Lemon Meringue Tartlets

“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.

Depending on the shells, bake them until crisp. Be careful not to overbake them though because you’ll have to stick them back in the oven later.

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 :)

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