I featured this picture of my mini lemon meringue pies in my last In My Kitchen post and have since had a few requests for the recipe so … here it is!
The recipe comes from Cuisine Magazine, Issue 124, September 2007. I don’t make the pastry in the recipe as I found it too short – it was very difficult to handle and had a tendency to break. These little guys are supposed to be picked up so, in my opinion, something a little more sturdy is called for. I make a standard sweet short crust pastry recipe which holds very well. I have also adapted the meringue as I found the original recipe too sugary.
You will need two twelve-cup patty tin (tartlet tin) trays for the recipe.
It is very difficult to gauge how many you will make. I seem to make a different number each time. It is also difficult to advise what is likely to be left over – it just depends on how you assemble them. But don’t worry, any left over tartlet cases can be made into little jam tarts; left over curd can be used on toast; and left over meringue can be made into little meringues.
Pastry: (You can make your pastry cases well in advance)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 3 tbs* caster sugar
- 155g cold butter, chopped
- iced water
*These are 20ml tablespoons
- Place the flour and caster sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times.
- Add the chopped butter and process until just combined.
- While the processor is still running, drizzle in (very slowly) iced water. Stop when the dough begins to clump together. Do not let it form a ball.
- Tip the dough onto your work bench and knead to form a ball (if you can’t, add a drop or two more water).
Of course, you can make your pastry by hand if you are an unfortunate soul without a food processor.
- Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate for, at least, 30 minutes.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge. If it is a little stiff, wait until it softens a bit.
- If your pans are not non-stick, rub a little butter into each cup.
- Take a piece of pastry and roll it out until it is nice and thin. Using a 7.5cm scone cutter, cut out a circle. Place it into one of the cups, gently easing it into the corners. (I find it easier to roll the pastry a bit at a time, rather than the whole lot at once.) Repeat until you have 24 little pastry cases or used up all your pastry.
- Refrigerate the trays for, at least, 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Take the trays out of the refrigerator and prick each little pastry base a couple of times with a fork.
- Line each base with baking paper. I cut little squares and then nip the paper 8 times so it sits into the case. Put 5 or 6 pastry weights (or stones or dried beans) onto each bit of baking paper.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove the paper and pastry weights. Bake for a further 6 minutes. (This is less than you would normally do but they are small and you don’t want your pastry too brown; they will be baked again.)
- Set aside to cool. You can make your pastry cases several days in advance or longer and freeze them.
Lemon curd: (You can make your lemon curd well in advance)
- 170g caster sugar
- 115g unsalted butter
- grated zest and strained juice of 2 large lemons
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- Place the sugar, butter, zest and juice in a heavy-based saucepan. Cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted.
- Remove from the heat.
- Strain the eggs into the saucepan, stirring well.
- Return the saucepan to the heat and stir the mixture until it thickens. (Don’t let it boil as it will curdle.)
- Leave to cool.
If you are not using the curd straight away, put it in a bowl and push plastic wrap down into the curd so no skin will form. Alternatively, put in a jar with a screw top lid. It will keep refrigerated for up to 4 weeks.
Meringue: (Make on day of serving)
- 2 egg whites
- 115g caster sugar
Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form then slowly add the sugar (a little bit at a time) whilst beating. Make sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding more.
To assemble: (Best done on day of serving)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Place the tartlet cases on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Fill each case about three quarters full with lemon curd.
- Put meringue into a piping bag and pipe into each tartlet case (or spoon it in).
- Bake in the oven until the meringue sets and turns golden on the edges (I find it takes 5-6 minutes).
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before placing on serving plates.