Lemon Meringue Tart

Lemon meringue is my absolute favourite! So you can only imagine my excitement when our food editor Erin Girard whipped up her famous lemon meringue tart… and share the recipe with her! And oh, my word it’s out of this world.  I think the whole MH team agrees that lemon meringue pie is one of our all time favourite desert posts.

This version is made with a sweet pastry dough that almost resembles a sugar cookie dough, hence why we are calling it a tart!  The lemon curd has just the right amount of sweetness combined with the bold punch of the tart lemon juice.  It balances out well when topped with either torched Italian meringue, a dollop of whipped cream, or just eaten as-is. It is the perfect addition to any dinner party – maybe an Easter dinner or brunch?

Lemon Meringue Tart
Makes 1 x 10” (25 cm) fluted tart pan (preferably with a removable base)
Serves 8-10 people

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes total
Chill time: 3 hours total or overnight

For the crust:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ cup + 1 tbsp of cold unsalted butter in 1” cubes
1 large free-range egg

For The Filling:
1 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
5 large eggs at room temperature
¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 package (.25 oz) of gelatin (around 3 sheets)

For the crust:
1. In the bowl of your food processor, add the flour, sugar salt, and cubed butter. Pulse until the butter is in pea-sized portions. (Alternately, you can use a pastry blender.)
2. Add the egg and pulse again a couple times until the dough just starts to come together.
(I like to place the dough on the counter and bring it together with my hands.)
3. Flatten the dough into a disk. Wrap and place it in the fridge for around 30-40 minutes to chill.
4. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ⅛” thickness. Press the dough into the tart pan. Trim the excess dough around the edges. Chill the dough for 1 hour in the freezer.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust in the oven for around 15-18 minutes. Remove the weights and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
6. Let the tart shell cool while you prepare the filling.

For The Filling:
1. In a small bowl, prepare the gelatin according to the package directions.
2. Using a double boiler, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a heatproof bowl. Whisk constantly until thick. This should take around 10 minutes.
3.  Remove from the heat. Whisk in the gelatin and strain the mixture into a bowl. Let it cool for around 5 minutes.
4.  At this point, you could use a blender or hand blender to add in the butter. If not, you can add the butter in by whisking it into the warm lemon curd.
5. Pour the lemon curd into the prepared tart shell and chill for at least 3 hours. (You can always pop it into the freezer to set it faster. Better yet you can make it a day ahead of time.)

For The Italian Meringue:
4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 cup  + 1 tbsp sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar

1. In a medium-sized pot, mix the sugar and about ⅓ cup of water. It should resemble wet sand. (Add a bit more water if needed.) Ensure that the sides are free from any sugar granules. Use a clean pastry brush and water to clean the sides of the pot.
2. Place a candy thermometer in the pot. Turn the stove on to medium-high heat.
3. While the sugar is heating up, drop the egg whites in the clean bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and start to mix on low. Once the sugar syrup reaches around 110°C, start mixing the egg whites on high. When the syrup reaches 120°C, take it off the heat and slowly start to pour it down the side of the mixer. (Make sure the sugar syrup doesn’t hit the whisk!)
4. Keep mixing on high speed for around 10-15 minutes until thick and glossy and the sides of the bowl are cool to the touch.
5. Top your tart with the meringue. Torch it too, if you’d like.

Prefer to skip the meringue? Serve the tart as-is or top it with fresh whipped cream — or some store-bought marshmallow fluff!

Recipe created by MH Food Editor Erin Girard