Recipe: Make a deconstructed Meyer lemon curd tart with this parfait recipe

Kate Bradshaw, The Mercury News on

Published in Entertaining

Tired of traditional summer tarts? Try out this deconstructed lemon tart recipe – a Meyer lemon curd parfait with layers of crumbled crust and blueberries soaked in wine and sugar.

This recipe comes from the Clif Family Winery, where an organic edible farm provides produce for the winery’s food truck, Clif Family Bruschetteria. The recipe is one of more than 60 featured in “Gather: Casual Cooking from Wine Country Gardens” (Harry N. Abrams, $40) by Janet Fletcher.

The Napa-based food writer is the voice of the “Planet Cheese” newsletter and author of several cookbooks that highlight wine, cheese and farm-to-table fare. Her latest book showcases recipes and wine pairings inspired by 13 edible gardens in wine country.

Meyer Lemon Curd Parfait

Serves 6 to 8


Poppy seed crust

1¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1⁄8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1⁄2 cup cold unsalted butter, in small pieces

1 large egg yolk

2 to 3 tablespoons cold heavy cream

Meyer lemon curd

3⁄4 cup Clif Family Meyer Lemon Marmalade or other marmalade

1⁄2 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 large eggs, at room temperature


3 large egg yolks, at room temperature

1⁄4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, in small pieces

Macerated berries

2 pints blueberries or blackberries

1⁄4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons red wine

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

6 to 8 fresh mint sprigs, for garnish


Make the poppy seed crust: In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, poppy seeds and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the cream, then drizzle them evenly over the dry mixture. Pulse just until the dough begins to come together, adding another 1 tablespoon cream if the dough seems dry. Handling the dough as lightly as possible, shape it into a flattened disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before rolling to soften it slightly. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick. The shape doesn’t matter as long as it will fit on your pan. Transfer the rolled dough to a baking sheet. Pierce the dough in several places with a fork. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Gently break the crust into pieces small enough to fit in your serving glasses. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until you are ready to assemble the parfaits.

Make the Meyer lemon curd: Put a bowl into the refrigerator to chill. Put all the curd ingredients into a blender and puree until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into the top of a double boiler and set over (but not touching) simmering water. Cook, whisking almost constantly and scraping down the sides of the bowl or pan occasionally, until the mixture visibly thickens and registers 178 to 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Do not allow the curd to boil or it will curdle. Immediately remove from the heat and whisk the curd for a minute or so to cool it.

Transfer it to the chilled bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. You can make the curd a day ahead and refrigerate it.

Make the macerated berries: In a bowl, gently stir together all the ingredients until the sugar dissolves. Let macerate at room temperature for about 30 minutes to draw some juices out of the berries.

Assemble the parfaits: Set aside a few blueberries to garnish each serving. Put a scoop of lemon curd in each of six to eight clear glass cups or parfait glasses, using about one-third of the curd. Top the curd with poppy seed crust pieces, using about half of the pieces. Spoon macerated berries and juices on top, using about half of the berry mixture. Repeat the layering of lemon curd, crust, and berries. Top with the remaining lemon curd and garnish with the reserved berries and a mint sprig. Serve immediately so the crust stays crisp.

Recommended wine pairing: Clif Family Arriva Petite Sirah Dessert Wine.

— Janet Fletcher, “Gather: Casual Cooking from Wine Country Gardens” (Harry N. Abrams, $40)



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