heated through until thick, a whole bunch of butter and some vanilla. My curd mixture felt a little loose to me once I was finished, so I was worried it wouldn’t set properly, but after the required 3 hours in the fridge, it was nice and thick and beautifully smooth.
This wait time for your curd is really the longest part of the whole process. When your curd is ready, it is mixed together with Greek yogurt. While this filling comes to room temperature, a layer of raspberry jam is spread over the base of the cooled tart shell and bakes for just a few minutes until it’s set. Afterwards, the filling is poured over and the whole tart bakes for 30 minutes until the filling has fully set, puffs up around the edges, and has a good wobble to it. There is again a bit of a wait time here, as the tart cools fully at room temperature and then chills again in the fridge for at least an hour.
The results are just perfect. The sweet tart dough is just so wonderful—it’s crisp, and buttery, and just sweet enough, and so easy to cut through. I love it so much. The thin layer of raspberry jam is also such a great addition to a lemon dessert; I love me some lemon meringue pie or a classic lemon tart, but this extra little dimension of flavour breaks up the straight tartness of the lemon perfectly. And then, of course, the curd filling is the star of the show—bright, tangy, smooth. SO GOOD. My love of lemons remains strong. I definitely plan on making this tart again this winter once Meyer lemons are in abundance and maybe also swapping out the raspberry jam for blackberry. How good would a grapefruit curd filling be too?! The ideas are swirling!
The Pies and Tarts chapter can do no wrong in my eyes and this is yet another 5-star bake for me!
Next week we’ll be taking on a bit of a challenge: it’s Tarte Tatin time!