Lemon is easily one of my favorite flavors, and my favorite scent as well! I don’t think you can go wrong baking when it involves lemons. While I love lemon meringue pie, something about having it in miniature form makes it taste even better. Tarts are easier to serve, more fun to eat, and don’t require the commitment of baking a whole pie. If I know I won’t have a lot of people around to share my baking with, choosing these mini tarts is great because I can just make a few. I will admit, this recipe is not among the quickest or easiest recipes out there, but doesn’t require any special skills. You will need a little patience but the end result is worth it!
As a general rule, I always use fresh ingredients whenever possible to get the best flavor. So I highly recommend using fresh squeezed lemon juice over bottled. It’s an easy process and does make a difference, but if you can’t, bottled juice will work too.
Another note about this recipe is that you don’t need to have a mini tart pan. You can use a mini muffin tin, or even a standard muffin tin if that’s all you have. However, this will affect your baking time so just keep an eye on the tart shells as they are in the oven. As you remove the pans from the oven, you may need to press down gently in the middle of each tart to create space to fill them.
I know that broiling can seem intimidating but its really just a matter of carefully watching your tarts through the oven door. The broiler can turn meringue from golden brown to burnt in less than 30 seconds so don’t walk away! My oven broiler sets to 500 degrees automatically, and I kept my tarts in the oven for 90 seconds to get a nice golden brown.
I hope everyone has success with this recipe, but don’t hesitate to comment below or send an email if you have any questions! Good luck!
For lemon curd:
2 egg yolks (whites used for meringue)
½ cup sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup lemon juice
10 Tbsp butter (cut into small chunks)
2 Tbsp shortening
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
2 egg whites
½ cup granulated sugar
1. For lemon curd: Whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a medium saucepan.
2. Heat pan to medium-high and add in butter. Whisk constantly until butter melts and mixture coats the back of a spoon (about 5-7 minutes.) Remove from heat and pour through a mesh sieve to strain out any chunks into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
3. For crust: Preheat oven to 375°F and grease mini tart pan. Mix together shortening, butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in vanilla and salt. Add flour and mix until well combined.
4. Gently press a small amount of dough into each tart cup, lining the bottom and sides evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes until just barely golden. Cool completely in pan, then add lemon curd into each shell.
5. For meringue: Using the whisk attachment on mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add in sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks form (about 10 minutes). Fill a piping bag with the meringue and cover tops of tarts. (You can also spread on with a knife instead!)
6. Return to oven, on Broil setting, until tips are golden brown (about 2 minutes). Watch closely – they will burn quickly!
These tarts are best served fresh! If you need to store them, place in the fridge in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Lemon Tartlets.View more articles written by Britta.