Lemon Meringue Petit Tarts

I love making tiny desserts. No matter what it is, making it into tiny, single serves always makes it better in my opinion. I also love making lots of desserts, so making them tiny means more people can have more variety. Whenever I have people around for a party or just for dinner I usually crack out as many teeny desserts as I can.

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Recently, I bought a set of teeny tart pans and just could not wait for the chance to use them. So when I invited Cam’s parents around for dinner one night I leapt at the chance to bake these.

I started off with a basic shortcrust. Getting the pastry perfect and crumbly is all in how you work it at the start.

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Gently pulse the butter, sugar and flours in a food processor until it’s just combined and not a second more. Then you pulse in the egg until it forms a smooth dough. With a little care it’s the easiest pastry ever.

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Not overworking it later is another crucial step. Roll it out using as few rolls of the rolling pin as you can.

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Cut out round of the dough, pop them into the cases and you’re ready to bake.

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I accidentally made a double batch of lemon curd when making this cake, so I had curd to burn. That influenced the flavour of the tarlets. I also know how much Cam loves lemon curd so it was a win-win. I whipped some cream into the lemon curd as I find it just too sour alone. That said, I know Cam would happily eat it by itself. The decision to add cream, or not, is entirely optional.

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To top it off I piped little swirls of meringue and baked them until they’d dried.

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Baking the meringue allows you to have the meringue stored separately to the tarts ready to top them off right before serving, rather than having to worry about whipping up fresh meringue while you have guests, or worrying about it weeping if done too far in advance.

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They are absolutely as simple as they look.

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And they taste even better than that. I was kind of worried about the pastry being under-cooked as it looked quite blonde, but it was perfect. The tartness of the lemon cream, contrasted with the sweetness of the meringue, makes for a lovely accompaniment.

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Here’s how you can make your own:

Lemon Meringue Petit Tarts
Ingredients
Shortcrust Pastry

60g (2oz) butter (chilled)

2 tbsp caster sugar

120g (4oz) plain flour

1 tbsp cornflour (corn starch)

1 egg

Lemon Cream

3 egg yolks

75g (2.5oz) caster sugar

grated rind from 1 lemon

90ml (3floz) freshly squeezed lemon juice

180g (6oz) unsalted butter, cubed

150ml thickened (heavy) cream (optional)

Meringue

1 egg white

1/4 cup (60g/2oz) caster sugar

Method
Shortcrust Pastry

  1. Place flours, butter and sugar in a food processor; pulse until just combined and mixture resembles coarse sand.
  2. Add egg and pulse until mixture just comes together in a ball.
  3. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease mini tart tins.
  4. Roll out pastry until about 2mm thick; cut rounds from pastry and place inside tart tins, cutting away the excess. Prick the base with a fork and return to the fridge for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced/355°F)
  6. Bake tartlet shells for 10 minutes, allow to cool inside tins, then remove them and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon Cream

  1. Place the egg yolks and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl and whisk to combine, then place over a pot of gently simmering water.
  2. Add the rind, juice and butter and stir until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. To test, dip the back a spoon into  the mixture, then wipe away a line of it with your finger. If the line stays distinct then it is done. It will take about 20 minutes.
  3. Cover the curd with plastic wrap so that the wrap is directly touching the surface (this prevents a skin from forming). Cool completely.
  4. If you wish to make the curd into a cream to lighten the flavour, place the curd in a bowl with the thickened cream. Beat the mixture until thickened, taking care not to over-beat.

Meringue

  1. Place egg white in a clean, grease free bowl. Beat on high speed until foamy. Continue beating on medium speed, adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time until it is all combined.
  2. Return to high speed and beat mixture to stiff peaks.
  3. Line a tray with baking paper or a silicone mat and preheat oven to 100°-120°C (depending on how low your oven goes)
  4. Pipe small swirls of meringue onto the baking tray, then bake until meringues dry and can be easily lifted from the mat. This should take about an hour.
  5. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool with the oven door ajar

To assemble:

Fill the pastry cases with the lemon cream and return to the fridge until ready to serve. If serving them within the next 4 hours, they can be left at room temperature. Just before serving, top with the meringues.

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9 thoughts on “Lemon Meringue Petit Tarts

  1. They look delicious, can’t wait to try them. Could I ask where did you find your petit tart pans? I have been searching for these exact pans for ages (obviously in the wrong places!). Thanks for sharing, love your recipes.

    • I got them from Safeway (Woolworths). I’m not sure if you’re from Aus, but if so they’re always in the baking aisle among all the other pans and things. I’d been resisting the urge to get them for months, but when they were on special for $5 I couldn’t say no! They seem to run a 1/2 sale on their wiltshire stuff relatively regularly.

      If you’re not local, I’ve found them online here.

  2. Pingback: Delicious Lemon Meringue Pie | Ashlie's Blog

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