Pi Day (3.14)- Meyer Lemon Curd Pie w/an Espresso Ganache


Happy Pi Day everyone!  (For those out of the loop, check the month and day,  then remember the ole math classes- 3.14.)

Often when I’m stuck on a creative idea, (writing, cooking, photo, …) I’ll take a little stroll through the garden.  Somewhere amongst the plants lies the Clever Fairy, and if I’m lucky she’ll bless me with something good to use. However most days, the little twit isn’t anywhere to be found, but at least I get to take a nice stroll while avoiding doing any real work.

In coming up with a pie idea for Pi day, I was in the middle of my mindless meandering when the idea whacked me alongside the head.  “Use the garden, idiot.”  It was either the Clever Fairy or Obi One Kenobi, I still don’t know which.   But the idea was brilliant so I started searching for the pi’s pie foundation.  Tangerines were out because I just used them for the creme brulee (gotta be more creative than that) Oranges are getting tasty, but ….  Blood orange, not ready yet.  Limes, maybe.  Ah ha!  Meyer lemons.


A meyer lemon meringue would be nice, but I was looking for something a little more savvy. The juices were flowing and the pie’s premise quickly developed. Blind bake a crust, give a nice 1/4″ layer of chocolate ganache, wait…. espresso chocolate ganache, fill with the meyer lemon curd, then top with candied meyer lemon slices and dollops (love that word) of whipped cream.

The sweet tang of the lemon curd, complimented by the chocolate and espresso, smoothed out by the whipped cream and prettied up by the candied lemon slices….   Sounded good.

The pie crust was old hat.  I love our recipe for pie crusts and rolling it out was a piece of cake.  I mean pie.  Or pi.  However I f#%ing hate doing decorative crusts.  I love the look of them, I greatly admire those who can nail them, but I hate trying to form them.   Maybe one of these days I’ll force myself to properly make a pie edge pretty, until then I’m going rustic.  Rustic is still in, right?

Line with parchment, fill with beans, put in the ….. Damn it.  Take out beans.  Lift parchment.  Prick pie bottom with fork, line with parchment, fill with beans…  Ok.  Into the oven.


The curd was easy and went without mishap.  Luckily we didn’t over taste-test and there was enough to fill the pie later.  Ganache was another old hat, but much tastier than an old hat.  The espresso’s balance was nice, being able to taste it, but still allowing the chocolate to be dominant.  And it was getting late, so I figured to make the candied meyer lemon slices in the morning.

Note to self: Never try to do fine knife work early in the morning before having any coffee.  All digits are still intact, but I think the puppies learned a few new “colorful” words.  Eventually enough slices were salvaged to form a respectable topping.  Ok. Assemble all ingredients, and when ready to serve, whip the cream to luscious peaks and dollop. Thanks Clever Fairy. Or Obi One.  The pie was tasty.



Meyer Lemon Curd Pie w/an Espresso Ganache

Yield: 1 Pie

This pie crust is one of the tastiest, flaky pie crusts we've had. Easy to make, too. Lard makes pies flaky, butter makes pies tasty. That's why both are used here. Also, flaky pies like cold temperatures, so keep your ingredients cold even in between steps to help make your crust happy. Makes enough dough for 2 - 9" Pies. We usually will bake the extra crust then save in the freezer for future use.

The ganache is an adaptation off of Bo Friberg’s Professional Pastry Chef ganache recipe. This recipe only makes about 1 cup, since we were using it as a pie underlying base. It easily can be increased for larger amounts. It keeps well for weeks in the fridge, so feel free to make more than you need. You can always find a use.  If you are serving someone who isn’t a coffee affectionado, substitute the espresso for dark rum or with a touch of vanilla extract.

The lemon curd is an adaptation off of Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.  You can make it will regular Eureka lemons as well, but it is by far the best with the meyer lemons.  It’s still has a tartness, but it is also perfectly sweet, bright, and wonderfully lemony. Makes a little over 2 cups.


Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 c (355g) flour
  • 1/2 T (8g) salt
  • 1/2 lb (225g) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c (70g) cold lard
  • 1/3 c (80ml) ice water, approx.

