Lemon, Citrus x limon, is the tart fruit of an evergreen, by the same name. Likely native to Asia, lemons were generally utilized for their medicinal properties as well as ornamental appeal. They spread to the Middle East and Europe about 2000 years ago, but were not truly cultivated until 500-1000 years ago. Lemons were brought to the States by Italian explorers, as they were being cultivated in Italy at the time, and eventually made their way into cuisine in the States during the 18th and 19th centuries as their cultivation increased in California and Florida. Lemons might be one of my favorite fruits to cook with due to its endless versatility. A fresh lemon tart is delicious with a little cream and a chilled glass of white wine sangria.
Lavender may be used in place of rosemary.
2 lemons, sliced paper thin
3 tbsp sugar
1 c flour
1 tbsp sugar
½ c cold butter, cubed
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
1 cold egg
1 tbsp butter, melted
1. Combine lemons and 2 tbsp sugar, cover and macerate lemons in a non-reactive dish for 12-24 hours at room temperature. After macerating, adjust sugar to taste.
2. Next, combine flour, sugar, salt and rosemary, add butter and gently work into dry ingredients. Add egg and gently work in until crust barely holds together. Place dough in the refrigerator until chilled, about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using fingertips, press chilled crust into a 10" tart or 9" pie pan. Chill crust in pan for about 15 minutes.
4. Place crust in the oven and pre-bake until lightly golden brown, 8-12 minutes depending upon thickness of crust, watching carefully so as not to over cook. Leave oven on, but remove crust from oven.
5. Drain lemons, retaining liquid and spread evenly over baked crust. Combine liquid from macerated lemons and melted butter, evenly spoon over lemons. Return the tart to the oven, allowing lemons to heat and slightly brown, 2-4 minutes, watching carefully, so as not to overcook. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
6. Serve tart warm, room temperature or chilled. Plain or with cream or ice cream.
Makes one 9-10" tart