Lemon Meringue Tart

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Joy made this. 'Nuff said. We actually bought a blow torch for her, but alas, only when we needed to use it for this recipe, discovered that there wasn't any fuel inside. So much for 'fueling with flavour'. Sorry, that was corny.

Like the lemon bars, I was never much into the curd bandwagon, but this was reason enough. Fortunately my girls do bake and more often than not, they make amazing stuff that I probably wouldn't, this being one of them. Lucky me!

Some recipes will leave you with only yolks or only whites, for which you have to find a corresponding recipe and save the other part of the eggs. This lemon meringue tart will leave you with only one egg white. Nice!

1 cup and 2 tbsp cake and pastry flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into little pieces
3 tbsp cold water
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 egg white, lightly whisked

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup cold water
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp unsalted butter

4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp sifted icing sugar

1. In a stand mixer, combine together flour, sugar, and salt with paddle attachment.
2. On low speed, add in the little pieces of butter until incorporated.
The dough should be pale yellow in colour and small pieces of butter may be visible.
3. Stir the water and lemon juice together then add to the dough.
4. Continue mixing until the dough begins to come together.
5. Remove the dough from the stand mixer and shape into a disc.
6. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 2 hours or more.
The dough will keep for up to three months in the freezer.

7. Flour your work surface lightly and roll the dough out over it until it is 1/4 inch in thickness or less.
8. Dust a 9-inch pie plate lightly with flour and press in the dough, trimming away the excess. Store in fridge for half an hour.

9. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
10. Remove pie crust from fridge and line with parchment then aluminium foil and fill with dried beans or rice to blind bake.
11. Bake pie crust for about 20 minutes.

12. Remove pie crust from oven and remove the parchment, aluminium foil, with the rice and/or beans.
13. Place the crust in the oven again for about 9 minutes until the middle of the crust is a little bit brown and the crust appears dry.

14. Remove crust from oven. While the crust is hot, brush with a a small portion of the whisked egg white to prevent it from getting soggy when the lemon curd is added. Set aside to cool.
15. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 325ºF.

Lemon curd:
16. In the meantime, combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and whisk.
17. Then, whisk in the water.
18. On medium-high heat, simmer the sugar and cornstarch mixture while whisking. Cook until the filling mixture is thickened and glossy.

19. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
20. Then pour one cup of the saucepan mixture into the egg bowl.
21. Pour all of the contents of the bowl into saucepan and whisk for about one more minute.
22. Continue to whisk as the lemon juice is added in.
23. Cook until the curd is simmering.
24. Take the pan off the heat and add butter. Whisk.

25. Quickly pour the filling into the crust. Although it may appear thin, the filling will thicken when it has chilled.
26. With plastic wrap, cover the surface to retain the heat of the curd.

27. To begin making the meringue, use the balloon whisk attachment on medium speed to whip the egg whites and the cream of tartar.
28. Once foamy, increase speed while slowly adding the sugars and continue to whip until medium peaks can be formed.

29. Take off plastic wrap from filling and add half of the meringue on top, careful not to disturb the filling.
30. Spread the meringue well and use a skewer to give it a little swirl to allow it to better adhere to the filling.
31. Add the rest of the meringue and use a spatula to create lovely spikes.
32. Bake this beauty for 20 minutes at 325ºF until the top of the meringue becomes brown. You can use the broil feature on high for a minute taking care not to burn the meringue.

33. Before storing the pie in the fridge to chill, let it cool to room temperature.

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