Friday, April 27, 2012

Meyer Lemon Meringue Tartlets—For Mother’s Day



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Mother’s day is just around the corner.  How are you going to celebrate?  It’s one of the most popular holiday for dining out as we all wanted to give Mothers/Grandmothers a break from the kitchen.  As a mother myself (and the cook in the house), I will probably be cooking at home though, just to beat the crowds.  Good thing is that I don’t mind at all.  In fact, I enjoy spending time in the kitchen, especially baking.  I found it therapeutic (yeah, you can call me a weirdo for this one!)  I guess it’s the measuring and focusing that allow my mind to wonder off to a place that is far far away…to a dream land, perhaps.  In this case, a dream land filled with Meyer lemon goodness and cloud-like meringue softness.

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These Meyer Lemon Meringue Tartlets were amazing.  The slightly golden brown crusts were flaky and buttery.  They were the perfect vessels for the creamy, silky, tart and sweet Meyer Lemon Curd in the middle; top off with slightly sweetened meringue that’s perfectly caramelized on the edges, soft and tender on the inside.  It melted in my mouth without a trace when I bit into one.  Doesn’t that sound like a dream on it’s own?  Yeah, I’ve been dreaming to create these tartlets for a while until I finally got a chance to to so.  Wait, am I the only one who dream about making food and creating recipes?  Please tell me I’m not alone!  Smile

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I think these Meyer Lemon Meringue Tartlets would be the perfect desserts to end a Mother’s Day meal, or any meal, period.  Guess what?  I haven’t plan the rest of the Mother’s Day menu besides this dessert.  That’s totally how things roll here.  Smile Who doesn’t like to talk about desserts first? 

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As you all know, I love recipes that can be made ahead, at least partially, especially for gatherings.  This Meyer Lemon Meringue Tartlets is one of those recipes.  I actually pre-baked the crust and made a batch of the Meyer Lemon Curd (fillings) the day before I plan to serve them.  The meringue on top has to be whipped up on the day of the party though.  Otherwise, it’ll get a little separated.  Good thing is, your guests will have fun trying to use the blow torch to caramelize these babies for you!  Yup, you heard me right, you get to play with fire use the blow torch in this recipe.  But if you don’t have one, don’t worry, you can still caramelized the meringue in the oven.  But that just doesn’t sound as much fun though.  Smile with tongue out

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I’ll be posting other recipes to complete the menu for Mother’s Day.  Stay tuned.  Oh well, if I couldn’t post them all in time, I can always have those recipes for Father’s Day.  Winking smile 

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Meyer Lemon Meringue Tartlets: (Printable Recipe)
Makes one 9-inch pie or 30 (2-inch) mini tartlets

Ingredients for the Crust:
6 ounces (12 tablespoons) cold butter, diced
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice water

Ingredients for the Meyer Lemon Curd Filling:
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups Vanilla Sugar
Zest of 3 Meyer Lemons
5 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup Meyer lemon juice (around 3 Meyers lemons)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Ingredient for the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar

To Make the Crust:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt, using a pastry blender to work the butter into the rest of the ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water and cut ingredients with the pastry blender for 15 more strokes, or until the dough begins to stick together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form a disk. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to bake the crust, roll the dough on a lightly floured board and rolling pin to 1/8-inch thickness.
*To make a 9-inch pie, cut a circle of 11-inch in diameter; Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer the dough onto the pie plate by unrolling it from the rolling pin. Turn the edge of the dough under and crimp the edges to flute shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the crust with foil and fill with dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and beans and continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely before filling.

**To make the mini tartlets: Cut rolled out dough in 3 1/2-inch circles; gently transfer the rounds onto the tart molds. Make sure not to stretch the dough or it will shrink during baking. Trip off any excess dough on the edges of the tart pans, and then refrigerate them for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the crust with parchment papers (fold slightly to fit) and fill with dried beans. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Then, remove the foil and beans and continue to bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely before filling.

To Make Meyer Lemon Curd Filling:
In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter, vanilla sugar and Meyer lemon zests until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.

In a 2 quart saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until thickened (around 8 to 10 minutes), stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.  Store in air tight containers and refrigerate.

To Make the Meringue:
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (if not using a blow torch). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually and beat until stiff peak forms and glossy.

Pile the meringue onto the filled pie; spread the meringue all the way to the edge of the crust to cover the lemon curd completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.

For a more decorative look, transfer the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a round/star tip. Pipe meringue onto filled tartlets and bake/blow torch.

***Please follow user menu and safety guidelines of the blow torch manufacturer. Always proceed with cautions when using a blow torch; I never use one in front of my kids as they love to copy whatever I do.





21 comments:

  1. I LOVE these! You know how much I love lemon! What a wonderful idea!

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    1. Yeah, I'm just as crazy about lemons! :) Have a great weekend, Belinda.

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  2. These look and sound amazing!

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    1. Thanks, Jenn. These were really good, in deed.

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  3. Anything lemon gets my attention! These look so cute and delicious too.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, they totally got my attention as well. These are hard to resist. :) Wish you a beautiful weekend.

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  4. These look lovely! I love Meyer lemons - I actually have 2 dwarf Meyer lemon trees in my house : )

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    1. Oh yeah, I adore Meyer lemons. If you got them fresh, try this recipe and I know you'll love it. :)

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  5. Amy, your recipes always make my mouth water! I want to pop a few of these meyer lemony goodies in my mouth right now!!! :) xo

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    1. Thanks, Lorraine. I wish I can sent a few over to you and share. I know you're going to love them. :)

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    1. Thank you, dear. :) Wish you a beautiful week ahead.

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  7. What mom wouldn't love a dainty tart with the taste of sunshine? These would be winners in any household. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn. I can't agree with you more, these tartlets got the taste of sunshine. :) They might be small in size, but pack with huge flavor. ;)

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  8. Over here form Add A Pinch, just to say that looking at these totally makes my mouth water! I love any cake that involves lemon.

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    1. Oh yeah, I adore lemons, too. :) Thanks for stopping by and wish you a happy Friday.

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  9. Amy, I love this one! I wish my baking skill is good enough for me to say it's therapeutic but it's usually like a disaster about to happen. =P Meyer lemon is one of my favorite citrus - hmm maybe as much as yuzu, and this dessert sounds fabulous for Mother's Day treat (for me!!). =D

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    1. Wish I can share some of these tartlets with you. I know you're going to love them. :) I'm going to hop over to read the 2nd part of your Japan trip soon. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Friday.

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  10. Yum Yum!!! I just found your blog on foodie friday. I'll host a party every month with a different theme and would love you to join! Please visit my blog for more information on "My Sweet Party" post uploaded 2nd of May.

    http://www.meandmysweets.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/my-sweet-party-chocolate-cake-love.html

    Johanna

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I'll go check out your party soon. Thanks for inviting.

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  11. These are SO pretty! I want to eat all of them. :)

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