Lemon Tarts

Lemon Tarts

Details

With just the right amount of sweetness, these tangy lemon tarts make for a beautiful dessert any time of the year.
  • Serves: 8 to 10
  • Active Time: 2 hrs
  • Total Time: 8 hrs - 10 hrs
  • Views: 24,156
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog
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Steps

Step 1: Making the Dough

• 1 recipe Pâte Sucrée Dough

Method

To make the pâte sucrée dough, follow Step 1 in the Fresh Berry Tart Recipe.

Step 2: Preparing the Tart Shells

• 8 to 10 four-inch tart pans

Method

To prepare the tart shells, refer to Step 3 in the Fresh Berry Tart Recipe.

Step 3: Making the Lemon Curd

• 1 recipe Lemon Curd

Method

Follow the recipe for Lemon Curd.

Step 4: Blind Baking the Tart Shells

Method

Once the shells have chilled, bake them according to Step 4 of the Fresh Berry Tart Recipe.

Step 5: Filling the Tart Shells

Method

Once the tart shells have cooled completely, remove them from the pans. Place onto a tray.

Fill each tart with lemon curd – no more than about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Smooth the surface by using a spoon or small, offset spatula.

Chill for at least 6 to 8 hours so the lemon curd sets.

Step 6: Making the Italian Meringue

• 1 recipe Italian Meringue

Method

Follow the recipe for Italian Meringue.

Step 7: Piping the Meringue

Method

To pipe the meringue, place a star-shaped tip into a medium-sized pastry bag. Lock the bag by twisting the bag near the base of the tip and push the bag up inside the tip. This will prevent the meringue from leaking out as you fill it.

Half fill the bag with meringue. Untwist the bag at the bottom of the tip and squeeze some of the meringue out.

Using steady pressure, pipe little mounds of meringue by squeezing a bit out — releasing the pressure — and lifting abruptly up to form a nice point.

Start at the outside of the tart and work your way in circles towards the center. Try to evenly cover the lemon curd below.

Step 8: Torching the Meringue

Method

To torch the meringue, place the tart onto a plate. Carefully apply the flame a few inches away from the tart. Move the flame quickly back and forth to evenly brown the surface.

Step 9: Serving the Tarts

Method

These tarts are delicious when still a bit cold from the refrigerator, so make sure to serve soon after torching. Enjoy!

Chef's Notes

If you don’t want to make the meringue, these tarts are lovely with fresh fruit on top. Follow Steps 5 through 8 from the Fresh Berry Tart Recipe.

The lemon curd for these tarts is not very stiff. If you choose to make one large tart, the curd will likely slide once pieces are cut. For the best presentation, make individual tarts.

