THE LOVELY LEMON TREE

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 09:51 -- Admin
Articles

This year, Christmas baking reached a new culinary high: lemon tarts filled with lemon curd made from lemons from my own 'Improved Meyers Lemon' tree.

Not only is it an attractive and exotic-looking plant, especially in winter, it is relatively easy to grow and the fruit are an added bonus.

The original 'Meyer' hybrid, probably a lemon x Mandarin Orange cross was 'discovered' growing in a garden pot near Peking, China in 1908 by the agricultural explorer, Frank N. Meyer.

The true lemon, 'Citrus limon', is a thorny tree reaching 10-20 ft. in height.   The familiar fruit is light yellow, oval shaped and ranging from 3-5 inches in length.   In comparison, the 'Meyer' lemon is a shrubby, dwarf hybrid, growing 6-10 feet in height and can be grown indoors in a container.  The 'Meyer' lemon is oblong, light orange in colour and 2-3 inches in length.  The fruit is very juicy, with a significantly less acidic flavour and thin, soft peel.

 

In the early 2000's Martha Stewart championed the 'Meyer' lemon and it became a culinary buzz word.  This isn't Martha's recipe, but one that made delicious lemon tart fillings.

Lemon Curd (makes 11/3 cups)

1/2 cup fresh 'Meyer' lemon juice
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (freeze lemon first so that you can grate the soft 'Meyer' peel easily)
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 large eggs

Using a double boiler, whisk together juice, zest, sugar and eggs in upper pan. Stir in butter over low heat and cook, whisking frequently, until thick. (About 6 min.)
Cool and fill your favourite pastry tarts.

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