Impressive and classic, lemon meringue tarts can be made any time of year. Please note: the tart dough recipe yields more than needed for 4 tarts. Wrap the remainder in plastic and freeze for future use. If you don’t have gelatin sheets, you can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons of powdered gelatin and bloom it in a 1/4 cup of the lemon juice before adding it to the final mixture.
Makes 4 four-inch tarts
- Scant 4 ½ cups (510 grams) pastry flour
- 1 ½ cups (170 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 24 tablespoons (340 grams) cold unsalted butter
- 4 large (78 grams) egg yolks
- 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon (366 grams) granulated sugar
- 9 large (170 grams) egg yolks
- ¾ cup (181 grams) lemon juice
- 12 tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1.5 gelatin sheets, gold strength (or 1 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin softened in 1/4 cup of the lemon juice)
- 8 large (227 grams) egg whites
- Scant 2 1/3 cups (454 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Make the Tart Dough:
- Following a straight dough method by hand or in a food processor, work the cold butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add the yolks and work just until the mixture comes together and chill before rolling out.
- Roll the dough and layer into tart shells. Blind bake at 350˚F until golden.
Make the Lemon Curd:
- Whisk the sugar, yolks and lemon juice over bain-marie until warm, then whisk in the butter. Continue cooking over bain-marie, stirring occasionally, until the curd reaches 170˚F.
- Soften the gelatin sheets in cold water, allowing them to bloom completely; add to the lemon curd and whisk until dissolved. Allow to cool.
Make the Meringue:
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a bain-marie. Whisk gently until temperature reaches 160˚F.
- Pass the mixture through a sieve into mixing bowl. Transfer to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and whip to firm peaks. Use immediately.
Assemble the Tarts:
- Fill the baked tart shells with lemon curd and allow to set. Then pipe meringue on top, crisp with a blowtorch and decorate as desired.