Ganache Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 T (30g) sugar
  • 1/2 c (120ml) heavy cream
  • .45 lb (200g) dark chocolate (chopped into fine pieces)
  • 2 oz (60ml) espresso

Meyer Lemon Curd Ingredients

  • 10 lrg egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 c (240g) sugar
  • finely grated zest of 4 Meyer Lemons
  • 3/4 c (180ml) fresh squeezed Meyer Lemon Juice (6-8 lemons)
  • 1/2 t (3g) salt
  • 13 T (200g) unsalted butter (cold-cut into small chunks)
  • Candied Meyer Lemon Slices (meyers work much better than a regular lemon for the topping due to them having less pith - P.S. the recipe link is for peels, but slices work the same, just cook for a touch longer and don't do too many at once)


Crust Directions

  1. Combine flour and salt on a work surface or bowl.
  2. Cut up the cold butter and lard into manageable pieces, then add it to the flour and pinch down to hazelnut size pieces with your fingers.
  3. Add ice water and mix just until the dough comes together. It should be a rough looking, lumpy ball with chunks of butter still.
  4. Flatten the ball to expedite the chilling process, then wrap and put to rest in fridge for at least 30 min.
  5. Divide the dough in two, putting one back in the fridge and placing the other dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll out. Occasionally peel back plastic wrap, then place back on so you take out the wrinkles. Roll to about 1/8" thick and about 1" beyond your pie tin, then place in tin and finish the edges however you like. Prick the bottom and let rest in fridge for at least 1/2 hour before using.
  6. If blind baking, preheat oven to 375º. Carefully line crust with parchment paper, then fill with pie weights of your choice (we prefer beans, they're cheaper and seem to fill better.) Bake crust in oven for 18 min, or until it begins to show slight browning on edges. Remove foil and weights, then return to oven for another 15 min., or until it's a nice, golden brown. If you aren't blind baking, bake as directed in your recipe.

Ganache Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolk and sugar until well combined and fluffy. Set aside.
  2. Combine heavy cream and chocolate pieces into a saucepan. Heat on medium heat until chocolate is fully melted and temperature is approx. 160º F.  Remove from heat, add espresso and stir until incorporated.
  3. Pour chocolate mix into egg/sugar mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Continue stirring for a few minutes to make sure sugar is fully dissolved. Store at room temp. if you are using the ganache in a day or so, or store in the in fridge if you are needing to keep it for longer.

Lemon Curd Directions

  1. Combine egg yolks, sugar, meyer lemon zest and meyer lemon juice in a saucepan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture even coats the back of a wooden spoon (8-10 min.)
  2. Remove from heat.  Add butter, just a couple pieces at a time, stirring until fully incorporated.  Add salt to taste.
  3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve directly into a storage bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down to completely touch the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely chilled (about 2 hrs) and up to a few days. Stir before using.


  1. The crust should be blind baked then layered with the ganache and lemon curd.
  2. Finish with candied Meyer Lemon Slices.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

We’re submitting this meyer lemon pie to Andrea’s Grow Your Own Event, where we celebrate dishes made from our garden bounty. The curd for this pie would not have been possible without the crazy explosion of meyer lemons from our tree. So, thank you Andrea for this event and thank you to our fruit laden tree. If you create any dishes from your garden, make sure you join in on the Grow Your Own Event.


{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Natalie

    I have made this recipe twice now and I love it! The first time I made the espresso ganache, and the second I added vanilla instead. Thanks for sharing, this one’s a keeper :D.

  2. renée

    hi there… I am new to your website, stumbling upon it via tastespotting.com… Although I was looking for a Meyer lemon tart recipe, it was your pie crust recipe that stopped me in my tracks…

    I am big fan of using lard in pie crusts but find an all lard version not as flavourful as a lard/butter mix… I have been on a mission to find one that hits all the right notes (flavour and flakiness) but my experiments have resulted in crusts that were too fragile, too rich and so on…

    I decided to give your recipe a go and pair it with the Pierre Herme’s most extraordinary lemon cream (see here http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/04/lemon-lemon-lemon-cream-recipe.html)…

    the result was FANTASTIC and your crust is now my go to crust when I want to incorporate lard into my tart/pie crusts… the crust was really easy to work with… although it shrunk quite a bit when I blind baked it, it ended up being the perfect size for the amount of filling the aforementioned lemon cream recipe yielded… I have learned though to push the dough up the sides of my tart pan to make up for the shrinkage…

    one thing I did change: I did a “sweet” version where I added a tablespoon of sugar and used 1 tsp of salt — this is the version I used for the lemon cream tart… I used the version you published with only salt as the crust for a smoked white fish pot pie — which was exceptional (both the filling and the crust!)…

    also, wanted to mention, I do really like the sound of your Meyer lemon filling recipe combined with the espresso ganache but I didn’t have enough eggs or lemons to fulfill your recipe as is, so will plan to try yours in the future…

    in the mean time, thanks much for the pie crust recipe!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Thanks for the great feedback. We love this pie crust too. Your sweet version sounds like a great adaption. Thanks for sharing.

