“Tartlets… tartlets… tartlets… word has lost all meaning.” :D
I’ve never had meringue up until I made these little things… which isn’t really a good thing considering I’m not certain how meringue is SUPPOSED to taste; but according to my mother – who has failed multiple times making it, can you believe it! – she says it’s pretty good.
First things first! Bake your tart shells. Really you could make these in any size, but I wanted mine bite-size so I opted for the smallest tart shells I could find. If you don’t have any, Bed Bath & Beyond sells them for pretty cheap.
Once the shells are cooled, fill with your favorite lemon custard/curd recipe. Flatten the top with a spatula.
The first time I made these, the meringue was way too sweet. I also found that it was hard to make the meringue stiff too when it contained that much sugar. So here’s the recipe that I use now:
Meringue for Lemon Tartlets:
3 egg whites (room temperature is best)
3oz granulated sugar
pinch of salt
In a stand mixer, whisk egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar and salt until meringue becomes glossy. Turn to medium-high until meringue forms peaks and starts to slightly pull away from your whisk and bowl, about 5-7 minutes.
Using a decorators tip, pipe meringue onto the lemon tartlets. I was quite generous and too ambitious with mine because I wanted a really tall tart — but the meringue doesn’t like to defy gravity; it tilts and starts to weep :(
Then I like to bake the tarts. It seems like people only bake their lemon meringue tarts when a torch isn’t available, but I like to do both. Letting them sit in the oven for a little bit creates a slightly crunchier outer layer of the meringue, which I really like. When you only torch them, it looks nice, but the meringue is still soft inside. So I throw the tartlets back into the oven at 300 degrees for about 8 minutes, then TORCH! If you don’t have one, they are supppper fun and handy too. Bed Bath & Beyond to the rescue again.
Let the tarts cool a little bit because the contents will be HOT, but then consume immediately afterwards :)