These delicious Meyer lemon tarts with almond shortbread crust are packed full of fresh local ingredients sourced from some of California’s best farms and dairies!
I’m incredibly passionate about eating fresh local California-grown foods, not only for the health benefits and the benefits to the local economy, but also for the benefits that extend to the entire nation. More than half of the fruits, vegetables and nuts grown in the U.S. are from California, and their production contributes immensely (in the neighborhood of $100 billion dollars each year!) to both the state and national economy.
Farming is one of the largest employers in California, despite the severe drought conditions that we have faced for the past few years. California farmers and ranchers are consistently looking for innovative ways to use water responsibly so that fresh foods will continue to be available to both local and national markets. Supporting our local farmers is SO important to our community!
(To learn more about California ranchers, farmers, and water conservation efforts, please visit the Cultivate California website!)
We subscribe to a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box, and every week we get a delivery of farm fresh local organic produce. Joining a CSA or visiting your local farmer’s market is a great way to add more local foods into your diet. Last week’s CSA box included a few plump Meyer lemons among the other fruits and veggies, and I knew right away that I wanted to use them in a bright lemon tart.
California is also the country’s number one producer of milk, butter, and ice cream, as well as being the nation’s top producer of nuts. In fact, California grows 100% of the nation’s almonds, so when I chose to use Blue Diamond almonds in my tart recipe, I felt good about feeding my family another local Northern California grown product. Clover Stornetta, producer of our cream and butter, is a popular local dairy about an hour away from my home, and Barnstar Family Farms eggs are another regional California favorite.
I used my favorite quick and easy microwave lemon curd recipe to create our tart filling, and set it aside to chill in the refrigerator.
I made my own almond meal by grinding some of the whole almonds with my blender (you can read how to make your own almond meal here). Add some coarse raw sugar and a dash of vanilla, and the resulting crust is firm, buttery perfection – the ideal counterbalance to the tartness of the lemons.
Vanilla Almond Shortbread Tart Crust
- 3/4 cup Almond Meal
- 1 cup Almond Flour
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Raw Sugar or white sugar with large coarse granules
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 cup Butter, softened
- 1 tbsp. Vanilla
- 1 Large Egg
- Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease six 5" tart pans.
- In a large bowl, mix together the almond meal, almond flour, all purpose flour, raw sugar, and salt.
- Stir in the softened butter, followed by the vanilla and egg. Mix until well combined.
- Divide dough into six pieces. To shape the crusts, use your hands to press the dough evenly into the bottoms and side of each pan (or you can roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to avoid sticking).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until shells are lightly golden.
- Cool before filling.
A swirl of homemade whipped cream tops the lemon curd nicely.
A candied lemon slice on top finishes everything off – YUM!
For more information about fresh California produce, California ranchers and farmers, and local water conservation efforts, please visit the Cultivate California website.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.