      T & D

  3. Savor

    This is amazing! I hope that you are gloing to submit this for the meyer lemon roundup! http://savorthethyme.blogspot.com

  4. Sophie

    Hello, I just stumbeled onto your beatiful blog & I am glad that I did!! Also, I am on a lemon curd wave,…
    This dessert looks stunning!!!

  5. Mary

    Made this pie tonight! We somehow didn’t have any pie tins, so I made it in a square pyrex dish. I also couldn’t find lard, and used crisco. Crust tasted great, and was quite flaky!! The lemon filling was super tasty.

    So glad you liked it. The lemon curd has become a “go to” for our desserts. You can even serve it in a glass w/ whipped cream for a quick throw together. And we love that pie crust. Enjoy! -WORC

  6. White on Rice Couple

    Tiina – Thanks!

    Rachael – If we find a no-bake crust, we’ll pass it on to you. Thanks for the compliments. We feel honored.

    Shannon – It was quite tasty. All gone now!

    lis – and kishu mandarins, grapefruit, dragonfruit, figs, persimmons, asian pears, pomegranates, kaffir limes, kumquats, calamansi limes, star fruit…. Bwahahahaha!

    MsGourmet – I almost did! But we had guests to serve. Next time.

    Nurit – All gone. Gonna hafta make a new one.

    Thanks again for visiting, everyone. Todd.

  7. Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food.

    oh, this looks like something I want NOW.

  8. MsGourmet

    What a stunning pie – it has that ‘I want to plunge my face into it’ kind of appeal about it.

  9. lis

    that pie looks delicious. and meyer lemons (and limes, and tangerines, and. . . ) in your own garden–so jealous!

  10. Shannon

    I would give almost anything to taste that!

  11. Rachael

    This pie looks delicious! Living in Japan, I don’t have an oven and cannot make my own pie crust 🙁 otherwise I would make this immediately! Perhaps I can come up with a creative alternative… I love your blog and have it posted on my own blog as one of my favorites.

  12. Tiina

    Lovely pie for Pi day! 🙂 The colour of the lemon filling is amazing.

  13. White on Rice Couple

    Lori Lynn – Thank you very much. Math was never so tasty!

    Laura – Than you. Thanks for sharing about the River Cafe Cookbook. Your descriptions on your site about the book sound fantastic. We might have to add another to the library.

    Judy – Thank you!

    Matt – Yeah, the curd has a million & one tasty uses. Cookie sandwiches, straight up, straight up with a dollop of whipped cream, etc… Happy pi day and thanks for the compliments.

    Thanks for visiting, everyone! Todd.

  14. Judy

    Your pie looks incredible! Rustic or not those are amazing flavor combinations!!!

  15. Laura [What I Like]

    Beautiful! There is a gorgeous recipe in the River Cafe Cookbook for lemon tart with a bottom layer of chocolate, but I do believe the espresso is an inspired addition!

  16. matt wright

    YUM. You guys are just amazing talent. The lemon curd looks awesome – one of my favorite lemon “things”.. I used to just spread it on toast. I just cannot imagine how good this would be – lemon, chocolate, and espresso! holy cow. Amazing stuff. And great photos.

    Happy 3.14 day too!!

  17. Lori Lynn

    That pie is absolutely stunning! Lemon and chocolate, I love it!!!
    I almost missed posting for pi day, just barely got it in. I would have been sad to have forgotten my favorite little irrational number.

  18. White on Rice Couple

    Manggy – Glad to see you back on the cyber world. Thank you very much for the compliments. I’m not sure if Sierra takes after me, or I am starting to take after her. Your mango galettes sound tasty.

    The Daily Colander – I’m a dork/turkeybutt, so I have to attack the pie. And it was in a tart pan. I made 2, one in a pie pan, and one in the tart pan. I liked the tart pan look better.

    Asianmommy – Thanks!

    Christie – Thanks. My Viet cowgirl shoots a mean Nikon.

    flfarmgirl – Ha ha ha! See you wouldn’t stay forever anyway. You’d miss your pups too much!

    Hannah – Happy Pi day to you too! Thanks for the compliments.

    heartkorean – As crazy as the baker!

    Thanks for stopping by and saying “Hi” everyone! Todd.

  19. heartkorean

    holy cow, that pie is insane

  20. Hannah

    I just love chocolate and citrus together- Sounds one amazing pie! Happy Pi Day!

