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Lemon Meringue Mini Tarts

Lemon Meringue Mini Tarts with a crisp citrus and vanilla pastry, a zingy but sweet lemon filling and a topping of fluffy vanilla meringue.
4.50 from 8 votes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon curd filling, lemon meringue, lemon meringue tart, meringue
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 16 tarts
Alter quantities (metric only) 16 tarts

Here's what you'll need...

Ingredients you'll need...

Lemon Meringue Pies - Pastry Cases

  • 200 g Plain flour (All Purpose flour) (1½ Cups)
  • ¼ teaspoon Fine salt
  • 110 g Unsalted butter (1 Stick or ½ Cup) cold and grated, plus extra softened to grease pastry cases
  • 80 g Icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) (10 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 Egg yolk from a large egg cold
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoon Orange juice - fresh cold

Lemon Meringue Pies - Lemon Filling

  • 75 g Caster sugar (superfine sugar) (⅓ Cup)
  • 2 tablespoon Cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon zest (from approx. 2 lemons)
  • 100 ml Lemon juice (7 tablespoons) fresh and strained - weight after straining
  • 100 ml Water (7 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoon Orange juice fresh and strained - weight after straining
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 65 g Unsalted butter (5 tablespoons) chopped into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Lemon Meringue Pies - Merginue

  • 3 Egg whites at room temperature
  • 150 g Caster sugar (⅔ Cup)
  • ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 2 teaspoon Cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Here's what we do...

Pastry Cases

  • Add your flour and salt to your food processor and give it a few pulses to spread it out. Or place in a bowl and mix together.
  • Dot over your cold, coarsley grated butter and pulse about 20 times until it resembles breadcrumbs. Or rub in with fingertips.
  • Add your icing (confectioner's) sugar and pulse a few times to mix in. Or stir in.
  • Add your egg yolk, lemon zest, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of your orange juice and pulse about 15 times. If the mixture is still quite dry add another tablespoon of orange juice. Once the mixture starts to clump together a little, is soft and you can easily press it together it is ready.
  • Tip out onto a very lightly floured surface and bring together into a ball, no need to knead it. Flatten it out until it is about an inch deep then wrap in cling film (plastic wrap) and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, to allow the butter to set.
  • Using your pastry brush, coat your tartlet cases with some softened butter, making sure you get right into the groves.
  • Heat your oven to 180°C Fan/200°C/390°F/Gas mark 6 and place your baking tray onto the centre shelf to heat.
  • Roll your pastry out to a depth of 5 mm.
  • Cut out circles and then press them into your tartlet cases, pressing into the groves and pushing up the sides so that the pastry just comes over the edges by a few millimetres.
  • Prick the base with a fork and place a circle of greaseproof (parchment) paper over the base over the tartlet (the base of a large piping nozzle is usually about the right size to use as a template), add a layer of baking beans, or a few layers of rice.
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or place in your freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Place onto your preheated baking tray and bake for 7-9 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to brown a little.
  • Remove the baking beans and the greaseproof paper (be careful the tins and beans are very hot!) and bake for another 5 minutes, until browed at the top of the sides, the base will not be fully cooked but that's fine.
  • Remove and leave to cool in the tartlet tins.
  • Once cool, tip out of the tartlet cases and set aside.

Lemon Filling

  • Place your cornflour, lemon zest and caster sugar into your saucepan and mix with your balloon whisk.
  • Add your strained lemon juice, strained orange juice, vanilla extract and your water. Whisk with your balloon whisk until fully mixed together and no lumps remain.
  • Stirring constantly with your balloon whisk, heat the lemon mixture until it just starts to bubble and thicken.
  • Remove from the heat, add your butter and stir in until melted.
  • Mix your egg yolks together and then add to your lemon mixture, stirring constantly with your wooden spoon (not your balloon whisk this time as you don't want to whisk the eggs).
  • Return to a medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for a minute, stirring all of the time so that it doesn't stick to the pan.
  • The lemon filling needs to be quite thick, but still easily run off the spoon. If your lemon filling is runny see Notes below on how to fix this.
  • Set aside whilst you make your meringue filling.

Meringue Topping

  • Lower your oven to 160°C Fan/180°C/355°F/Gas Mark 4.
  • Cut off the tip of your piping bag and add your star nozzle. Stand it up in a large glass, rolling down the sides over the sides of the glass to make it easier to fill with your meringue
  • Ensure your mixing bowl and whisk are spotlessly clean. See Notes below.
  • Add your room temperate egg whites and your cream of tartar to your mixing bowl and begin beating on a low setting for about 20 seconds, until the cream of tartar has dissipated.
  • Turn your mixer up to medium setting and continue to beat until the mixture is white, frothy and forming soft peaks that gently fold back over on themselves.
  • Turn your mixer down to low and add a tablespoon of sugar at a time, leaving the sugar to beat for about 20 seconds between each addition. Once you have added half of your sugar add your cornflour and once that has beaten in continue to gradually add the rest of your sugar.
  • Once all of your sugar has been added, turn your mixer up to medium-high and beat until your meringue forms stiff peaks. Stiff peaks do not fold back on themselves, they form a nice point. See Notes below.
  • Add your vanilla extract and beat for just a few seconds to mix in.
  • Add your meringue to your prepared piping bag.
  • Place your tartlets onto your baking tray (this does not need to be pre-heated this time).
  • Reheat your lemon filling until it starts to just bubble and then immediately pour it into your pastry cases, leaving about half a centimetre from the rim.
  • Immediately pipe stars of meringue onto the lemon filling. Start at the outside first, adding stars opposite each other, then fill the centre and pipe one last larger star on top.
  • Bake for 18 minutes, just until the meringue is lightly browned all over.
  • Remove to a cooling rack and leave to cool.
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Supporting Notes

  • Press your pastry into your pastry cases so that it is just raised above the edge by a few millimetres, as it will shrink a little when baked.
  • Sieve your lemon filling once cooked if it contains little pieces of cooked egg white or bits of lemon or orange.
  • To extract as much lemony flavour as possible, mix your lemon zest into your sugar and leave for 5 minutes so that the sugar absorbs the lemon oils.
  • If your lemon filling is quite runny, mix together 2 teaspoons of cornflour and 2 teaspoons of water and add, keep stirring until thickened.
  • Your meringue may take longer to reach stiff peaks if the sugar has not dissolved.  Sugar has to be added gradually so that each addition has dissolved before another is added.  However, don't give up, it will reach the pointy peak stage it may just take a little longer.  Keep stopping and checking for pointy peaks that don't fold back on themselves, as you don't want to miss this critical stage and overbeat your meringue.
  • Use extra-large piping bags, they make life far easier!

Make Your own Notes on this Recipe here...