What, I wondered, could I give my loyal readers this week? A week during which I’ve raced back and forth across the state for both a baby shower in Minneapolis and a freelance project in Madison. A week of mind-defying low temperatures which would’ve kept a saner woman indoors, instead of going from car lot to car lot during her spare hours, looking for the perfect mommy mobile.
I have a lot of cool baby gear and an awesome new ride to show for it, but for those of you interested in reading about a restaurant, I’ve got nada. Nothing. I simply did not have time to go out for a noteworthy meal. But I do have a little something culinary to offer until I can get back out. Something that cheered me up greatly when I spotted their bright canary color beaming from a shelf at The Fresh Market. I’m talking, of course, about Meyer lemons.
With their thin, delicate skin, aromatic, almost floral fragrance, and distinctive, somewhat sweet flavor, Meyer lemons actually aren’t a true lemon at all; research has shown they are a cross between a lemon and a sweet orange. Having previously tasted the fruit of that union and found it quite to my liking, I scooped several into a bag and brought them home where I pondered what would best showcase their delicate flavor. Finally I decided on a Lemon Curd Tart. Specifically, the one I found in Russ Parsons' book How to Pick a Peach. It’s a really informative book, and along with Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food, probably one of my favorite food books of the past year.
But back to the tart. Parsons' recipe for the lemon curd calls for ½ cup lemon juice and ½ cup sugar. I thought about reducing the sugar some, since I’ve always had a penchant for all things tart. Even as a child the only candy I ever asked for was Starburst; it boggled my parents' minds that a kid would turn down a pack of Big League Chew or Gummi Bears for Starburst, but something about the tart nature of it appealed to me. After brief consideration though, I decided to stick with Parsons' original measurements and I’m glad I did. This is one spectacular tart.
The crust requires a bit of effort to make, due to the chilling and baking times required, but the creamy, rich curd, chilled inside the resulting crisp, buttery shell is worth the effort. It strikes the perfect balance between both sweet and tart and is the perfect ending for any meal, especially one featuring heavy winter fare. I can’t get enough of it. If Scott is lucky, I will set some aside for him, otherwise, too bad.