Recipes

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

May 4, 2013

Have you ever made Lemon Meringue Tarts before? Hi everyone, it’s Jillian here with this month’s Delicious Bites column. A few weeks ago a friend invited me over for a family dinner. We have a standing agreement — she provides the main course while I bring along the dessert. One of the family members has loads of likes and dislikes when it comes to food, which means dessert has to be either lemon flavoured or made from apples, or it won’t be eaten. I don’t like bringing the same dessert twice and as I’ve already brought along a classic lemon tart, a lemon drizzle cake and lemon squares, so I needed to come up with something new.

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

I looked through my fridge and saw the pot of lemon curd leftover from last month’s brown sugar meringues. I don’t like wasting food so I started thinking of ways to use the leftover curd and decided to make lemon meringue tarts. I made 4 lemon meringue tarts with the leftover curd and they were such a hit, even with the children, that the other dessert I brought along was completely ignored. It’s a bit involved but I thought you might like the recipe.

The tarts themselves aren’t complicated to make, it’s just lemon curd spooned into tart shells topped with a cloud of meringue but the whole process is a bit time consuming. There’s lots of cooling involved so I would make the tart shells and lemon curd the day before you plan to make the tarts and you could always cheat a bit by buying ready made tart shells.

I’m not a fan of uncooked meringue so I baked the lemon meringue tarts in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. n the first batch I made, the high temperature melted the regular lemon curd so I’ve added a little cornflour to the lemon curd filling to stop that happening. If you brulee the meringue with a blow torch instead of baking it, you could leave out the cornflour (cornstarch). I’ve also dialled back the sugar content in the curd as there is plenty of sugar in the meringue topping. The crumb layer idea came from an old Dione Lucas lemon meringue pie recipe I found in one of my cookbooks. You can’t taste the cardamom but it seems to add a depth of flavour.

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

Here’s my recipe for you.

Lemon Meringue Tarts (makes twelve 8 cm tarts)

Crumb layer:
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Put to one side.

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

Pastry

110 gm (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1/4 cup almond meal
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
Cold water

To make the pastry, combine all the dry ingredients and the lemon rind in a food processor and whiz for a few seconds until well combined and free of lumps. Add the cold butter and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and sufficient cold water and whiz until a soft dough just starts to form around the blade. Remove the dough from the food processor and gather the pastry into a ball; flatten slightly before wrapping in plastic and placing in the fridge. Refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface (I use a large sheet of greaseproof paper) and roll out thinly with a rolling pin. Grease twelve 8 cm tartlet tins. Cut out circles of pastry large enough to fit the tart shells. Line the tins with the pastry and trim the edges of the tart tins with a sharp knife. Lightly prick the pastry surface with the tines of a fork and return to the fridge for another 30 minutes. Line the tart shells with muffin liners and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove paper and weights. Bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until the tart shells are golden.Take the tart shells out of the oven and sprinkle about ½ teaspoon of the breadcrumb mixture over the base of each of the warm tart shells. Place the tart shells on a wire rack to cool. If you want, you can make the tart shells a day ahead and store them in an airtight container.

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

Lemon curd filling
4 large egg yolks
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
150 ml (2/3 cup) strained lemon juice
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch), optional
120 gm (4 oz) unsalted butter

Place the egg yolks, the lemon rind, juice, cornflour (if using) and sugar into a small bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Keep whisking for 10 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the butter in small batches until well combined. Set aside to cool. When completely cool cover the bowl and place the curd in the fridge and allow it to set. The curd will keep for a few weeks in the fridge in a sealed sterilized jar.

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

Meringue topping
4 large egg whites
Pinch cream of tartar
1 cup caster sugar
Additional caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Fill each tart shell about 2/3 full with the lemon curd. In a large clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until thick and gradually add the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat until the sugar dissolves. Using a spoon, decoratively swirl the meringue over the filled tart shells or you can pipe the meringue over the top, sealing the tarts completely with the meringue. Place the tart shells on a baking sheet and lightly sprinkle a little extra caster sugar over the meringue topping.

Bake the tarts in the preheated oven (190°C/375°F) for 10 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. If you prefer, you can use a brulee torch to colour the meringue. Take the tarts out of the oven and cool the tarts on a wire rack.

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

Once the tarts have cooled, return them to the fridge for a few hours to allow the filling to firm before serving.

Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

I hope you enjoy the lemon meringue tarts. I’ll be back in June with a summery Delicious Bites treat for you. See you all then – Jillian – and have a lovely Saturday!

(images: jillian lieboff for decor8)

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22 Comments

  • Reply Holly {Avenue} May 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Oh how delicious! I adore lemon flavoured desserts so must try this one. Beautiful photography too, Jillian! Holly

  • Reply Linda Leyble May 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Jillian – wow, your pictures alone make me want to start creating these tarts! I love anything with lemon and meringue …thanks for posting this!

    Linda

  • Reply Janelle May 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Tarts look delicious, pics just beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Tereza May 4, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Yum I’m seeing so many treats this morning! thanks for sharing, i’ll be pinning right now!

  • Reply Daphne May 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Wow, those are some mouth-watering gorgeous photos! I’m not the biggest lemon meringue fan, but these photos might just change that :).

  • Reply ellie B May 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    I have to try these, they look fantastic! I always love your photography too :) x

  • Reply Nikoyal May 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Yammyyy. I would like to taste this :)

  • Reply Jayme Marie May 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    This lemony dessert definitely makes me think of summertime – going to try this recipe very soon! …and where did you find that amazing white spoon?!

  • Reply ClassiclyAmber May 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I was JUST talking it over with my hubby this morning: we are craving lemony sweets. So this is perfect timing! It all looks so delish. :)

  • Reply Jillian Leiboff May 5, 2013 at 1:10 am

    @Jayme Marie: Hi there, the spoon is by Caroline Swift and I bought it from http://www.storynorth.com.

    Happy weekend,

    Jillian

  • Reply laura redburn // cardboardcities May 5, 2013 at 9:54 am

    jillian, these look delicious! i love anything lemony. and i love that spoon!

  • Reply Hannah May 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Such a fresh, uplifting post! Yellow is definitely the colour of the season!

  • Reply Jasmine May 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Looks delicious and perfect for gorgeous weather now! I was impressed with beautiful photos too. Added them to our Pinterest board! http://pinterest.com/jasmineway

  • Reply Batya May 6, 2013 at 1:05 am

    I can’t wait to try these– lemony, tarty…perfect!!

  • Reply Rebecca May 6, 2013 at 2:26 am

    These look absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing. Lemon everything is always my favorite treat.

  • Reply Juliane at Modern Mural May 6, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    These look so lovely! Admiring the navy and lemon together in the photos. Now I’m craving lemon! Bring on the summer!

  • Reply Molly {Dreams in HD} May 7, 2013 at 12:04 am

    wow, these look delicious and GORGEOUS!

  • Reply anastasia May 7, 2013 at 6:24 am

    i adore Lemon flavoured desserts – yummy and beautiful styling!

  • Reply Kate May 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Hang the diet! These look heavenly!

  • Reply Liane O'Brien May 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I wish I could reach into those wonderful photos and eat one (or two!) of those lemon meringue tarts right now – nom nom nom :)

  • Reply Rachel Moran May 7, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    These look delicious! I have some lemons from my meyer lemon tree which would be perfect for these. :)

  • Reply Jillian Leiboff May 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    @Liane O’Brien:

    Thanks for all your lovely comments,

    Jillian

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