This super easy to make Meyer Lemon Shaker Tart is a simple adaptation of the classic lemon shaker tart with the addition of strawberries and rhubarb. (Jump directly to the recipe.)
I hadn’t seen my friend Angela in forever. Or at least for a couple of years, which is insane because we only live a few miles away from each other. But that’s how San Francisco works. If you don’t live in the same neighborhood or adjacent neighborhoods, it’s like you live across the country. I see friends in LA more than I see folks that live here in San Francisco.
Of course, once we got the ball rolling and scheduled a breakfast, she had to reschedule and then I had to reschedule. It the dance of the San Franciscans, and I know folks who have actually moved away from here because of this exact reason. Life gets in the way of life I guess. But that doesn’t mean we keep on trying. And this year, 2017, I am determined to make it happen more. I want to see my friends more and I want to get my life back.
When I finally got breakfast with Angela, she handed me a ziplock bag of Meyer lemons and oranges from her backyard. Her citrus trees have been incredibly prolific lately, possibly because San Francisco has seen massive amounts of rain recently. She can’t keep up and I was happy to take her leftovers, determined to make more than just lemonade from lemons. We chatted and discussed life over breakfast sandwiches and coffee. And I promised to tell her what I did with her lemons once I figured it out. Here you go Angela, a Meyer lemon shaker tart wth strawberries and rhubarb. Let’s not wait another 2 years until we get together again.
Meyer Lemon Shaker Tart with Strawberries and Rhubarb
By Irvin Lin
A shaker tart is an ingenious recipe that the Shakers developed so that they could use the whole lemon without any waste. The only drawback to the recipe is the requirement that you let the sliced lemon sit in sugar overnight for 8 hours (or more). But Meyer lemons have a softer, less bitter pith (the white part of the lemon). Which means you only need to let the thin slices of lemon sit in the sugar for an hour or so. Just enough time to make the dough and let is rest in the fridge. Be sure to a lot enough time for the pie dough to rest and the entire tart to rest in the fridge before baking though. This allows the crust to become extra flaky!
Radically adapted from my cookbook Marbled, Swirled and Layered.
3 medium sized Meyer lemons
2 1/2 cups (500 g) white granulated sugar, divided
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups (300 g or 10 oz) chopped rhubarb (1/2-inch cubes)
1 cup (150 g or 5 oz) chopped strawberries (1/2-inch cubes)
2 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
3 1/4 cups (455 g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup and 5 tablespoons (300 g) unsalted butter, cold
2/3 cup to 3/4 cup ice cold water
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoon sparkling sugar or white granulated sugar
1. Start the filling by cutting the Meyer lemons as thin as possible into slices. If you have a mandoline this is the time to take it out of the pantry! Place the lemons slices and the 2 cups (400 g) of the sugar in glass or ceramic bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for a least an hour or longer.
2. While the lemons are soaking in the sugar, make the dough by placing the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and sprinkle them over the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, toss the cubes in the flour then smash them into flat pieces, roughly the size of a pea. Once all the butter is flattened and broken up, drizzle 2/3 cup of the water over the dough and toss with a fork until a dough starts to form. Using your hands massage the dry ingredients gently into the wet parts. If the dough looks too dry, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until a solid dough forms. Divide the dough into two parts and then flatten each part into a disk about 1-inch thick. Wrap each dough with plastic wrap and then refrigerate for an hour.
3. Place a 10-inch wide round tart pan on a rimmed baking pan. Sprinkle a clean surface with flour and roll one of the dough disks out into a 13-inch circle. Fit the dough into the tart pan, making sure there’s about 1-inch of dough overhanging the edge of the pan.
4. Finish the filling by beating the eggs with the salt in a medium bowl until uniform in color. Pour the beaten eggs into the bowl with the lemons and sugar, and mix with a spatula until fully incorporated. Place the chopped rhubarb and strawberries in another bowl and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar over the fruit. Sprinkle the cornstarch or tapioca starch over the fruit as well. Toss to coat. Spoon the strawberry rhubarb filling around the edge of the tart in a circle, leaving the center of the tart empty. Pour the Meyer lemon filling into the middle of the tart pan and then distribute the lemon slices evenly throughout the center using your fingers. The filling will seem watery but that’s normal.
5. Roll the remaining dough disk out into a 12-inch circle. Place over the filling. Beat the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water, then lift up the top crust around the edges and brush the bottom crust edge with the egg wash all the way around. Press the two crusts together tightly all the way around, then use some kitchen scissor to cut the crust around neatly, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Decoratively crimp the crust.
6. Place the tart back in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Once the tart has chilled, brush the top of the tart with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle the sparkling sugar over the egg wash. Cut a few vents on top of the tart and bake in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until the tart is golden brown and the juices of the filling are bubbling through the vents. Let cool completely before serving for the filling to set up.
Makes one 10-inch tart, serves 8-10 people.