19 Comments

  • Juliana A
    Juliana A
    Hi, Can you let me know if its possible to replace the corn syrup for another ingredient and obtain the same result for the meringue? I can't find any corn syrup arround. Otherwise, can you let me know how to replace this topping for a similar one, like creamy? Thanks!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Corn syrup isn't necessary for this recipe. It just helps to prevent the possible crystallization of the sugar when it boils. Items such as honey or liquid glucose (if you have access to either of these) can be substituted. Off the top of my head, a light layer of Chantilly Cream, applied just before serving, would be nice. Also, this tart is delicious topped with fresh fruit, such as raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Maybe sprinkle with a light dusting of confectioners sugar too just before serving. Hope this helps!
  • K A
    K A
    I was wondering how long will the meringue hold ? I intend to make the tart the day before and torch it just before serving, or should I make the tart the day before then make and pipe the meringue before serving ?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Hi Khaled, Even though an Italian meringue is the most stable of all the meringues, for the best results, I would make the meringue the day that you are going to serve the tarts. You will be guaranteed that the meringue will hold its shape. Set a scoop of meringue aside in your refrigerator and see how long it holds its shape for the next time (just so you know). Happy holidays and happy baking! These are yummy!
  • K A
    K A
    I was really looking forward to taste this tart and it really really tasted good , but I always want my food to look nice to. I made the curd and let it cool down for 6 hours then I filled the cold shells and let it cool down again for another 6 hours. I think the curd is supposed to be cold by now , but the moment I cut into the tart the curd started oozing, it's still thick but doesn't hold it's shape. I used the exact measurements you gave in the recipe , I didn't let it evaporate and when I cooked the custard I didn't stop till it started simmering. The flavor of the meringue with the lemon is amazing though. Oh one more thing can I make this tart using the tart shell from the banana and brown butter tart recipe I really love that shell.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I could be wrong but, sounds like it turned out how it was supposed to Khaled. This curd is not supposed to be solid or really thick. It doesn't have any cornstarch, so it doesn't have that solid consistency (like some lemon meringue pies do). As for using the brown butter tart shell...I don't see why that wouldn't work. I say give it a try. Cheers!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Hi Khaled, Dawn is right. This isn't an extremely stiff lemon curd. It is best for individual tarts so the presentation remains pretty. Once someone cuts into their own tart, they won't mind a little ooze. If making a large tart, the curd will slide a bit. Glad you liked the flavors!
  • K A
    K A
    I was thinking about baking the tart with the meringue and curd I think this will make the meringue a bit firmer and will let me keep it a bit longer in the fridge. I read a lot of recipes that use this method and I want to give it a shot, I really really liked the curd here so that's why I don't want to try any other curd recipe. How will this change the taste and texture of my tart ? and how should I do it ? I mean should I bake the shell then make the curd and fill the tart ? or should I let it cool a bit ? or should I just use cold curd ? There is many recipes out there but I really trust you guys
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Usually meringues are torched or broiled onto a set curd rather than baked with it. We don't recommend baking the two together, but feel free to experiment and let us know how it goes. Crunchy meringue on top of this tart doesn't appeal to me - but that's just my opinion. If you're making many of these for a larger-scale production, for the best results, bake the shells as you need them (the curd will keep in the fridge for quite a few days) and make the meringue as you need it to finish off the tarts. For the best freshness, sometimes these things just need to be done on an as-needed basis. Cheers!
  • K A
    K A
    Hi Kimberley ... I actually did it last Friday , I baked the meringue after baking the shell . I also used the banana tart shell. It was really bad actually. The shell was soft and soaked alot of liquid from the curd. The curd was very very liquid-y and the meringue was a bit grainy . I think I'll just stick with your recipe ,much much better
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Hi Khaled, I must commend you for trying it out! Through trial and error we always learn and sometimes come up with really great things. Whenever possible, try to experiment with small portions...make one smaller tart and bake it off, rather than making the whole thing and having it all go to waste. You are miles ahead though by going for it and trying. You'll develop many good skills in the kitchen this way. Cheers!
  • Kevin O
    Kevin O
    I know, odd time of year but my partner loves lemon meringue so I'm considering making these for Christmas dessert... just a thought, could you creative geniuses think of a way to make these a bit more Christmassy, with regards to maybe a twist that would mix it up a bit... if not with flavour with presentation maybe? and if I don´t do the meringue and go for the fruit option, does a seasonally friendly combination of fruit to top and or spice spring to mind? Thanks!
  • Kevin O
    Kevin O
    Also, the mother in law is coming! AHHHHH SO, to avoid looking like a scatterbrain as I inevitably do when I'm nervous I want to prepare as much as I can in advance as possible. Using any and all techniques including freezing if possible, or making the base and doing the meringue last minute for example what's the farthest in advance I could make these without it being a disaster on Christmas day. Cheers!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Kevin- Don't despair! There are a few things you can do in advance and I have a few suggestions to make it festive. First, festive presentation: I think the tart as is, beautiful and iconic. My approach would be on how it's presented - on a large round platter with candied lemons and even some textural/natural elements like a small evergreen sprig or similar accent. For a flavor flair, I love a touch of ginger with lemon. Other "holiday/warm" spices like nutmeg and clove don't pair as well in my opinion. Even just the right plate to set it on can make a huge difference. You can also make a simple side sauce (limoncello/berry reduction) to pair with it - not needed - but a little bit can provide a counterpoint to color. As for preparing in advance: You can prepare, roll and set the tart crust ahead of time (1 week out). It can even be frozen in the tart pan. You can also make the lemon curd filling 2-3 days ahead of time- just be sure to chill it rapidly. It has plenty of sugar and acid to diminish potential for pathogenic growth, but it is still full of eggs. Prepare the meringue and execute the assembly and baking part last minute. Good luck!
  • Kevin O
    Kevin O
    really appreciate your input! :) If I have time over the period and remember to post I´ll let you know how it went.
  • Melodie W
    Melodie W
    I made this for my family today and put the lemon curd in a regular pie shell and I made regular meringue with it. Wow ! Everyone loved it. It tasted so good. Just curious would coconut sugar work in this recipe instead of regular sugar?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Good work Melodie! Coconut sugar does not dissolve the same way white granulated sugar does, so you will want to test it and see how the texture comes out. It may be a bit gritty still. Let us know! ~Ken
  • Melodie W
    Melodie W
    Thanks Ken! Can you tell me how I can make this with less sugar or with what sugar alternative? I will let you know about the Coconut sugar though. :) Melodie
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Melodie- Overall, you can reduce sugar in the crust, curd and meringue. I would start by simply reducing the sugar (by 10-20%) in each - just by a bit. Alternative sugars like coconut or date sugar will work in the crust but not create the smooth texture needed in the curd and meringue. Removing sugar will impact the flavor and balance of the dish, so just be aware that less sugar in the curd means the curd will be more tart. ~Ken

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