meyer lemon (what to do when someone gives you a single)

April 13, 2010

I live in Iowa. Meyer lemons don’t really grow here. Or lemons for that matter. (Just stating the obvious here..) So when my friend Duncan picked one off of his tree and handed it to me today I was delighted. He has a beautiful tree situated next a big south-facing window in his cozy workshop. I stopped by to drop off a piece of pie, and left with a lemon. Big, bright, and juicy.

I wanted to make something special. This was one of 6 lemons on the tree, and I wanted to use the whole lemon, or as much of it as I could. My first thought was to call my sister. She is a little baker, and always has good ideas. And she did, of course. A lemon tart. Because I only had one lemon (not the three that the recipe called for), and I wanted to keep the lemon’s integrity, I adjusted her recipe and made a “one lemon tart.”

One lemon’s zest, one lemon’s juice, one egg, and 1/6th of a cup sugar. And one tiny tart pan, filled with a tiny crust. Prick, prick, prick, prick, prick, pricked with a fork. (My sister wrote a lot more pricks into the recipe.)

And weighted with lentils so that the crust didn’t have any chance at all to puff up. None.

Then came the custard. Zested the meyer lemon, juiced the meyer lemon,

found the unexpected but delightful surprise of sprouted pips inside the meyer lemon,

and stir, stir, stirred the custard…

I am not a custard maker. As you can see from the photograph, I don’t have the proper equipment (I used a shallow frying pan set over a pot of simmering water.), and I am just afraid that the eggs will scramble. After a lot of stirring, quite a few grumpy calls to my sister, and my face feeling like a ripe tomato, I took the custard off the stove, and set it aside to cool. I think that it turned out ok, and I was able to pour it into the crust, and put it into the oven.

I did then call my mom, and had her come over to help me figure out when the custard was ‘set.’ I think that I will leave the custards to Heli, as she likes making them, and will probably do a much better job.

The finished result was a tart tart! Very un-sweet, lemony and delicious.


7 Responses to “meyer lemon (what to do when someone gives you a single)”

  1. Bronwyn Says:

    LOVE this! …Even though I’m here in Cali, I have an old lemon tree that often only ripens one lemon at a time…I should try this!! xoxo

  2. Sankari Says:

    delicious lookin’! makes my mouth water 🙂 love the presentation 🙂

  3. coralee Says:

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Especially the side notes about calling Heli and mom and the # of pricks and such!) xoxox

  4. Kathy Says:

    Oh yum! Lemon ANYTHING is my favorite flavoring. Bet it was absolutely ‘mouthpuckering’ good! Like Coralee, I think your blog is entirely lovable.


  5. […] 14, 2010 I made a lemon tart yesterday, and the tart shell recipe made enough dough for two pies. I have been carrying the extra […]


  6. This looks like just a sweet pie ;] Once, when I tried to make custard with a bunch of friends, we must of stood in front of the stove for about an hour, stirring and stirring, not knowing when to stop.

    Ahah, great blog, I really like how you’re in a cabin, crafting away in the woods.

    • Torrey Says:

      I spent the whole time stirring, calling my sister, stirring, calling my sister. It wasn’t the most fun. But the tart did turn out in the end, which does make me think that I could make it again…


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