  21. flfarmgirl

    re: your comments on my comments, thanks for the invite, but your dogs would not intimidate me or make me leave. You see, we have two Ridgebacks and a Black Lab and are very familiar with snores, twitches, and dreams—love it! Can’t imagine life without our pups!

  22. Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    Oh man! That first one is the money shot from hell! Fantastic! 🙂

  23. Asianmommy

    What a beautiful Pi!

  24. The Daily Colander

    Okay, this looks fantastic. And the photo of Todd licking the pie is…well….hilarious. Did you make the pie in a tart pan?

  25. Manggy

    Lemon and chocolate is such a sophisticated pairing, but it’s such a welcome change from the usual cloying sweetness that plagues desserts 🙂 Very well-done Todd! And I thought Sierra was the one who usually licks these things in profile! 😛
    I think decorative edges are easier to do on traditional American pie pans. You don’t do too bad yourself! My pies (and galettes and tarts) are here: http://manggy.blogspot.com/search/label/pie . Happy pi day!

  26. White on Rice Couple

    Layla – Coffee and comics. That’s all I ask for in the am. 😉

    Lisa – From the heart is tasty in the mouth, right?!

    Phoo-d – All my testers (my sister, her fam. and in-laws all visiting now) agreed, Coffee & lemon are quite tasty together. Coffee & pie for breakfast for everyone!

    flfarmgirl – Thanks for the compliments. Crema di limoncello was our favorite when we went to Italy. We have to make that this year. Give us a heads up if you are every on this coast. We usually get people to leave by threatening to make them share sleeping quarters with the pups 🙂 Between the snoring the twitching, they don’t let anyone sleep.

    Andrea – You and your Grow Your Own events always inspire us to use more & more from the garden.

    Susan – Thank you very much.

    Julia – Family trumps holidays anytime! Love the cake you made and the story behind it.

    foodlibrarian – Thank you. You should have mentioned your pie. It looks absolutely gorgeous. Everyone go visit another Pi Day pie @ foodlibrarian.

    Thanks for stopping by and saying “Hi” everyone. Let’s hear about more Pi pies! Todd

  27. Simone (junglefrog)

    See, I had never even heard of pi day untill about a couple of hours ago. Which really isn’t fair as I would have loved to make a pie on pi-day… Guess I have to wait another year to make one (but on the plus site I get to practice making pie for another year too!!) Love the look of your pie and I still think it looks beautiful, rustic or not!

  28. Jesse

    I prefer rustic to crimped ALWAYS!! Hahaha, Todd you are so funny, I love that last picture… that’s what I’m always tempted to do when faced with pies…

  29. foodlibrarian

    Happy Pi Day to you! This looks wonderful! My dad has a Meyer tree and I’ll have to use some to make this!

  30. Julia

    Your pi pie looks great! And I’m completely jealous of all your citrus trees.
    Today is also my sister’s birthday, so I made a carrot cake, instead, in her honor. http://www.growcookeat.com/2009/03/happy-birthday-liz.html

  31. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

    Rustic is still most definitely in! Your pie looks absolutely scrumptious! I love the chocolate twist too. I am so out of the loop these days. I didn’t even know it was Pi Day!

  32. flfarmgirl

    You are sooo clever with your pi day recipe. Mouth is watering. I have envy for your writing, cooking, photo creations, and garden. I really love Meyer Lemons. Have you used them in Crema di Limoncello or Dorie’s Swedish Visitor’s Cake or Amanda Hesser’s Lemon Chicken? To die for! You have one of my favorite blogs, and I wish I could see your garden in person, but if I did, you’d have a hard time getting me to leave.

  33. Andrea

    How luscious! Love the combination of the lemon and the chocolate. And the lemons look so beautiful hanging on the tree. Thanks for another tasty post for Grow Your Own. 🙂

  34. Phoo-D

    I’m only halfway through my coffee and am seriously craving a slice of that goodness! Must finish coffee. Must make pie. Thanks for the recipe! It has all my favorite flavors and we just got another box of Meyer’s…

  35. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    Rustic is always in with me. I agree with Layla, that beautiful is well…beautiful, but rustic says homemade to me, and homemade is always good!

  36. Layla

    I think rustic is still in – at least in my opinion rustic is usually tastier than decorative (though I have a huge amount of respect for those who can achieve both tasty + decorative), but mainly the beautiful bright yellow color of the curd is just irresistible, not to mention the chocolate, yum. Also, I have to agree on the coffee, I am completely useless in the morning until I’ve had a good cup of coffee.

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