This recipe is similar to many others, except that we’ve found a way to insure a crispier crust. The sugar and lemon in the filling gets heated first, before adding the eggs and salt, before pouring over the partially-cooked crust. The crust “seals” better this way.
Another difference in this recipe: At The New Deli, we’ve started processing lemon peel and juice with the sugar and salt in our VitaMix blender. (Another quality blender might do.) This saves time (and knuckle skin), since it’s easier to peel the lemon with a potato peeler, than to zest it. We suspect that this method helps to infuse the sugar thoroughly with the lemon flavor. Also, this step can be done a day ahead, which is helpful.
Meyer lemons are sweeter than the typical grocery-store “Eureka” lemons, but those may be substituted. Either way, look for organic lemons, as this recipe uses the outer rind, where pesticides and fungicides can lurk. Serves 8 or so.
- Zest of 2 Meyer lemons*
- 3 TBS. lemon juice*
- 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 3/8 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 c. flour
- 3/4 c. butter
- 3/8 c. confectioner’s sugar
- 3 eggs, well beaten
1. This step can be done a day ahead if desired. Wash lemons; use a potato peeler to get peel off. Juice the lemons, to get 3 TBS. Into VitaMix blender (or other decent blender), add the following: > Peel from 2 lemons* > 3 TBS. lemon juice* > 1 1/2 c. sugar > 3/8 tsp. salt
2. Make the crust. Process just until crumbly (not too fine) and press into 9″ square pan, and partly up the sides: > 1 1/2 c. flour > 3/4 butter > 3/8 c. confectioner’s sugar
3. Bake crust 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
4. To prepare the filling, heat the lemon zest/lemon juice/sugar/salt mixture in a pan or in the microwave for 3 minutes or so. Stir in the eggs one at a time, plus the salt. Use: > 3 eggs
5. Mix thoroughly, pour on top of pre-baked crust.
6. Bake 20 minutes more, until it sets up. Cool before cutting. To make a more elegant dessert, serve with a scoop of ice cream and a sprinkling of poppy seeds.
* OR, for “Shaker Style”): Use 2 large Meyer lemons, sliced, in place of the juice and zest. Add the paper-thin, seeded lemon slices to a large mixing bowl; add the granulated sugar and toss well to coat, “marinating” for a day. Proceed with recipe, skipping Step 1.