This Meyer Lemon and Cardamom Tart showcases one of my favorite flavor pairings of all time: Meyer lemon and cardamom. This bright, citrusy tart is insanely delicious and perfect for spring.
Just recently, Chaser told me that lemons are his favorite fruit. We're talking all-time-favorite here. The absolutely no competition, hands down kind of favorite. It got me thinking... Maybe the lemon is my favorite fruit, too? After all, it's the only fruit I consistently consume on the daily (a morning mug of hot water with lemon). Plus, it makes far more appearances in my cooking than any other fruit (in sauces, marinades, vinaigrettes, etc.).
However, after further examination it became abundantly clear that the tomato, is in fact, hands down, without question, my favorite fruit. Duhhh. I mean, have you even read this blog before? Also, why are we even picking favorites to begin with?
For the record, I should note that there are approximately 80 days left until tomato season is back in full swing. Can I get an Amen?! Tomato lovers rejoice. Yeah, that's right: I count down the days to tomato season. Life just isn't the same without them.
But lemons, I have to say, are a pretty darn close second to tomatoes. I mean, can you even think of a fruit that's more versatile? Just try. You can't! (And don't even say limes, because even though they're great, we all know they can't hold a candle to lemons). Lemons aren't a fruit eaten on their own like, say, bananas, but used to enhance the flavors of other foods both savory and sweet. Lemons are in essence a seasoning, like salt, used to bring out the best in all sorts of different foods. What would a nice, fresh piece of fish be without a little squeeze of lemon?
Nothing. That's what.
Lemon, too, is a bold and distinct flavor all it's own. Lemon is timeless; a total classic! Used to flavor cakes, candies, cocktails and the like for decades. Lemon is subtle enough to play a supporting role, yet carries all the talent and charisma to be the star. It's a truly multidimensional fruit and I'm starting to rethink my decision to declare tomatoes as my favorite. Just kidding, lol. That would never happen.
Enter the meyer lemon: Slightly floral, with fragrant notes of orange and that signature puckery pop. Meyer lemons can do everything regular lemons can, but with a little more flair. They're like lemons written in cursive.
Thats why I opted to use meyer lemons in place of regular lemons when I made this tart. I wanted something classic, yet unique. Similar, but different. That's the name of my game.
In addition to using meyer lemons, I also added a touch of cardamom: a warm, aromatic spice commonly used throughout the Middle East and India. Years ago I added cardamom to a lemon ice cream and the flavors went together like Romeo and Juliet. An unlikely pair that, together, was unapologetically romantic. The cardamom brings out the fruity floral notes from the meyer lemon and rounds it all out, giving you this almost unidentifiable burst of fruity, fragrant flavor.
This tart is sweet, sour and makes a lovely addition to any celebratory Spring table. It's familiar, yet exotic, and a real looker to boot.
As someone who admittedly is not a fan of Winter, I'm always a little sad to leave citrus season behind. But even though meyer lemons won't be around in a few months, I always know it's just to make room for all of the brighter, sunnier things to come.