Today I finally found the time to pull out those Meyer lemons languishing in the fridge drawer to make this tart. Yippee! Every winter I look forward to Meyer lemon season. I sure hope you've enjoyed them too because they are such a treat. I love their smooth, vibrant yellow skin and their sweet perfume. They have a pucker like conventional lemons but less acidic and with an aroma of mandarin oranges. Besides using them to make hot lemon + honey water for drinking (especially when I've got a cold during the winters), I have a strong need to make a dessert bar or tart (or both) before they're gone every season. It is a must.
This time for a twist on the curd filling, I added a jar of Craftsman and Wolves passionfruit curd gifted to me from my friend Ingrid at piquecooking.com. I had been waiting for the perfect moment to indulge in that luscious, beautiful curd and this was it because passionfruit and Meyer lemons are bff's! Their respective tangy but sweet flavors are a match made in heaven.
Oh! In case you don't happen to have a jar of passionfruit curd on hand, or want to keep everything paleo and refined sugar free, or just prefer entirely homemade curd (I dig that), I got you covered. This recipe is for a curd filling made entirely from scratch, using fresh Meyer lemons and fresh passionfruits. 100% refined sugar free. 100% gluten free. 100% paleo friendly if you care about that sort of thing. And what if you can't find fresh passionfruit? You may be able to purchase passionfruit pulp with or without seeds in frozen form. Otherwise, you can use passionfruit nectar or juice instead. But promise me you'll try to find the fresh ones first OK? They're phenomenal.
If you love a little pucker and tropical twist, you'll go mad for this tart!
Make ahead: the curd can be made ahead BEFORE the gelatin is added (steps 4-6 below), stored refrigerated in a covered container for a week. Gently reheat over a double-boiler before continuing with step 7 the addition of gelatin.
Can't find fresh passionfruit: You may be able to purchase passionfruit pulp with or without seeds in frozen form. Otherwise, you can use passionfruit nectar or juice instead. If you're really stuck with no passionfruit anything, you may sub the 1/2C passionfruit pulp called for in the recipe with a further 1/2C of meyer lemon juice. This means skip step #5 and make the curd with 1 full cup of meyer lemon juice. Since this may affect the sweetness of the curd, taste the curd and add more honey if needed.
Alternative tart crust: If you are not gluten-free or paleo and perhaps don't have coconut flour, you can also use this other lovely almond-based tart crust in my 'Summer Fruits Tart' post.
Special equipment: (1) Fluted tart pan with removable bottom. (2) Beans or beads for blind-baking the tart shell.
Passionfruit + Meyer Lemon Tart
Recipe yields one 9" round tart.
For the almond-hazelnut tart crust:
1C (140g) whole hazelnuts
1C (100g) almond flour
1/2C (55g) coconut flour
1 large egg
2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee, solid state is fine
1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
Pinch of salt
For the passionfruit & lemon curd filling (makes ~2 cups):
1/2C fresh passionfruit pulp with seeds, from about 3/4lb or 8-10 passionfruits (see headnotes about substituting) + 1 extra for optional garnish
1/2C fresh Meyer lemon juice, from about 4 Meyer lemons + 1 extra for optional garnish
Zest of two Meyer lemons
4 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
3/4C coconut oil or ghee
Pinch of salt
2.5 tsp gelatin powder
Make the tart crust:
1. Preheat oven to 325f. Place hazelnuts on a sheetpan and toast them for 10-15 minutes until they are a deep brown color and the skins are starting to peel away. Remove from oven and as soon as they're cool enough to handle, rub them inside a kitchen towel or paper towels to remove as much of the skin as possible. Let cool completely.
2. Increase the oven to 350f. Place the cooled and skinned hazelnuts in a food processor or high speed blender (I used Vitamix) and process until you have a coarse "flour", about a minute. Add the remaining crust ingredients and pulse until a dough forms. Some stragglers are fine - you can scoop the bits out and push them into the dough ball with your hands. Place the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and gently roll it out ~1/4" thick and you have a circle approx 12" diameter. Peel back top sheet of parchment and slip one hand under the bottom parchment to carefully flip the dough onto the tart pan. If you have a husband or friend with idle hands, they can help you here. I did it by myself and don't worry if some pieces break off - it is quite easy to mend broken bits and cracks using your fingertips to press them back together. Take some time to ensure you form a crust that is even all over the bottom and up the side walls too. This will ensure it is sturdy for unmolding later.
3. Place one of those parchment sheets on top of the crust and add your blind-bake beans or beads (I keep a jar of raw navy beans for blind-baking). Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Dial down the oven to 325f, pull out the tart and remove the beans and parchment paper. Put the crust back in the oven and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until a pale golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Make the curd filling:
4. While the crust is baking, set a medium-sized saucepan on the stove with ~1" water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Take out a heatproof bowl large enough to comfortably hold the curd ingredients (e.g. about 4-cup capacity) but small enough that when set atop the saucepan, the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
5. If you are using fresh passionfruit (which I recommend - see headnotes about substitutions), cut them in half and scoop out the pulp with a metal spoon. Press through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the heatproof bowl to remove any thick pulp. This also separates the seeds. Here is where you get to decide whether you want the seeds in the curd or not. I personally adore eating the seeds. They have a nice crunch to them. But even as an avid passionfruit devotee, I will admit their appearance is a bit odd to some (especially if you have trypophobia -- you might not want to google-image that ew). If you are omitting them, use the strained passionfruit pulp as is. If you are including the seeds, pick them out and give a rinse and set aside for the moment. (The tart pictured does not contain seeds.)
6. To the bowl holding the passionfruit pulp (and seeds, if using), add the zest, lemon juice, whole eggs, egg yolks, honey, coconut oil / ghee and salt. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water, making sure it is a gentle simmer the whole time and adjust heat as needed. Whisk until mixture is smooth and no lumps of coconut oil or ghee remains. Increase heat slightly to medium-low, and cook a further 7-8 minutes or until tiny bubbles surface. Strain the mixture through the fine-mesh sieve again. Add the reserved passionfruit seeds back in now, if using.Set aside.
7. Bloom the gelatin by sprinkling it into the water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add gelatin water mixture to the still-warm curd and stir until the gelatin is fully dissolved. If needed, set it back over the double-boiler (pot with simmering water) to do that.
8. Pour curd filling into the crust. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until set. If desired, garnish with thinly-sliced lemons and dribbles of fresh passionfruit pulp on top.
The tart is best eaten the day-of, but can be stored covered up in the fridge for 1 or 2 days. The crust softens over time.