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Mini Lemon Meringue Tartlets
Pucker up! Mini Lemon Meringue Tartlets for the New Year!
Wishing you all a healthy, happy, delicious 2016 full of laughter and good times!

My 8 yr old asked Santa for a mini whisk!  And he came through!
From me, she received a new tartlet pan.  So she did a lot of stirring with the new whisk when we made the lemon curd for these little tarts.  She made the tart dough recipe on the back of the WS tartlet pan’s box.  Then I made an easy food processor lemon curd recipe and an easy meringue
I did the piping because she’s not too savvy with the piping bag as of yet.  Instead of a big swirl, I decided to make little poofs to cover the tartlets.  The result: billowy little meringue puffs atop creamy lemon curd that is seriously to-die for! It’s perfectly balanced; not too tart and not too sweet and easy peasy.  I’ll be making double-batches of this in the future and keeping it on hand for emergencies.  It’s one of those lick-the-bowl when you’re cleaning up kind of recipes.  
LEMON CURD
(Adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
  • 3 organic lemons
  • 1 1/2 Cups organic evaporated cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1/4 lb (1 stick or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 Large free range eggs
  • 1/2 Cup lemon juice (3 to 4 organic lemons)
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  1. Zest 3 lemons with a zester, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
  2. Add the butter pieces to the processor and pulse in the sugar and lemon mixture. With the food processor running, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Continue mixing until combined.
  3. Press the entire mixture through a sieve into a 2 quart saucepan.  
  4. Cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.
  5. Makes 3 cups

TART CRUST

(Adapted from the back of the WS tartlet pan box)
  • 2 1/2 cups (390g) alll-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 16 Tbs (2 sticks/250g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) pieces
  • 6 to 8 Tbsp (90 to 125 ml) ice water

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine.  Add the butter and pulse until the ixture resembles coarse meal.  Add the 6 Tbs (90ml) ice water and pulse twice.  The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky.  If it is crumbly, add more water, 1 tsp at a time, pulsing twice after each addition.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface an divide in half.  Shape each into a disk.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
  3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes.  Place 1 dough disk on a lightly floured surface and roll out 3/16 inch (4.5 mm) thick.  Using the cutter, cut out the tart shells, reserving scraps of dough to re-use.  Place the cutouts on a baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough disk.  Re-roll the scraps and make more cutouts.  If the dough becomes too soft to cut, refrigerate it for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Center a cutout over one of the wells in the baking pan and using the tamper, gently but firmly press the cutout into the well so that the sides of the tart shell come just above the pan.  Press a cutout into each of the remaining wells.  
  5. Dock the tart shells with a fork; line with a circle of parchment and load in some dried beans or pie weights.  Bake the tarts for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees.  Bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove to cool on a rack.  Allow tart pan to cool and complete the same process for all of the rest of the remaining dough until everything is baked off.  
  6. Place the pre-baked tart shells on a rimmed cookie sheet in preparation for filling or store in sealed container for use later.
MERINGUE:

4 organic large egg whites

1/2 cup organic evaporated cane sugar (or regular granulated sugar)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1.  In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on med speed until frothy.  Add the cream of tartar.  Turn up the speed to 8 (med-high speed) on a KitchenAid and continue beating
2.  Gradually add the sugar while the mixer is running; continuing to beat until stiff peaks form
3. The meringue should be very stiff.  Fill a pastry bag with the meringue with decorative tip of your choice.  
4.  Follow assembly instructions below
MINI LEMON MERINGUE TARTS ASSEMBLY:
1.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Arrange the pre-baked tart shells on a rimmed cookie sheet
2.  Pipe the lemon curd into the pre-baked tart shells
3.  Pipe the meringue onto the filled tarts.  
4.  Bake the tarts in the oven until the meringue is a golden brown, approximately 10 minutes.

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