Monday, February 18, 2013

Lemon-Honey Tart with Salted Shortbread Crust

We went home to Florida recently and while there, I looked up my parents' neighbor whose yard is essentially a citrus fruit orchard. In the past, I've made some lovely treats with his Meyer lemons and grapefruit so I couldn't wait to hit him up again and he certainly didn't disappoint. I came home with a bag full of fruit.

I knew exactly what I wanted to make with the Meyers as I had dog eared a page in a recent issue of Bon Appetit with a lemon-honey tart recipe I wanted to try out. Coincidentally, I had also dog eared a page in Garden & Gun about Honey Pax Tupelo Honey. Tupelo honey has a distinctive yet delicate floral taste and is one of my favorite honey varietals. The company sources their honey from the Apalachicola River Basin in Northwest Florida and I couldn't wait to get my hands on a bottle. The new Fresh Market that recently opened in Pensacola carries Honey Pax products so I went in to check out the store and picked up a bottle for use in the tart.

While I was in Florida, Addie wrote about making the very same tart and her dislike of the thin lemon slices the recipe calls for adding to the curd. Based on her feedback, I decided to skip the lemon slices. Actually, I skipped the BA curd recipe entirely and adapted an old favorite, Suzanne Goin's lemon curd recipe from her divine Meyer Lemon and Chocolate Tart recipe in Sunday Suppers at LucquesI added 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 cup of sugar instead of the 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar called for in Suzanne's recipe. I then paired the adapted honey-lemon curd recipe with the salted shortbread tart crust recipe from Bon Appetit to make mini tarts topped with whipped cream and candied Meyer lemon zest.

Apparently the Bon Appetit recipe was quite eye catching as Renée, who blogs over at Sweetsugarbean, made it as well. Her tart turned out lovely but she reported the same distaste as Addie for the lemon slices in the curd filling, which is too bad since the slices look so pretty suspended in the curd. But as my husband, Le Chef as I call him when he's being a curmudgeon in the kitchen, would say, "That's a magazine recipe for you." What he means is that sometimes food magazine recipes include extra, superfluous steps that can be a waste of time at best and at worst, can detract from the dish, e.g. calling for the addition of lemon slices that render a perfectly fine tart practically inedible. Obviously, these magazines rely on enticing visual images to draw in readers, which is understandable, but sometimes it seems as though the recipes are an afterthought. Of course, this isn't always the case and some of my favorite tried-and-true recipes over the years have been torn from magazine pages  (R.I.P. Gourmet, I sure do miss you) but it seems to be happening more as of late.
In other food news, Ruby started solids when she turned six months old on February 9th. We decided against starting her on the rice cereal that is often recommended as starter food and went strait to pureed veggies. We tried yams first figuring something on the sweeter side would be an easy win and we were right. She gobbled it up! Of course, we're those obnoxious parents that video and photograph every milestone to death. I try to refrain from bombarding you all with too much baby stuff but the look on Ruby's face after her first bite was just too funny not to share a pic.