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daring bakers: lemon meringue tartelettes

Recipe: lemon meringue pie

Feeling puckery lately? If you’ve been cruising the food blogs, then most likely you’ve run across one or two or four hundred Daring Bakers brandishing their lovely Lemon Meringue Pies.

that’s right kids, we knead to bake

Jen of The Canadian Baker hosted the challenge this month and it was down to the wire for me this time. I started my treatment on Thursday and thought I’d recover with enough time to do the challenge yesterday but… things don’t always go as planned when your body gets pumped full of poison! However, I didn’t want to abandon my fellow DBers, so I managed to make a handful of tartelettes. Forgive me for the lack of detail I usually devote to my DB challenges. She’ll be right next time.

mixing the dough

pressed crust into tart molds

stirring lemony goodness into the curd

You can see I opted for tartelettes instead of the whole pie. I just love individual servings. When baking the tartelette crusts, I placed a second mold on top of each crust to hold its shape. I baked mine for 25 minutes and then removed the tops and baked the crusts uncovered for another 3 minutes to help it brown out. This worked very well, but makes a few dozen since they are so small. Once the shells were cooled, I spooned in lemon curd and topped with meringue.

a little topper over the curd

neat it up

Rather than bother with the oven again, I used my trusty propane torch to finish the tops… because I like any reason to use my propane torch *sheepish grin*. My treatment has jacked up my sense of taste, so I had to ask my official taste tester for the verdict. Jeremy gave it a big thumbs up! Thanks to Jen for the challenge and be sure to check out the rest of the fine DBer creations.

torch it

dig in

Lemon Meringue Pie
[print recipe]
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water

2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes. Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

95 nibbles at “daring bakers: lemon meringue tartelettes”

  1. Bridget says:

    You still managed some beautiful pictures Jen! And what super cute little tartlets!

  2. Lewis says:

    *GOSH* those look amazing!!! Big smile your way for finding a reason to use your blow torch ;) Do you feel the egg whites got cooked all the way with a torch? I may try the tart form next time!

  3. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Jen, these look so great! I love the picture of the tartlette pans because now i have a better idea of how to go about this for next time. Your minis look amazing! Great photos as always! Treatment?…Hope you recover quickly.

  4. manggy says:

    Rather than bother with the oven again, I used my trusty propane torch to finish the tops… because I like any reason to use my propane torch…
    Oh, don’t we all? :D
    That looks gorgeous. It becomes a little disingenuous to comment on all my friends’ lemon tarts, but I can’t say they don’t have a unique touch to each of them. Your meringue in particular looks so thick and rich (not spongy like my amateur self would have no doubt made). It was wise of you to make tartlets instead of a big pie– I see the filling still wants to ooze out :)

  5. Katia says:

    Your photos are lovely. The tart shells specially, you did a great job. I used a blow torch also and loved it.

  6. Meeta says:

    Absolutely lovely! Love the photo series and now after seeing these I am craving for some all over again!

  7. Butta Buns says:

    Those little tarts are just darling! And propane torching sounds like so much wicked fun.

  8. DeeLight says:

    Love your photos!!! Your dainty little pies look delish.

  9. Brianna says:

    Those petite tarts are adorable!

  10. Ann says:

    Really lovely little pies! And your pastry looks perfect!

  11. Susan says:

    I’m glad your treatment didn’t keep you from the challenge this month. Gorgeous, as always!

  12. Deborah says:

    Your idea to top the crusts with another tart pan is genius!! Your tarts look wonderful!

  13. Christine says:

    I hesitate to use the words *undying* and *love* here but I feel it is true for me. Lemon curd is one of life’s great gifts to me and yours is kicking my ass at the moment :) How I’d like to have such nice tartlette molds and a torch!

  14. Happy Cook says:

    I loved the way you have doen the step by step pictures
    It looks so delicious

  15. Stickygooeycreamychewy says:

    Just as I expected, your tartelettes look heavenly! The pictures are so clear that I feel I could stick my fork through the screen and grab a bite! Great job!

  16. Big Boys Oven says:

    Oh looks so incredible….. Lovely…. Beautiful….. so Adorable!

  17. Judy (Judy's Gross Eats) says:

    Beautiful, as expected. Hang in there!

  18. Variations on a theme around the ‘net | Bucky's Barbecue and Bread says:

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  19. linda says:

    Very cute!

    Hope you feel better!

  20. Gabi says:

    Jen- Do you know You Rock?!
    I can’t believe you even feel like making tarts (and they’re gorgeous to boot!) feeling the way you are feeling. AND I can’t believe you apologize for lack of detail when your post is more complete and lovely than most!
    Take care of yourself!

