Creamy and zesty lemon tarts with a shortcrust pastry and meringue topping
For the pastry –
220g/ 1 1/2 cups plain flour
20g/ 1 tbsp ground almonds
40g/ 2 tbsp icing/powdered sugar
140g/ 2/3 cup (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
1/2 – 1 tbsp cold water
For the lemon filling (adapted from The French Kitchen by Joanne Harris)-
100g/ 3 1/2oz/ 2/3 cups sugar
100ml/ 1/2 cup double/ heavy cream
zest and juice of 2 lemons
40g/ 1 1/2oz/ 1/3 stick unsalted butter
For the meringue –
2 egg whites
150g/ 5oz/ 1 cup sugar
To make the pastry –
– Lightly grease 4 tartlet tins
– Pulse together the flour, ground almonds, icing sugar and salt
– Add the butter and process together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
– Add egg yolk and 1/2 tbsp water and pulse until the mixture comes together. (Gradually add more water if needed.)
– Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead lightly. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for one hour.
– Roll out the dough and a line the tart tins with it.
– Chill for another 1/2 hour.
– Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ gas mark 4
– Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes.
To make the lemon filling –
– Whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream and lemon juice and zest until creamy.
– Melt the butter, then whisk into the lemon mixture.
– Pour the lemon mixture into the tart cases and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the filling has set.
– Leave to cool.
To make the meringue topping –
– Put the sugar and egg whites in a bowl, place over a saucepan of simmering water.
– Whisk constantly until the mixture is glossy and stands in peaks.
– Using a star nozzle, pipe the meringue onto the cooled tarts.
– Put the tarts until a grill for a few minutes until the meringue is very lightly browned.
– Eat warm or cool.