Monday, April 25, 2011

Lemon Meringue Bites

Come on, you suspected I was up to something when I made lemon curd yesterday, admit it. (You know me so well.) It's been ages since I had lemon meringue and I'm a sucker for cute little individual sized desserts (and hors d'oeuvres while we're on the subject). Plus making these gave me an excuse to fire up my torch, which doesn't happen nearly as often as I'd like. 

The adults at the table loved the tart lemon with the sweet meringue, but my daughter (after happily licking off all the meringue), scrunched her entire face up (like she had just, well, sucked on a lemon) and said "ew, sour!" Oh well, I really thought I had a shot with this one.

Makes 48 tartlets

48 sweet tartlet shells, still in the muffin tins (see recipe below)
about 2 cups lemon curd

For meringue
6 large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar

1.      Fill tartlet shells (still in muffin tins) with lemon curd. Chill tartlets, covered, 1 hour.
2.      Preheat oven to 400° F.  
3.      In a bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with a pinch salt until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat whites until they hold soft peaks. Gradually add sugar, beating until meringue holds stiff peaks.
4.      Transfer meringue to a pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tip and pipe meringue 2 inches high onto each tartlet, completely covering lemon curd.
5.      Bake tartlets in middle of oven 3 minutes, or until meringue tips are just browned, and cool in cups on racks. Chill tartlets in airtight containers at least 2 hours, or until cold, and up to 1 day. Keep tartlets chilled until ready to serve.

from Gourmet Magazine, September 1997

filling tarlet shells with lemon curd

It's easiest if you fill a ziploc bag with the lemon curd,
snip off one corner and pipe in the filling.
filled tartlet shells
egg whites, salt & cream of tartar whipped to soft peaks
meringue whipped to stiff peaks
piping the meringue
Instead of baking these in the oven, I reached for my
torch (what can I say, I have an itchy trigger finger).
The meringue might cook more evenly in the oven,
but I kind of like the dramatic swirls you get with the torch.


Makes 48 tartlet shells

2 1/4 sticks (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.      Cut butter into bits. In a bowl with a pastry blender or in a food processor blend or pulse flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt until combined well and add butter, blending or pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl whisk together yolks, ice water, and vanilla until combined well and add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork or pulsing until incorporated. Form dough into a ball and divide into 2 pieces. Form each piece into a ball and flatten to form disks. Chill disks, wrapped separately in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.
2.      Preheat oven to 400° F.  Have 4 mini-muffin pans ready, each with 12 (1 ¾”- x 1” cups).
3.      Form each dough disk into 24 (1-inch) balls. Press dough balls into bottoms and up sides of mini-muffin cups. Trim any overhang with a knife and prick bottoms of shells with a wooden pick. Chill shells 15 minutes, or until firm. Bake shells in middle of oven for 12 minutes, or until golden, and cool in cups on racks (do not remove shells from tins). Tartlet shells may be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

from Gourmet Magazine, September 1997

adding the butter to the flour mixture
butter pulsed in
egg yolks with vanilla extract added (don't worry, it's normal
to have specks when you use homemade vanilla extract
they're just the seeds from the vanilla beans).
everything added (you can see it's holding together)
It may look too crumbly at first, but if you squeeze a small amount
into a ball and it holds together, you know it's good to go.
dough disk wrapped in plastic wrap
forming the tartlet shells

I didn't bother using a knife to cut the edges after I
formed the shells (I don't mind the rounded look).
baked tartlet shells



Randi said...


Liz said...

I want to make these!

Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

These are gorgeous. I love everything about them. Except... I wish I had a whole batch to myself!

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