  21. DaviMack says:


  22. Sarah says:

    Yum! How can you go wrong with lemon? I wish I had a blowtorch for my meringue!

  23. abby says:

    beautiful tarts jen. look afterself though!

  24. laurie says:

    Gorgeous pie! And stunning pictures too!

  25. Madeleine says:

    Great job!!! :)

  26. Andrea says:

    Ok, after seeing your adorable tarts and mini tart pans, I now have to acquire some of those little pans! Your tarts look wonderful, and yes, I would totally go for the blow torch treatment! :-)

  27. Simona Carini says:

    Very nice!

  28. peabody says:

    Looking good. Luckily you have a taster that will eat what you make. :) Glad to see I wasn’t the only one breaking out the torch.

  29. Lisa says:

    You rock, Jen. :)

    Simply beautiful and elegant tarts.. bakery window worthy, IMHO.


  30. Maryann says:

    They look so nice. I went the mini way also :)

  31. Ivonne says:

    Beautiful. Just beautiful! Your pictures are amazing! And that little tart is so cute!

  32. Kevin says:

    Great looking lemon meringue tart. The torched meringue looks amazing.

  33. monica says:

    your mini LM tartlettes are stunning, jen! so cute and creative! great job on the challenge

  34. Mary says:

    Your little tarts are just gorgeous! I’m a big fan of the kitchen torch!
    I hope you feel better soon!

  35. Sathya says:

    Wow! Your tarts looks sensational! Oohey gooey goodness mmm. Well done!

  36. kitten says:

    very cute indeed ! good idea when making mini tarts to use another mold to set on top of the dough when baking the crust.

  37. Francesco says:

    I can only say … whow! I love this ones!

  38. simply says:

    I like the idea of torching them. I often wonder why I bought a torch for years ago. I must try again. REally well don on your tartlets

  39. barbara says:

    Fabulous photos and perfect tarts.

  40. Jenny says:

    They look cute, and you have a great eye for the photos too.

  41. ioyes says:

    wow!! these tartlettes look fantastic!!! Good job girl!!!

  42. Ashley says:

    So cute! And your crust looks beautiful.

  43. Rosa says:

    Your tartlets look ever so neat and pretty! Wonderful!



  44. Madam Chow says:

    Those look wonderful – so plump and golden!

  45. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    Jennifer these are really beautiful!! Your idea to nest another tin in the crust is genius!!
    They are beautiful. I really enjoyed the meringue and lemon together.

  46. Kaykat says:

    Those tartlets rock! I can’t wait to try them out instead of the giant pie.

  47. Miss Ifi says:

    Your pictures are AMAZING!!! congratulations on such beautiful little tartlets, they just look like a piece of heaven, and well they also look very much like flaming meringue because of the torch treatment, oh I wish I had a torch.. it just looks like lots of fun!!
    well done!

  48. johanna says:

    oh they look lovely! i have never tried my luck with a blowtorch for meringues, but it seems like a good idea. makes them look a bit rougher and tastier. looking at yours, i wish i could eat them all over again and i only had one this morning ;-)

  49. Tanya says:

    So pretty! I love your little pans!

  50. Iisha says:

    Seriously, I wanted to bite my monitor. I made the recipe but it didn’t look this good when I was making it.
    Looking great… good job.


  51. kim u says:

    I’m totally with you on the propane torch thing, any excuse to use it… I love the idea of doing tartlets, I’m going to have to do that next time I try the recipe.

  52. Anita says:

    Beautiful tartlets and pics! Glad to find another blowtorch lover:), I always resist the urge to laugh maniacally when I pull mine out!

  53. Candace says:

    Beautiful, from start to finish! I always love your photos!

  54. Lynn says:

    Darling little tart! Playing with torches is the best part!

  55. Chris says:

    oooh! I didn’t even think to use my lil’ molds. Yours look amazing!

  56. Amy says:

    I love the tip of putting another little tart pan on the crust. They look beautiful! Great job!

  57. Tartelette says:

    Lip smacking job as always! You have been on my mind a lot lately and I wish you the best.

  58. Danielle says:

    You are my hero! You are feeling how you are and you still manage to pull off some of the best tarts I have seen. They are perfect!

  59. Amber says:

    Your tarts are adorable and the meringue looks wonderful! To the next challenge we go…

  60. cookworm says:

    Your tartlets look so perfect. Love the photos!

  61. Annemarie says:

    Sorry to hear about you being poorly. The tarts do look wonderful, and I like how the torched mini-tart meringue is peaked and swirling like little meringuey flames.

  62. Suzanne Johnson says:

    I think I have tart mold envy. Those are cute! Hope you are feeling well.

