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.
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.
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.
Not overworking it later is another crucial step. Roll it out using as few rolls of the rolling pin as you can.
Cut out round of the dough, pop them into the cases and you’re ready to bake.
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.
To top it off I piped little swirls of meringue and baked them until they’d dried.
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.
They are absolutely as simple as they look.
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.
Here’s how you can make your own:
|Lemon Meringue Petit Tarts
60g (2oz) butter (chilled)
2 tbsp caster sugar
120g (4oz) plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour (corn starch)
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)
1 egg white
1/4 cup (60g/2oz) caster sugar
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.