Sweet, Creamy and Tangy Dessert Lemon-Lavender Hearts with Lemon Curd
The lavender season may be over for another year in Provence, but the locally-grown citrus will be available shortly. Perhaps these Lemon-Lavender Hearts (Coeur à la Crème au Citron et Lavande) are the perfect dessert to bridge the gap between seasons in the South of France. The combination of sweet lemon curd and cream cheese blended into a delicious finish to any meal. Read special equipment required for the step-by-step photos.
Citrus in Provence
By November, it is typical to see Corsican citrus in some Provencal markets – pomelos, cédrat (cedrat or Corsican Citron is a lemon with a think rind), oranges, and clementines.
Lemons have been growing in the hills near Menton, on the French Riviera, since the 15th century. However, it took until the 16th century for the local citrus agriculture to become more formally organised. Today, there are about fifteen professional growers in the Menton region producing roughly 150 metric tons of lemons per year.
By 1928, Menton – “La Cité des Citrons” (The City of Lemons) – was the top lemon-producing region in Europe, a position that now falls to Spain. Global production stats have not stopped the city from “painting” the streets and the Jardins Biovès orange and yellow each year during the Fête du Citron. It is a lively festival (much more family-friendly than the Rio Carnival) that first started in 1933 as a way to attract visitors to the French Riviera during winter months.