from Patrick O'Connell of The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, VA
Meyer Lemon Confit
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
1–2 ripe Meyer lemons
2⅓ cups sugar
1⅓ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 sticks cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 recipe of your favorite pie dough
½ cup chopped toasted pistachios (optional)
Meyer Lemon Confit
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 3 cups of sugar with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use. The syrup can be made up to 1 week in advance.
Thinly and evenly slice the lemons, removing the seeds as you slice. Lay the slices flat and overlapping slightly on a sheet tray. Pour the sugar syrup over the lemon slices.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes or until the lemons are cooked all the way through. Remove foil and cook for another 20–30 minutes or until the lemon slices are translucent and candied. Transfer the slices and cooking syrup into a very clean plastic or glass container and refrigerate until ready to serve. The confit will hold for up to 2 months.
Place the eggs in the top of a double boiler or in a large stainless steel bowl. Whisk in the sugar and lemon juice. Set the mixture over a pot of simmering water and stir until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pastry cream. Remove from heat.
Whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time until completely combined.
Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.
Refrigerate until ready to use. The lemon curd will hold for up to 3 weeks.
Place the cooled lemon curd in the prebaked pie shell, filling it to the top. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. For small tartlets, bake 9–10 minutes at 325 degrees or until set. For larger tart, bake for 20–30 minutes or until set. Put aside to cool for at least 1 hour or until the tart comes to room temperature.
Slice the cooled tart with a warm knife or place one of the small tartlets in the center of a plate and serve with a slice of Meyer lemon confit. If desired, sprinkle the top of the tart and plate with toasted pistachios.