Meyer Lemon Tart with Lavender Shortbread Crust and Candied Kumquats

Meyer Lemon Tart with Lavender Shortbread Crust and Candied Kumquats
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About This Recipe

Napa Valley is a treasure trove of fresh, seasonal ingredients, and as a food lover and blogger, I am always inspired to create dishes that showcase the amazing local produce. My Meyer Lemon Tart with Lavender Shortbread Crust and Candied Kumquats is a perfect example of a dessert that brings together the best of Napa Valley's flavors, with its juicy Meyer lemons, fragrant lavender, and sweet, tangy kumquats.

Creating this dessert was a delightful journey that started with a visit to the local farmers' market. As I strolled through the stands brimming with fresh produce, I came across a stand selling Meyer lemons and kumquats. I knew that I wanted to create a dessert that would highlight these vibrant, tangy fruits. The addition of lavender shortbread crust came to mind as I passed by a stand selling dried culinary lavender. The combination of these three ingredients brings a unique harmony of flavors to this tart, making it a standout dessert for any gathering.

Before indulging in this scrumptious dessert, you might want to start with a main course that complements the tart's citrusy flavors. A lovely option would be a simple roasted chicken with a lemon and herb marinade, or a pan-seared halibut with a citrus salsa. Both dishes would provide a savory balance to the tart's bright, tangy notes.

The Napa Valley is known for its incredible selection of wine, and the right wine pairing can elevate this Meyer Lemon Tart to new heights. Two fantastic options to consider are a Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, which offers a delightful balance of sweetness and acidity that complements the tart's citrus flavors, and a floral Viognier, which has a lovely aromatic quality that pairs beautifully with the lavender-infused crust. If you're looking for local wineries to try these wines, consider visiting Frog's Leap Winery for their Sauvignon Blanc and Darioush Winery for their Viognier. Both wineries are located in Napa Valley and offer exquisite wine-tasting experiences.

To source the fresh ingredients for this tart, consider visiting the Napa Farmers Market or the St. Helena Farmers Market, both of which offer a wide array of locally grown produce. For the culinary lavender, a visit to the picturesque Matanzas Creek Winery in Sonoma County, which has a beautiful lavender garden on-site, is a must.

This Meyer Lemon Tart with Lavender Shortbread Crust and Candied Kumquats is a true ode to the flavors of Napa Valley, and it's perfect for any occasion, whether you're hosting a dinner party or simply treating yourself to a special dessert. Enjoy the process of creating this dessert, knowing that you're using the best ingredients that the wine country has to offer.

Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

The Magic of Meyer Lemons

Meyer lemons, a sweeter and more fragrant variety of the regular lemon, are considered a citrus treasure. With a thin rind, a deep yellow hue, and a slightly orange scent, these lemons are less acidic and have a more complex taste profile, which includes hints of mandarin orange. Originating from China, Meyer lemons have become a beloved staple in many American kitchens, especially in regions like Napa Valley where they are locally grown. Their distinct flavor profile elevates desserts, bringing a bright and robust citrus note without overwhelming sourness.

Mastering the Shortbread Crust

Achieving the Perfect Lavender Shortbread Crust

  1. Ensure Your Butter is Cold: This will lead to a crumbly and flaky crust. The cold butter pieces create pockets of air when baked, resulting in a lighter texture.
  2. Pulse, Don’t Overmix: Overmixing can make your crust tough. Pulse until the dough just comes together to keep it tender and short.
  3. Rest Before Baking: Letting the pressed crust rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes before baking can prevent it from shrinking too much in the oven.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use regular lemons instead of Meyer lemons? Yes, but be aware that regular lemons are more acidic than Meyer lemons. Consider adding a tad more sugar to balance the tartness.
  2. What if I'm allergic to lavender or don't like its taste? You can skip the lavender altogether or substitute with another herb or edible flower, such as rose petals.
  3. How should I store leftover tart? Store any leftover tart in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  4. Can I use store-bought crust for this recipe? Yes, though the homemade lavender-infused crust adds a unique touch. If you opt for store-bought, choose a high-quality shortbread crust for best results.
  5. What other fruits can be candied like the kumquats? Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit can also be candied using the same method. Ensure they are thinly sliced.

Crafting a Delightful Tart

Tips for a Showstopper Dessert

  1. Fresh is Best: Using fresh Meyer lemon juice rather than bottled will give a more authentic and rich flavor to your tart.
  2. Even Baking: Place your tart pan on a baking sheet. It ensures even baking and makes it easier to take in and out of the oven.
  3. Cool Completely: Before adding your lemon filling, make sure the shortbread crust has cooled entirely to prevent it from getting soggy.

The amalgamation of fragrant Meyer lemons, aromatic lavender, and tangy candied kumquats make this tart a Napa Valley favorite. With these insights, you're well-equipped to bring the essence of wine country to your table. Happy baking!

Recipe Overview

Meyer Lemon Tart with Lavender Shortbread Crust and Candied Kumquats
Lily Anderson
8 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List

Ingredients:For the Lavender Shortbread Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

For the Meyer Lemon Filling:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

For the Candied Kumquats:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sliced kumquats

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch tart pan.
  2. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, lavender, and salt. Pulse to mix. Add cold cubed butter and pulse until a dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the prepared tart pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Allow the crust to cool completely.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together sugar, Meyer lemon zest, eggs, Meyer lemon juice, and heavy cream. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F (160°C) and bake the tart for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is set. Allow the tart to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then add the sliced kumquats. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the kumquats are translucent and syrupy. Remove from heat and let the kumquats cool in the syrup.
  5. Arrange the candied kumquats on top of the tart before serving.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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