This lemon meringue shortbread tart is very similar to these cute tartlets that I’ve made before. If you have noticed, I did pick another hot day to turn on the oven and bake this tart! The stupidity of me can only blame my vicious craving over something lemony.
When I finally had time to sit down and blog about this recipe, one question came up, “A pie or a tart?” We’ve seen tons of lemon meringue pies. And it’s logical to call it a pie too. But I guess I would go for tart only because I used a tart pan instead of a pie pan to bake the crust. I’ve heard that pie uses filling that contains no butter, while tart filling is normally lemon curd which contains butter. Either way, I am sure they are delicious.
Now let’s talk about the meringue. The cooking part of it. The way I make the meringue is to cook the egg whites and sugar over a pot of simmering water instead of broiling/baking in the oven. I find this way the best in terms of making sure the meringue is well cooked. It is very important to completely cook the meringue as undercooked meringue tends to “weep”, and the moisture between the meringue and the filling will cause the meringue to slip away from the filling. Eventually ugly scene will happen when you slice through that pie/tart! My personal experience!
Ingredients (9-inch tart):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 3 lemons
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons water
To prepare crust, sift the flour and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Cream butter and powdered sugar in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
Gather dough and form a dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to chill.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a tart pan with a removable bottom.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Line the prepared pan with the rolled dough. Leave a tiny overhand of dough. Use a small kitchen knife to trim the excess and to score the tops of the tart.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edge is lightly browned.
Remove from oven and let the crust cool completely before removing from the pan.
To prepare lemon curd, mix lemon zest and sugar with a fork.
In a large bowl, cream the butter. Add the sugar mixture and beat together. Add the eggs, lemon juice and salt and mix together until thoroughly combined.
Pour the mixture into a pan and cook over low heat while stirring constantly for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the curd starts to thicken and coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat. Push the lemon curd through the sieve and into a bowl to make it super smooth. Pour the lemon curd into the cooled tart shell, and place it in refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
To prepare meringue, in a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar and egg whites. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy for 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until the mixture is hot to touch and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in water, and continue whipping for another 10 minutes until stiff and glossy peaks form.
Place meringue on top of the filling. Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the frosting.
Keep the tart in the refrigerator. Serve in the same day.