  63. Shell says:

    Oh I love to see what you make each time – I hold my breath when I click on your blog – yummy! Thankfully I had a Lemon Meringue pie in fridge when I saw this post.
    I shall have to try this recipe soon!
    I gave you an award! – Check out my blog to see what it is. Keep up cooking!

  64. katy says:

    look at how cute those are!!!! question — do you use pie weights when you’re using mini-tart shells?

  65. shilpa says:

    Oh thats so lovely. Using a torch is great idea. I don’t have torch yet, but I think I am gonnu buy it soon :).

  66. marye says:

    I would not have thought of a torch!

  67. Colette says:

    Those have to be the most gorgeous tarts I’ve seen! Really, really beautiful!

  68. courtney says:

    Dont you love those mini pans. I have to get a torch so next time mine will be as beautiful as yours.

  69. DawnsRecipes says:

    They look fabulous! That was such a good idea using a 2nd tart pan instead of lining with foil! I wish I’d thought of it. Well, it’s definitely a tip I’ll be filing away to use in the future!

  70. Karen says:

    Well done! Those little tart pans look perfect for this recipe! Great photos.

  71. Joy says:

    I love your tart tins. I was given a blow torch for Christmas, but I haven’t been let lose with it yet. Once I get some gas I’m going to go wild and caramalise everything!

  72. Cakespy says:

    WOW! You did an awesome job, I am jealous! Mostly jealous because I wasn’t there and someone else got to eat them :-(

  73. Babeth says:

    You did a great job! Your tartelettes are lovely.

  74. Claire says:

    Just beautiful tarts! I love the small size…makes it not feel as bad for you to eat!

  75. Deborah says:

    Lovely little lemon meringues! They look truly fabulous! How scrumptious!

  76. LP says:

    Your tarts look just perfect. I want to pop one in my mouth and chow down right now!

  77. nora says:

    Hi Jen, your tarlets look so cute and delicious. Like the spiky design on it. I bet u had fun with your blowtorch ;-)

  78. deba says:

    Perfect pies,perfect pictures,perfect post!!! WOW!!! Love the ease with which you seem to have tied it all together!!

  79. jenyu says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments and the well-wishes! Our awesome fooding community makes every effort worth it because folks are so enthusiastic and wonderful :) xxoo

    Lewis – you know, that’s a very good point. I don’t think the torch cooks it through all the way. I typically use a swiss meringue recipe where the whites are cooked over a bath to a certain temp… I didn’t even think of it this time (luckily – Jeremy didn’t get sick!)

    Manggy – yup, it was oozing. I couldn’t wait for it to cool down because I was ready to pass out :)

    Christine – they are actually largish petits fours molds! :) I guess I am just a stupid shopper – ha ha. Seems to work for extra small tarts or fat petits fours.

    Gabi – you are so sweet. xxoo

    Peabody – I’ll bet your pup would eat your lemon meringue tarts!

    Tartelette – thanks love, you are the best :)

    Shell – you are too kind! xxoo

    katy – nope, I just press one mold on top of the crust and then bake. Since they are so small, they don’t get too unwieldy.

  80. steph says:

    adorable! love that big poof of meringue!

  81. Baking Soda says:

    Awesome little tartelettes! I can see why you chose these, the crust is in great shape here. Gorgeous job.

    Like to wish you strength with the treatments. I know one day can be so different from the next.. Take care!

  82. Jenny says:

    Oh how lovely those little tarts look!

  83. Yenping says:

    Wow, you’re clearly very skilled! I can identify with your cooking philosophy and your posts in general are inspirational.:)

  84. Mer says:

    This is my first visit to your blog – it looks great! Beautiful post. :0)

  85. jenyu says:

    Thanks guys!

  86. Aoife says:

    Looks amazing! I was also down to the wire, but I didn’t have quite as good an excuse. Your tartlets came out adorably, and even if you couldn’t tell, I’m sure they tasted wonderful.

  87. Dolores says:

    Great job with January’s challenge… under extraordinary conditions. I wish you strength and peace in the days ahead.

  88. jenyu says:

    Aoife and Dolores – thanks, both of you. xxoo

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  90. Ana says:

    Does the mL stand for milliliters? Because some of the ingredients would be better converted to grams instead. But mL and grams are the same, right?

  91. jenyu says:

    Ana – yup.

  92. Nichole Nurenberg-Miller says:

    my parents are coming for a visit this weekend and i am going to make this recipe as a pie. (if only i had those cute little tartelette tins too!) it was my mom’s birthday yesterday and lemon meringue is her favorite. thanks, jen!

  93. Leitha says:

    Made this as my Thanksgiving bring this year. Your recipes never fail! This was fantastic, and all who tasted it, loved it.

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