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Whole Meyer Lemon Tart

February 17, 2010

I’ve been hearing about Meyer lemons for a while now, and have gotten the impression that they are the more sophisticated, fancier version of the regular lemon.  The Meyer variety is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin, which results in a much sweeter lemon with a nice soft skin.  When I finally found them at Whole Foods, I bought a few with this whole lemon tart recipe in mind (well one for the tart, and a few extra to taste test).  While initially I found this tart to be an epic fail, its candy sweet and slightly tart lemony flavor (kindof like the lemon head candies that were around when we were kids) won me over eventually and made me love it despite its issues.  Like many who tried to make it before me, I ran into the problem of butter separation and bubbling of the filling over the crust during baking.  I managed to salvage the end result by stirring the butter layer back into the tart when it was still jiggly, and although the filling bubbled over a lot, what was left managed to set just enough to help it stay together when cut up into slices.  After some investigation, Deb figured out the discrepancies with this tart are a result of oven temperature variation, so if your oven runs hot (like mine apparently does), you should bake at a lower temperature.  I liked this recipe because it was really easy to throw together since you just process the filling in a food processor, and it was cool that the entire lemon (including the peel) was used, which gave every bite a zesty sweet lemony burst.

Whole Lemon Tart
Adapted from smitten kitchen (originally from Rollet-Pradier via Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets)

  • 1 partially baked 9-inch (24-cm) Great Unshrinkable Tart Shell (or store bought, but I recommend this one)
  • 1 average-sized lemon (about 4 1/2 ounces; 130 grams), rinsed and dried
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1) Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line a trimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and put the tart shell on the sheet.

2) Slice lemon & remove seeds.

3)  Throw the lemon and sugar into the container of a food processor (can also use blender).  Process, scraping down the sides of the container as needed, until the lemon is thoroughly pureed and blended with the sugar, 1 to 2 minutes.

4) Add whole egg and the yolk, followed by the cornstarch and melted butter to the processor and process till smooth. 

5) Pour the filling into the crust but be sure to leave 1/4 inch between the top of your filling and the top edge of your crust.  This is important because otherwise you will get filing bubbling over.

6) Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake the tart for 20 minutes.

7) Increase the oven temperature to 350°F [less if your oven runs warm] and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling, lightly browned and set. Don’t take the tart out until it is clearly set, you’re looking for a slight jiggliness with no suggestion of liquid underneath.

8) Transfer the tart on the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. The tart is ready to be served when it reaches room temperature.

My filling bubbled over, but I ended up being okay with the thin layer of lemon glaze on the pie crust. 

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    February 19, 2010 2:01 pm

    Iga!! This looks amazing. I stayed in an “inn” last night that had the best lemon pound cake – the owner gave me the recipe 😉 I will share! Mmmmm lemon.

  2. February 19, 2010 5:52 pm

    yes please share!! im really into lemons right now & would love to see the recipe 🙂

    im still dying to hear all about brazil!!!!!

  3. February 20, 2010 1:13 pm

    oh my, lemon tarts are one of my top desserts of all time, but i’ve never made one myself! WOW this looks fab, i love meyer lemons too 🙂

    • February 20, 2010 4:02 pm

      thanks Stef!! the meyer lemons really do make this tart shine. and i cant wait to perfect this recipe with the lower baking temperature

  4. May 25, 2010 5:51 am


    love your tart… so pretty to look n must be yummy to eat. This would be my next try with the whole lemon.
    Loved surprising my friends with these 🙂 Lemon Cake, Lemon Tarts ~ Happy Anniversary Shikha & Sujith n Surprise for Sharad

    The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts – Nachiketa
    Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

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