Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lemon Meringue Tarts

Lemon Meringue Pie is my husband's favorite dessert. I usually make it at least once a year for his birthday or father's day but decided it would be his Valentine's Day treat this year. Rather than make the same version I have made for years, I decided to pull out the mini tart pans he bought me for Christmas and make Lemon Meringue Tarts.

I sold a stack of rarely used cookbooks during the kitchen renovation including the one that had my lemon meringue recipe in it. Seems like I remember thinking I could easily find the recipe online when I decided to sell that one but I couldn't find it. So, off to and I found the recipe below. The perfect balance between sweet and tart, his one is even better than my tried and true recipe so it is all good!

I went with Dorie's Sweet Tart Dough for the crust and it was the perfect vehicle to hold the silky lemon curd. A pillowy cloud of meringue added the crowning touch. I even made some candied lemon zest to scatter across the tarts. These were delicious and beautiful!

Note: I made a full recipe for the crust and it worked perfectly for 4 mini tart pans. I halved the filling and meringue recipes and again had the perfect amounts.

Lemon Meringue Tarts

Sweet Tart Dough
Around My French Table, Dorie Greenspan

Makes enough for one 9-inch tart crust

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons; 4 1/2 ounces) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk

1. Pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. (You’re looking for some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.) Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses–about 10 seconds each–until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change–heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing. Chill the dough, wrapped in plastic, for about 2 hours before rolling.

2. To roll the dough: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll out chilled dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to 12-inch round, lifting and turning dough occasionally to free from paper. (Alternately, you can roll this out between two pieces of plastic, though flour the dough a bit anyway.) Using paper as aid, turn dough into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom; peel off paper. Seal any cracks in dough. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in, making double-thick sides. Pierce crust all over with fork.
Alternately, you can press the dough in as soon as it is processed: Press it evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the tart shell. You want to press hard enough that the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that it loses its crumbly texture.
3. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

4. To fully or partially bake the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. And here is the very best part: Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 20 to 25 minutes.

5. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a
spoon. Bake the crust about 10 minutes longer to fully bake it, or until it is firm and golden brown, brown being the important word: a pale crust doesn’t have a lot of flavor. (To partially bake it, only an additional 5 minutes is needed.) Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature, and proceed with the rest of your recipe.

via Emilie S. on

1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.

To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.
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  1. Kudos for using Dorie's sweet crust recipe! These look great!

  2. I love that sweet tart crust from Dorie! It really is a wonderful crust! How sweet of you to bake these yummy tarts for your husband!They look perfect!

  3. I adore all things lemon meringue & these look beautiful! I am sure your husband was VERY happy:)

  4. What a beautiful lemon tart! Lemon is one of my favorite flavors!!

  5. They look soooo good! I love anything glossy and white! They look amazing!

  6. You did such a beautiful job. The tarts look just perfect. I have never made a lemon meringue tart, but will make note of it in my copy of Dorie's book.
    Thank you a lot for your nice comment and your visit on my blog.
    Greetings form Colorado


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