I was surprised by their feel, though. I knew the skin would be thinner, but I didn't expect this to make the whole fruit feel a little softer and squishier in my hand. The juice was slightly darker than that of regular lemons, but I suppose that would be due to the fact that Meyers are a cross between lemons and mandarin oranges. The smell was much milder, as was the flavor.
So what was the verdict? Do Meyer lemons really make that much of a difference? I think they do. The subtle lemon flavor really complimented the tangy buttermilk in this recipe. That being said, I think it would've still been fine using the old part lemon, part orange trick. Are they worth the cost? At 80 cents a piece, not for everyday use. I will definitely use Meyer lemons for special occasions or if I can only find them every once in a while and want a special treat, like this tart. It was, in a word, divine.
Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Tarts
**Note--I've included the original recipe, which makes one 10 in. tart. I chose to make tartlets and got five from this recipe. I've included my modifications in the directions.
Prepared sweet pie dough, recipe follows
3/4 c. buttermillk
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
6 TBSP Meyer lemon juice
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
2 tsp. finely grated Meyer lemon peel
1 c. heavy cream
2 TBSP confectioners' sugar, plus extra for garnish
Thinly sliced Meyer lemons, garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough to an 11-inch circle. (I rolled out the dough, then cut it to fit my tartlet pans.
3. Transfer to a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press the dough against the sides. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and weights, and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before filling.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
5. To prepare the filling, whisk the buttermilk, sugar, eggs, Meyer lemon juice, flour, lemon peel in a medium bowl. Pour into the cooled crust and bake until the filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. **Note--I reccomend placing a pan of water on the lower rack to prevent cracking. Mine cracked fairly badly.**
6. Cool completely then cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours.
7. Add cream to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat to soft peaks. Add confectioners' sugar and beat to stiff peaks.
8. To serve, slice tart and place on dessert plates. Place a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on the side and garnish with powdered sugar and lemon slices.Sweet Pie Dough:
8 oz. all-purpose flour, about 1 1/2 c. plus 2 TBSP
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 TBSP solid vegetable shortening (I replaced with more butter)
3 TBSP ice water (I used closer to four, most likely due to the desert climate where I live)
1. Sift the flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl.
2. Using your fingers, work in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Add 2 TBSP of ice water and work with your fingers until the water is incorporated and the dough comes together. Add more water as needed to make a smooth dough, being careful not to over mix.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.