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Lemon Meringue Tart

This Lemon Meringue Tart is sure to wake up your taste buds! It consists of an easy, buttery pastry dough, a tart, homemade lemon curd, and a soft meringue that is baked for just 10 minutes before serving.

You will never buy store-bought lemon curd again after making this tart! This lemon curd is so flavorful that it might even change the way you look at lemon desserts. Prior to making my first homemade lemon curd, I’d say I liked lemons and lemon desserts, but that like very quickly turned in to love! Homemade lemon curd is also delicious in the morning on toast or on top of yogurt!

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Equipment needed for this Lemon Meringue Tart

  • Tart pan with removable bottom – In this recipe I use William Sonoma’s Goldtouch Rectangular Tart Pan, but the quantities will fill also fill a standard round tart pan,
  • Stainless steel pot: Stainless steel cookware is ideal for making the lemon curd as it least likely to chemically react with the lemon juice. Otherwise, the acidity may cause a metallic taste. If the stainless-steel cookware still causes a metallic taste for the lemon curd, gradually add additional heavy cream, to taste.
  • Rolling pin: I recommend Joseph Joseph’s Adjustable Rolling Pin for measuring dough thickness. This recipe calls for 3mm thickness for the pastry tart, which is not a standard measurement on the rolling pin. I would recommend rolling the dough a bit thicker to 4mm rather than thinner in this case. You can also purchase this set of wooden measurement sticks (as shown in the photo below) for additional thickness customizations.
  • Bain-marie: if you don’t own a bain-marie, placing a clear glass bowl over a pot of simmering water will suffice, Just be sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water!
  • Pie weights
  • Fine zester/grater
  • Fine-mesh strainer

A few ingredient notes

  • Caster Sugar – Caster sugar is a finely-ground granulated sugar. In this recipe it dissolves quickly and offers a smoother consistency for the specifically for the lemon curd and the meringue. Caster sugar is sold in some stores like Harris Teeter, but granulated sugar can be substituted with a 1:1 ratio. You can also opt to make your own caster sugar by pulsing granulated sugar through a food processor.
  • Cream of Tartar – Cream of tartar acts as a leavening agent and helps the beaten egg whites hold their structure.
  • Egg Whites – Always separate eggs one at a time, first cracking them over an empty bowl before pouring them into two separate bowls. This prevents any yolks from contaminating all of your egg whites if one happens to break when cracking! Any amount of fat from a yolk can hinder your egg whites from whipping properly. Ensure your bowl is extremely clean before using it to whip your egg whites!
  • Corn flour – Since corn flour is hard to find in a grocery store, I order mine through Amazon. Corn flour is also used in most French pastry creams (Crème Pâtissière). If you don’t have corn flour, you may substitute it by replacing it with cornstarch, but be sure to cut the quantity in half.
  • Cold Water – The key to a great pastry crust is temperature! As noted in the recipe, it is crucial to use cold butter and cold water when making your dough. I also recommend adding the cold water to the dough gradually (still working quickly) to avoid adding too much water.

Prepare in advance

  • Measure and set out all ingredients ahead of time.
  • Set out the following ingredients to bring to room temperature:
    • 7 Egg yolks and 4 egg whites
  • Zest and juice your lemons! Although zesting can be a time-consuming process, the lemon zest is crucial to this recipe and makes a big difference!
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Lemon Meringue Tart


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  • Author: Amy @ The Pastry Blog
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the pastry:

  • 200 g all-purpose flour
  • 200 g cold, unsalted butter
  • 85 ml. cold water
  • 25 g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

For the lemon curd:

  • 7 egg yolks (130 g), at room temperature
  • Juice and zest of 7 large lemons
  • 80 g corn flour
  • 275 g caster sugar (if you prefer a curd that is more tart than sweet, reduce this to 225 g)
  • 80 g sweetened condensed milk
  • 60 ml. heavy cream

For the soft meringue:

  • 4 egg whites (125 g), at room temperature
  • 65 g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

For the pastry:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F
  2. Measure 85 ml of water and place it in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  3. Working quickly, cut the cold butter into small cubes. Place the flour and butter in a medium bowl, smearing the butter into the flour with your fingers until incorporated (complete this step quickly to keep the dough as cold as possible!). Once mixed, the dough should consist of small chunks. If needed, place the dough in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
  4. Add the chilled water, sugar and salt, mixing gently with your hands. Do not overmix or knead the dough – it will cause too much gluten to form.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
  6. Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and roll to a 3mm thickness. Once rolled, specks of butter should no longer be visible in the dough. If you do see butter specks, fold the dough over once (or twice) and roll out again until dough looks smooth and uniform.
  7. Line a tart pan with parchment paper. Drape the dough into the tart pan, being careful not to stretch the dough. Carefully press the dough into the crevices on the sides of the pan. Roll the rolling pin over the rim of the tart pan to remove excess dough. 
  8. Refrigerate the dough in the tart pan for at least 30 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
  9. Once chilled, place baking parchment over the dough and fill the pan with baking beans/pie weights.
  10. Place the tart pan directly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and blind bake the pastry crust at 325° F for 25 minutes.
  11. Carefully remove the parchment and pie weights and return the pastry to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  12. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.

For the lemon curd:

  1. Sift the corn flour through a fine-mesh strainer and set aside.
  2. Pass the lemon juice through a fine-mesh strainer and set aside.
  3. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, corn flour and sweetened condensed milk into a bain-marie over simmering water, whisking constantly until smooth.
  4. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whisk until mixture becomes thick (this could take up to 10 minutes).
  5. Gradually add the heavy cream and continue to whisk until incorporated.
  6. Pass the lemon curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding any thick clumps that don’t make it through. Set aside to cool completely before pouring into the cooled pastry tart.

For the meringue:

  1. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form.
  3. Gradually beat in all of the sugar, followed by the vanilla until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy.
  4. Spoon the meringue into the pastry tart filled with the lemon curd and swirl with a spoon to evenly distribute.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. The tips of the meringue will look slightly toasted!
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Chilling and cooling time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes

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