Lemon Meringue Tartlets

I am by no means a green thumb.

Gardening does not come naturally to me, and with the frosty Canberra winters, and hot dry summers, well needless to say – we have lost our fair share of plants over the years.

However, there are two plants I seem to be able to grow in abundance – rosemary and lavender.  In fact, I don’t seem to be able to keep up with their growth – resulting in a decent day of pruning the other week.

The other plant that has survived with relatively little intervention is our lemon tree.  I suspect we just got lucky when we planted it, for despite minimal work on our part, it has given us lots of lemons. Even if it is only still a small tree.

And there is something rather wonderful about being able to collect lemons from your own tree, don’t you think? Which is exactly what I did a few weeks ago when asked to bring a “sweet” to share at a BBQ with our neighbours.

The lemons were soon turned into lemon curd, which was then used to fill homemade tartlet cases, and topped with a little meringue. It wasn’t the quickest of sweets to make, and probably not one that I would make if time was short, but over the course of the day the tartlets came together and the end result was quite pleasing.

I loved the vibrancy of the lemon curd, which on this occasion was not overly sweet and still a little tart. I decided not to go too overboard with the meringue either, stopping at just a few piped rounds – although I could have quite easily been more generous and covered the whole of the tartlet with meringue.

Here’s hoping our lemon tree continues to yield!

Print Recipe
Lemon Meringue Tartlets
Course Baking
Cuisine Baking
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
tartlets
Ingredients
Course Baking
Cuisine Baking
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
tartlets
Ingredients
Instructions
Curd
  1. Start by making the lemon curd - a day in advance, if possible. Combine the lemon juice, zest, caster sugar and eggs in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of gently simmering water, and heat slowly - whisking continuously. The mixture will slowly turn from a frothy consistency to a thick, velvety consistency - and you will know that it is ready when you can coat the back of a spoon and draw a clear line through it. At this stage, remove the curd from the heat, and whisk through the cold butter until the mixture is rich and glossy. Set aside until ready to use (or place in the fridge overnight).
Tartlets
  1. To make the tartlets, place the flour, icing sugar, salt and butter in a food processor, and pulse until the butter has been cut in. Add the egg, and continue to process until the dough just comes together. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead the dough gently. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180C, and lightly grease 12 tartlet cases.
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is around 4mm thick. Cut out suitably-sized rounds from the dough, and press into the tartlet cases - trimming off any excess. Prick the base of each case a few times with a fork. Place the tartlet cases on a baking tray, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then remove the shells and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the meringue, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar, one spoonful at a time, continuing to whisk until you have stiff peaks.
  5. To assemble - pipe lemon curd into each of tartlet case. Top with meringue, and brown slightly using a kitchen blow torch.
Recipe Notes

If you don't have tartlet cases, you could make the tartlets using a mini muffin tray.

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Easy sweet tartlets

IMG_2111_thumb “Bring a plate to share”. I am sure you know the brief. I am sure that you also know that it can lead to days / weeks of deliberation as to what you should bring. On this particular occasion, we were invited to an afternoon cocktail party. I knew there would be lots of good food to share, so I didn’t want to go overboard. But I also wanted to try something new. I was limited on time, but not on inclination, and so these easy sweet tartlets came to be. IMG_2126_thumb But I have to confess, I opted for store bought pastry tartlets to cut down the preparation time (and, let’s be honest, my pastry making skills are still in their novice phase). I found these ones at The Essential Ingredient, and although they were a tad on the expensive side ($29.95 for 60 or so), the lady at the shop assured me they freeze well. IMG_2107_thumb All I had to do was think of the fillings. The first one was rather simple. Chocolate orange mousse with candied orange peel. Sounds fancy yes – but it really was rather easy. IMG_2103_thumb2 I made some candied orange zest – by poaching finely sliced orange peel in boiling water for 5 minutes twice, then simmered it in a mixture of sugar and water for another five. Then it was into the fridge overnight to allow the flavours to develop and the orange to lose any residual bitterness. IMG_2104_thumb1IMG_2105_thumb1 As for the mousse, I cheated (again!) and made up a packet chocolate mousse with the addition of orange essence. IMG_2108_thumb1IMG_2116_thumb The second variety, again, was really simple. Just lemon curd topped with a blueberry. On reflection, if I had had more time I would have topped the curd with some meringue, but time was short so the lemon / blueberry combination was a tasty alternative nonetheless. IMG_2109_thumb1IMG_2117_thumb The third and final variety was a bit of a flop. I had intended to make caramel tarts with a chocolate garnish, but my store-bought caramel was too runny. Instead, I combined it with some whipped cream, topped with a sliced strawberry and a sprinkle of grated chocolate. IMG_2118_thumb And I think the finished result, when the three varieties were put together,  was rather cute… IMG_2110_thumb1 From the right – chocolate orange, lemon curd and caramel. IMG_2114_thumb1 Tasty little morsels that I was pleased to see disappeared rather quickly at the party! IMG_2115_thumb1 A fancy little plate – with fairly minimal fuss… IMG_2121_thumb1 That’s my kinda ‘bring a plate’! What about you? What are your favourites when asked to ‘bring a plate’?