These delicious Mini Lemon Meringue Tarts combine a buttery Shortcrust Pastry Shell baked in a Mini Muffin Tin, a tangy Lemon Curd filling and a sweet toasted French Meringue topping. These classic mini pies are perfect for a party, birthday or Holiday dessert table!
100gr (1/2 cup)Caster Sugaror fine white granulated sugar
125ml (1/2 cup)Lemon Juiceabout 3 Lemons, plus zest to taste
75gr (5 tablesp.)Unsalted Butter
25gr (2 tablesp.)Caster Sugaror fine white granulated sugar
Mini Tart Shells
Place the Flour, Icing Sugar and Salt in the bowl of your Food Processor and pulse to combine (see note 1 if making by hands). Add the cold Butter cut into small cubes, then blend until get very small crumbs.
Add the Egg (optionaly prewhisked separately) and slowly pusle until a dough starts to come together (see note 2).
Assemble the pastry into a large ball, place between two sheets of baking paper and roll into a large disk about 2 to 3mm (1/16 to 1/8 inch) thick. Place on a flat tray and leave in the fridge to chill and rest for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
Using a Round Cookie Cutter, cut out small disks of pastry at least as wide as the openings of the mini muffin tin. Gently slide the pastry inside the mini muffin tin and press on the bottom/edges to remove any air bubbles. Dock the pastry (poke the bottom with a fork) then place back in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
Preheat your oven on 160'C/325'F and place the pastries in the freezer in the meantime. Line each patry with a small piece of crunched up baking paper and fill with baking weights, dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the weights and baking paper and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until fully baked (see note 3). Set aside to cool down.
Place the Egg Yolks, Sugar and Lemon Juice& Zest in a small pot. Whisk to combine then turn on low heat. Whisk for a few minutes or until the liquid starts to slightly thicken and the sugar has dissolved - about 3 to 5 minutes.
Slowly add the very Cold Butter cut into small cubes, a little bit at the time. Whisk until melted and combined before adding more.
Cook on low heat for 5 to 15 minutes or until the curd has thickened, making sure to continuously whisk (see note 4). Taste and adjust the level of sweetness if required. Pour through a thin-mesh sieve to remove any lumps.
Pour straight away inside the cooled down pastry shells (see note 5) then place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours before serving.
Place the Egg White and Salt in the clean bowl of your Mixer (or a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer). Whisk on medium low to medium speed until you reach very soft peaks, slowly increasing the speed.
When the egg white resembles the consistency of shaving cream, slowly add the Sugar a little bit at the time while whisking, then increase the speed to high and keep whisking until you reach stiff peaks (see note 6).
Transfer the Meringue into a Piping Bag fitted with a small Star-Shaped Nozzle (or the piping nozzle shape of your choice) and pipe over each mini tart.
With a kitchen blowtorch, toast each meringue until lightly golden and serve straight away (see note 7).
General Disclaimer: I highly recommend using the measurements in grams/ml (instead of cups/spoons) for more accuracy and the best results.Yield: depending on the size of your mini muffin pan and how thick/thin you roll the pastry, you will get 20 to 30 mini lemon meringue tarts.Instruction Notes:
If making by hands, follow the same instructions but cut the butter into the dry ingredients either by hands (rubbing the butter and dry ingredients between your palms/fingers until you get fine crumbs) or with a pastry blender.
Stop mixing as soon as part of the pastry comes together to avoid overworking the dough. If you press some lumps of pastry together, they should stick. If too dry, add a little bit of very cold water. If very sticky, add a little bit more flour.
Depending on your oven and the thickness of the pastry, it could take more or less time for the shells to be fully baked. They should feel dry to the touch, be slightly golden and come easily out of the pan.
The time it will take for the curd to be cooked will depend on the heat of your stove. You should always cook a curd on very low heat to avoid burning it or getting lumps. To know the curd is cooked, dip the back of a spoon in and draw a line in it with your finger (be careful, it will be hot). Tip the spoon down; if the line stays clear, the curd is ready. If the curd drips down over the line, it needs to cook for longer. You can also check the temperature of the curd to know if it is cooked. It should be around 80 to 82'C / 175 to 180'F.
Alternatively, place in a clean jar and store in the fridge. When ready to use, slightly reheat the curd in the microwave for a few seconds to make it more fluid. It will be easier to fill the shells.
The meringue should look shiny and glossy. If you rub a little bit of meringue between your fingers, you shouldn't feel any grains of sugar anymore.
The meringue should be added last minute as it will start to slowly melt quickly (and especially if put in the fridge). If you don't have a kitchen blowtorch, you can place the tartlets under the broiler of your oven for 2 to 3 minutes - but make sure to keep an eye on it to check they are not burning or melting.