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An absolutely delicious dessert – little bites of heaven!

Serves 4
Prep time:  15 minutes plus overnight chilling time
Cooking time: 45 minutes
 
Ingredients
 
For the pasty
25g icing sugar
100g plain flour
60g salted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
 
For the lemon filling
3 lemons, grated zest and juice
100g salted butter
175g caster sugar
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
4tbsp double cream
 
For the meringue
6 egg whites
100g caster sugar

 

Method
 
  1. To make the pastry, place the icing sugar and flour into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub together until you have a breadcrumb consistency.  Make a well in the centre, add the egg yolk and mix with your fingertips until you have a smooth pastry.  Leave to chill in the fridge as long as possible – overnight is best.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas mark 4.  Lightly grease four 10cm individual tart tins.
  3. For lemon filling, put all the ingredients except the double cream in a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the butter has melted.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute and then add the cream. 
  4. Put the lemon mixture through a sieve and return to the pan and heat slowly until it thickens.  Now sieve again and set aside.
  5. On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry to 3mm and line the tart tins, press the dough into the sides.  Prick the base of the pastry and line with greaseproof paper and baking beans.  Blind-bake for 4 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 4 minutes until golden.
  6. Once the cases have cooled pour in the lemon mixture to set.
  7. To make the meringue, put the egg whites in clean, dry bowl.  Using an electric mixer whisk the egg whites on a low to medium speed until they start to turn white, then increase the speed to high.  While the egg whites are whisking put the sugar and 4 tsp water into a pan and heat the mixture over a low heat until the mixture reaches 110°C.  Carefully swirl in 1tbsp of cold water around the edge to prevent crystals forming.
  8. Pour the sugar syrup slowly into the egg whites whilst they are whisking.  Keep whisking until the mixture cools and soft peaks form.
  9. Place the meringue on top of the lemon tarts.  Using a chef’s blowtorch to crisp the outer shell (or lightly brown under a hot grill).  Decorate with sieved icing sugar if desired.  Enjoy.
     

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