A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to go crazy with the baking again and make two awesome tarts/pies as I was having another birthday party! Both were/are showstopping and absolutely delicious. The first of the two is this amazing lemon meringue tart – no, not a pie because I feel this is a French recipe!
I’m always excited to make lemon-flavored bakes – I love the tartness of lemons and always have. As a kid I would always go for the sourest candies (to be honest I still do). It can never be too sour for me (think blisteringly sour). Don’t worry though, this tart isn’t extremely sour, the tartness is balanced nicely by a good amount of sugar and meringue on top!
If you don’t have a blowtorch, you could put the tart under the grill for a minute to get that nice caramelization on top, but I like the control you get with a torch. Those meringue tips remind me of roasting marshmellows over a campfire, mm….
Lemon Meringue Tart Recipe
Tools: 23cm tart tin (preferably loose bottomed), baking beans, sugar thermometer
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (Mary Berry):
80 grams (fresh) lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
125 grams unsalted butter
125 grams caster sugar
200 grams egg (whole)
10 grams cornstarch
100 grams egg white
200 grams caster sugar
70 grams water
- To make the pastry, combine flour and sugar. Add the diced butter. If you’re using a food processor with blade attachment, whizz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. You can also use your hands or a fork to rub the butter into the flour mixture – again, it should look like breadcrumbs. Then add the egg and mix or knead until the dough starts to come together. Work the dough as little as possible. Shape dough into a disc and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Line the tart tin with the dough and transfer to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Once chilled, line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until it is a golden brown. Remove from the oven but leave the tart shell in the tin.
- To make the lemon filling, combine lemon juice, zest, and butter in a saucepan. In a bowl, combine sugar, egg and cornstarch. Melt butter with lemon juice and zest and bring to a boil. Turn heat off, whisk lemon juice mixture into the egg mixture. Pour it back into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has thickened, turn the heat off and leave to cool for a bit.
- Fill the cooled tart shell with the lemon filling. Place in the fridge to set.
- Once the tart is cold enough, make the meringue topping. Pour egg whites (preferably at room temperature or a little warmer) into a greaseless bowl (make sure your whisk is greaseless as well! you can achieve this by cleaning you utensils/bowls with lemon juice or vinegar).
- In a saucepan, combine sugar and water and place a sugar thermometer in the pan. Once the mixture reaches 114C, start whisking the egg whites. Once the mixture has reached 120C, pour it slowly into the egg whites while you’re whisking them. Whisk until the meringue has cooled down.
- Fill a piping bag with a nozzle to your liking with the meringue and pipe onto the tart. Alternatively, if you don’t have a piping bag, you could use a (palette) knife to make peaks of meringue. Use a blowtorch to caramelize the meringue on top. Enjoy!