The fact that yuzu is pretty much unavailable as a fruit in Australia is almost heart-breaking. I’ve never seen it at a fruit shop or farmers’ market, and a bit of internet searching seems to suggest that there are a few growers in Australia, but the fruits aren’t widely distributed. You either have to buy yuzu seeds or saplings and grow your own fruit, or live close enough to an orchard that you can just buy the fruit directly from the grower. Information seems to suggest that there are at least two yuzu growers in south-east Queensland, which means… yuzu road-trip? Am I that keen for yuzu? Probably. It’s kind of amazing.
I still haven’t quite worked out a way of describing yuzu, but then again, you can’t describe all tastes as a combination of other tastes. The closest I can get is to say it’s like a sharper lemon with a mandarin aftertaste, except, well, definitely a bit different from both. I had a yuzu tart (with blueberry mirin coulis) at Ki in Toronto, and that was my first exposure to yuzu. Even as a fan of basically all citrus, I was suitably impressed by yuzu.
So… yuzu tart. The yuzu component in this is yuzu juice, bought by the bottle from Black Pearl Epicure. I decided to make a tart because it was the best way of showcasing the yuzu in dessert format that I could think of (except perhaps yuzu sorbet, but that might be for another day).
The recipe I used was closely based on this lemon tart recipe from Exclusively Food. However, I did find that the recipe required 2 large egg yolks rather than 1 – just adding 1 left me with a pastry mixture like sand rather than clumps, even though I used a 60g egg. Two large egg yolks worked perfectly. And for the filling, of course, I substituted the 2/3 of a cup of lemon juice for the same amount of yuzu juice. When making the filling, I also found it better to lightly whisk the egg as suggested but then whisk the sugar into the egg before adding the butter, cream and juice. This helps the egg combine a bit better.
Then the perfect counterpoint to the sharpness of the yuzu is some vanilla ice cream, along with a few sweet blueberries. A bit more intriguing than your standard lemon tart, and definitely something I will be making again. Hopefully with fresh yuzu juice one day…