Individual Lemon Meringue Tarts

Total Time:
2 hr 55 min
Prep:
45 min
Inactive:
1 hr 15 min
Cook:
55 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Pastry:
  • 11/2 pounds short crust pastry, recipe follows
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Meringue:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Special equipment: rolling pin, 6 (4-inch) tart molds with removable bottoms and 3 cups of pie weights or dried beans.
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  • For the pastry: Roll the pastry to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 6 (6-inch) rounds. Place the pastry in 6 (4-inch) tart molds. With a knife trim the excess pastry. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  • Line each tart shell with a piece of parchment paper and fill to the rim with pie weights.

  • Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the pie weights and parchment from the tart shells and bake for 10 minutes.

  • For the filling: Whisk together the lemon juice, eggs, yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract.

  • Pour the lemon mixture into a medium pot. Place over medium heat and stir with a spatula for about 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Pour the lemon mixture onto a baking sheet and cool completely.

  • Spoon the cooled lemon mixture or curd into the baked tart shells.

  • For the meringue: Beat the egg whites with the vanilla extract and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Continue beating while adding the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. The finished meringue should have stiff glossy peaks. Mound the meringue on top of the tarts.

  • Make sure there is a good seal between the meringue and the edge of the crust. Bake the tarts in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the meringue is golden. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the molds.

Short Crust Pastry:
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Using a cheese grater, grate the butter and shortening into the flour. Combine the mixture with your fingers until it resembles cornmeal. Add the ice cold water and mix with a spoon, pulling the water into the flour until a dough forms.

  • With your hands, shape the dough into 2 balls and flatten them into disks. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 1 month.

  • Yield: 2 pounds


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