Lemon Archive

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

whole lemon tart

whole lemon tart slice

Everyone has a favorite lemon tart, don’t they? I think of them as one those pastries that people obsess over to the point that crafting a great one is practically considered a higher calling. And I’d joke about this (okay, well, just a little) but if you’ve ever had a good, nay, great one, you totally get it. An awesome one will blow your mind. Some are filled with only a simple lemon curd, others with a creamier lemon filling, some are studded with fresh raspberries or have bits of candied lemon peel inside and the rare one even has a chunk of a fresh lemon segment within. I have never met one I didn’t like.

partially baked unshrinkable tart shellmeyer lemonwhirled fillingpouring the filling

But I do have a favorite, and it is so ridiculously simple that when I made it last week I actually kicked myself for waiting so long since the last time I gave it a spin. Where are my priorities? Seriously. I won’t slip up again.

whole lemon tart

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, November 15, 2008

meyer lemon and fresh cranberry scones

meyer lemon fresh cranberry scones

The fresh cranberry gets no love. I can’t tell you how many recipes I have sifted through recently that boasted cranberry in their titles only to find out that they were actually calling for those shriveled and over-sweetened dried ones. Why must fresh cranberries be “the neglected stepchild of the season“? It is totally undeserved.

fresh cranberries

Fresh cranberries are prettier. They’re impressively hardy, keeping for weeks in the fridge and even longer in the freezer with no noticeable aging. And even though I think this is what puts people off, they have a tartness that makes everything they touch better. Because when you put something tart against something sweet, you get a fantastic contrast and this complexity, my friends, is a very good thing.

chopped cranberriesadding cream

Continued after the jump »

Monday, April 7, 2008

lemon yogurt anything cake

lemon blueberry yogurt cake

We were almost done with our blissful batch of Meyer lemons when I realized that it would be a crime against… well, something dramatic if I finished them without sharing with you a recipe which might look at the outset like just a plain old loaf cake, but should not be taken at face value. You may see lemons and blueberry but I want you to see a palette upon which you can paint your countless citrus yogurt cake dreams. This cake is so moist that it needs to be cut carefully, so not to smoosh the crumbs from the top of the cake into the bottom, and so delicious, I dare you to make it last a week(end).

The core recipe comes from Ina Garten, and you might recognize it from the grapefruit cake I made last year, but really, I never meant to stop there. Let me now make up for lost time with other ideas for the cake:

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

shaker lemon pie

shaker lemon pie

A little over a year ago, my mother and I leapt at the opportunity to make a whole lemon tart featured in the New York Times and ended up with one of the most caustic, inedible things I have yet to make on this site. And people, with an ever-growing category of “disasters,” that is no small feat.

meyer lemons

We received a lot of comments on that post ranging from sympathy to eye-rolling (as one of this woman’s recipes had previously felled another reader) but the bulk of them came in two veins: You should have used Meyer lemons and you really ought to make a Shaker Lemon Pie next.

As for the Meyer lemons, a milder and thinner-skinned cousin of the lemons we have readily available in the U.S., these comments made me dig my heels in, oh, just a little. Because while Meyer lemons may have yielded a better outcome, this was not my complaint: my complaint had been that the recipe said that Meyer lemons were an option not a requirement and I held the recipe to this and it nearly cauterized a hole in the roof of my mouth.

But there was another reason that I knew that it would take more than Meyer lemons to save this tart, and that, my friends, is a simple matter of proportion. The Evil Tart’s citrus to sugar ratio was eight whole lemons to three-quarters of a cup. The standard Shaker Lemon Pie recipe uses two whole lemons to two cups of sugar. You don’t need to be a math whiz to figure out why that all went to hell in a handbasket.

meyer lemon zestmeyer lemon, beveled

Continued after the jump »

Monday, January 7, 2008

lemon bars

lemon bars

January is always the time of year when most of us get caught up in the winter produce doldrums, fueled by the dearth of flavorful fruit and the overabundance of hard, starchy vegetables. But I find if I set my mind on citrus, I can carefully sidestep most bouts of Farmers Market Mourning. There are few things teeming with more promise of a sunnier tomorrow than sour-sweet piercing members of the rutaceae family, and I’ve got an archive full of margarita cookies, lemon bundts, orange chocolate chunks, grapefruit loaves and key lime tartlets that should assure you that you need not feel that you are missing out just because the peaches and berries have gone into hibernation.

scrubbedlemon zest

But I haven’t had a lemon bar in there before now, despite repeated requests and, heck, even pleading for one by various people inside my computer. You’d think it is because I’m stubborn but it actually that my bar (ha) for lemon bars has been set very high by my mother, who has an award-winning recipe somewhere in her files. Upon request, she sent it to me a couple years ago, but when they didn’t come out the way I had remembered, her response was “oh, I must have sent you the wrong one.” Tell me, if you had a recipe for lemon bars that you had won you a cooking contest, why would you have a second version in your box that wasn’t as good? Perhaps if you ask her, you’ll get further than I did.

lemon macroemptied lemon halves

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