Lemon Zest

Meyer Lemon Tart with a Sugar Cookie Crust

Meyer Lemon Tart with Sugar Cookie Crust

My new dessert obsession is lemon curd! The bakery I work at makes the BEST lemon curd! I’m pretty sure if I could, I would eat it by the spoonful! The lemon curd is so good at the bakery, that one customer has bought 6 mini lemon tarts everyday for at least 5 years! No lies, no exaggerations! So with my new obsession, I decided to make my own lemon curd at home and it was delicious!

Raspberries and Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon Tart

I find that curds tend to be intimidating to make, but they’re really easy!  They’re almost fool-proof! I promise! They just require a few extra dishes to wash.  But hey, what’s a few more dishes to wash than normal, if it tastes fantastic!?

Meyer Lemon Tart with Sugar Cookie Crust

This tart is a perfect summer dessert! It’s light and refreshing! It’s also a perfect crowd pleaser if you’re asked to bring or plan to make dessert for your next get together or party!

Meyer Lemon Tart with Sugar Cookie Crust

Meyer Lemon Tart with Sugar Cookie Crust

Meyer Lemon Tart with a Sugar Cookie Crust Recipe:
Martha Stewart’s Meyer Lemon Curd:
1 C. Meyer Lemon or Regular Lemon Juice
1 C. Sugar
3 Eggs
4 Egg Yolks
1 Stick plus 2 tbsp. Cold Butter
Zest of 4 Lemons

Sugar Cookie Crust:
1 Stick Softened Butter
3/4 C. Powdered Sugar
1 Egg White
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 C. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1/8 tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 400.

1. In a heat proof bowl, add the zest of 4 lemons and sugar. Muddle the sugar and zest to release the oils. To that, whisk in the eggs and egg yolks and place over a double boiler. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the lemon juice. You will keep stirring the lemon, sugar, egg mixture until it becomes thick. (It has thickened properly if you can make a clean line on the back of a wooden spoon or until it hits 160 degrees Fahrenheit).

2. Once the mixture has thickened, add in cold pads of butter. Once the butter has melted into the thickened mixture, place the bowl of warm curd into a larger bowl with ice. Once the curd is cold, place in the refrigerator with cling wrap touching the surface of the curd. (I let my curd sit over night in the refrigerator, but a good hour or two should do the trick.)

Sugar Cookie Crust:
1. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients and set aside.

2. In a stand mixer, beat softened butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar. Once incorporated, add the vanilla extract and egg white. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then slowly add your dry ingredients.

3. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 mins.

4. In a greased tart pan, spread the dough evenly throughout with your hands. Make holes on the bottom of the crust with a fork. (I used an 8 x 11 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. If you use a smaller tart pan you will have excess dough. You can freeze excess dough or make sugar cookies with it.)

5. In a 400 degree oven place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are starting to brown. **Check the tart after 5 to 7 minutes. If the dough is puffing up, take the back of a spoon and press the base of the tart down like you would a thumbprint cookie.

6. Once the tart is completely cooled, remove from the tart pan and top with your prepared lemon curd. You can top your tart with berries or meringue. If you will not be serving right away, place in the refrigerator and cover with plastic wrap.

Meyer Lemon Tart with Sugar Cookie Crust

Thanks for reading! Hope you try this recipe! It was so delicious I needed a lot of self control to stop eating it!



Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies

Citrus-strawberry thumbprint butter cookies! Now that is a mouth full! A delicious mouthful that is! During the winter (or should I say cookie season) when I was in high school, I was in the mood for a fruity cookie.  I wanted a cookie that had a flaky dough with a jam center, but the thumbprint cookie that I typically bake during the holidays has a dense dough, is rolled in chopped pecans and has a frosting center (d0n’t worry! I’ll post that recipe in December!).  Any ways… This flaky, fruity cookie is great for the spring or for the holidays – if tweaked.

When I originally made this recipe, I didn’t use any citrus zest.  But for the spring, it adds a nice bright floral citrus flavor.  I’m not a huge fan of adding citrus zests to baked goods, but the zest pairs nicely with the strawberry jam center.

Orange and Lemon Zest

My recommended tool for zesting is a microplane.  You know that long tool that looks sort of like a cheese grater with a rubber ended handle? A helpful hint: When zesting citrus fruits, don’t zest in the same spot.  Zest the entire surface of the fruit, unless you don’t need very much.  If you zest in the same spot, you will have bitter zest and you will lose all of those fragrant oils.

Partially Cooked Dough - Thumbprint

Making the “thumbprints” in the partially cooked dough.

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies

These cookies look like tasty little gems! It’s a good thing that they don’t cost as much as precious gems! What’s fun about these cookies is that you can be creative and change them up! Use different types of jams, use lime zest instead of orange and lemon, or use a lemon curd instead of jam.

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies Recipe: Makes 28 – 35 Cookies
1 C. Butter (2 Sticks Softened)
1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
2 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Orange Zested (Divided) (Optional)
1/2 Lemon Zested (Divided) (Optional)
1 Jar Strawberry Jam

Preheat the oven to 400.

1. Cream the softened butter until fluffy. Add a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and blend on medium-low speed for 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add flour, salt and vanilla and combine. Add half the zest of one orange and half the zest of half of a lemon. Beat the dough on medium.  You will know it’s ready when it comes together and forms a smooth cookie dough. Let dough chill for 30 minutes.

3. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, scoop and roll dough into a 1/2 inch ball. (I use a mini ice cream scoop to measure each ball of dough). DO NOT flatten dough balls before placing in the oven!

5. Bake the dough balls for 5 minutes. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and make wells in each cookie and fill with jam. (Be sure to not over fill cookies, to avoid spill over). Place back in the oven for 7-9 minutes or until bottom edges start to brown. 

6.  Let cool and garnish with the remaining orange and lemon zests.

I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you used other flavor combinations!!