lemon meringue tarts

DSC_6116The best thing about having a sister is being able to share everything. Especially when one sister only likes orange sour patch kids, and the other sister prefers green. Even more when one sister loves the sweet meringue on a lemon meringue pie, and the other prefers the lemon curd and crust.

So ever since the beginning, meringue – oops, I mean lemon meringue pie – has been a part of my life. And now, in tart form, it will never ever leave.

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Modified from:
(not my) Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie
Recipe:
Makes 12 lemon meringue tarts – about 2 big bites each
Double the recipe for a standard 9″ pie
You need:
1 portion of pie crust, refrigerated
Rolling pin, extra flour, small knife
Cupcake pan, standard size, and some butter
Parchment paper
Pie weights
Small saucepan
Medium metal or glass bowl, for meringue
Cookie scoop
Pie fillings:
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour, loose
4.5 tsp cornstarch
dash salt
3/4 c water
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 large eggs, separated
3 Tbsp granulated sugar

DSC_6077DSC_6322Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the cupcake holes in your cupcake pan, especially the top edges.

Roll out your pie crust dough to about 1/8″ thick. Use a small knife to cut out circles approximately 3″ in diameter. Chill the dough and reroll scraps as necessary, there won’t be much extra. Place in each cupcake hole and press down carefully to not stretch the crust excessively. Press down excess dough on the “walls” to keep in place. Crust should make 10-12 tarts.

Use parchment paper and pie weights to keep the crust dough down – bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until edges are brown and base is dry. Careful, the pie weights get hot!

DSC_6085DSC_6088DSC_6099DSC_6093While the crust is par-baking, begin the lemon filling. In a small saucepan, whisk 1/2 c sugar, 1 Tbsp flour, 4.5 tsp cornstarch and a dash of salt. Add 3/4 c water and the zest and juice of one lemon. Stir. Heat on stove top on medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. In the mean time, separate your eggs – whites into a medium metal or glass bowl, yolks into small bowl. Mix the egg yolks slightly.

When mixture bubbles slowly, remove from heat. Drop in 1 Tbsp butter and stir to melt. While whisking quickly, pour in 2 egg yolks in a steady stream. When combined, set aside. (Is the crust done yet?)

Whisk 2 egg whites until very foamy. Slowly add 3 Tbsp sugar, and continue whisking until meringue forms stiff peaks. If using an egg beater, beat on level 1-2 and check every 10-15 seconds to make sure you don’t overwhip! (Sugar needs to be added slowly in order to combine correctly with the egg whites – if poured in too quickly, the sugar will separate after baking, causing a weepy, soggy meringue.)

DSC_6101DSC_6108DSC_6324>Remove pie weights and parchment paper from crusts. Using a medium or large size cookie scoop, scoop lemon filling equally into the crusts. Top with meringue, spreading with a spatula or finger until meringue reaches the edge of the lemon filling but does not touch the crust. Attempt to make it pretty but don’t worry if it’s ugly – it will still taste delicious.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Put pies back into oven for 10 minutes, until meringue tops are lightly browned.

Allow to cool completely on the counter top and then the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving – this will set the lemon filling.

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