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If you love lemon meringue pies, then you’ll love this delicious Lemon Meringue Tart recipe! This tart is made with a buttery shortbread crust, filled with tangy lemon curd, and topped with fluffy meringue. It’s the perfect dessert for springtime gatherings!
Lemon Meringue Tarts
Sweet, sour, and tangy with a right crisp on the tart crust. That is how your lemon meringue tart should be. It is a fusion of different textures and flavors. This dessert is typically made from three components, the crust, lemon curd, and meringue topping. Making this for the first time can be intimidating, so I kept it as simple as possible. First, let’s discuss all three components, shall we?
The Crust– This may seem quite tricky, especially if it involves a bit kneading and baking. But to make it easier for beginners, you can make your crust using store-bought shortbread cookies. All you have to do is to crush it, mix with melted butter and shape it into a crust using your tart pans. This is the easiest and the most simplified step you can do, or better yet, look for ready-to-use tart shells in the market. However, making your own tart shells will give you a sense of satisfaction since you know how much effort goes into it.
The Lemon Curd- This buttery, tart and rich spread are typically made of egg yolks, lemon juice, zest, sugar, and butter. All these ingredients were combined into one thick, smooth, velvety spread. It can be used in multiple ways, like filling, topping, or garnishing. You can make this ahead of time and store it in jars inside the refrigerator for weeks.
The Meringue Topping- You know we don’t like wasting ingredients, right? So since we will be using egg yolks in the lemon curd, your egg whites will go to your meringue topping. You will need a mixer to make it into stiff peaks, with added sugar and cream of tartar to stabilize the frosting. Baking the lemon tart with meringue topping will give it that smokey, sweet, charred scent that matches perfectly with your buttery crust and rich lemon curd.
Common Pitfalls In Making Lemon Curd
Making lemon curd is easy, and that is what we want to believe. However, even experts can run into pitfalls sometimes, so don’t fret as I give you some troubleshooting tips on how to make a perfect lemon curd at home.
If lemon curd doesn’t thicken, what should you do?
This common problem happens a lot of times. Probable reasons could be that the lemon curd is not cooked enough or that you have issues with egg yolks and liquid proportions. Cooking the lemon curd could take up to 30 minutes of constant stirring. It also should thicken as it cools down. However, if still not working, you might want to try adding another egg yolk to the recipe or mix a teaspoon of cornstarch diluted into a tablespoon of water and cook until thickened.
Why is my lemon curd lumpy?
Overcooking the lemon curd can result in a lumpy texture instead of a smooth one. Or the eggs have been cooked in the mixture due to high heat or not mixed continuously. So the key to making smooth, velvety, glossy lemon curd is to stir it constantly throughout the whole cooking time. Additionally, you may also try cooking the curd over a double boiler (bowl over a pan of simmering water) But make sure that the bowl is not touching the water. Remember that this technique can take longer to cook the curd but will result in perfect texture.
Your lemon meringue tarts are best served chilled. You may want to return the leftovers inside the fridge but make sure not to cover them with wrap or plastic as it can crush your meringue. The best way is to keep it in an airtight container inside the refrigerator for not more than 3 days. Don’t store it too long, as the tarts may begin to weep in the fridge over time.
Lemon Meringue Tarts
Shortbread Cookie Crust
- 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Lemon Curd Filing
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs large
- 3 pcs egg yolks reserve the whites for the meringue
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 1 tbsp cornstarch optional
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter cold and cut into 12 cube pieces
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
Shortbread Cookie Crust:
- In a mixing bowl or food processor, combine the butter and sugar and beat until the butter is creamy.
- Add the flour and baking powder. Combine everything using the paddle attachment of your mixer.
- After that, stir in the vanilla extract and mix to create a dough.
- Divide the dough into 12 mini tart pans with removable bottoms.
- It must be tightly formed and pressed to the bottom up to the sides of the tart pan.
- Bake it in a preheated oven of 350'F for 8 minutes.
- Let it cool completely before adding your filling.
- Set it aside while you do the filling.
Lemon Curd Filling:
- In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients (apart from the butter) and cook, stirring frequently. This process will take about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Do this process until the mixture coats the back of your spoon. Continue to simmer and stir.
- Add cold butter one piece at a time, and whisk it in thoroughly before adding the next.
- Take the lemon curd out from the heat, strain it through a fine mesh sieve, and discard the particles.
- Add the lemon curd into your baked shortbread crust and even out the top using a spoon.
- While making the lemon curd, let the egg whites warm up to room temperature. Whip egg whites with the cream of tartar and mix them on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Beat until stiff peaks form, while gradually the sugar.
- Transfer meringue in a piping bag with a star tip and pipe it on top of your tart with lemon curd filling.
- Bake lemon meringue tarts until golden brown, for about 12 minutes.
- Let it cool completely before serving.
More Easy Dessert Recipe
Love healthy baking recipes? You could try these simple recipes at home to impress your loved ones. Perfect for after-meal treats, coffee, and tea parties with friends and family!
To Wrap It All Up
Whether you’re looking for an impressive dessert to bake for a special occasion or up your baking game with a new twist, this recipe for lemon meringue tarts is sure to please. The best part? They’re not as tricky as they look, so why not give them a try? We promise you’ll be hooked once you see how easy they are to make and how delicious they taste!
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